If you pay attention to German news, political chat, and columns......this week....we were nudged closer on the idea of the German national election in Oct/Nov of 2017 possibly resulting in a SPD win, and that the two partners would be the Green Party and the Linke Party.
In past years (probably for twenty years), the idea of having some combined government like this was not appealing to large percentage of SPD voters. They really didn't want to partner up with the Linke Party (the former Communist Party).
Why this comes up now?
Generally, the CDU is in a weakened condition. Even if Merkel runs....there's doubt that they can get more than 24-percent of the national vote (separated from the CSU vote of 8.5 percent). Enthusiasm for Merkel among CDU voters is not hyped up or showing any passion. Flipping to another candidate? So far, from the five or six possibilities....Klockner from the Pfalz appears to be a slightly higher favorite within the party but she would be unable to get the mass of the CDU big-party players to accept a change to the immigration policy.
What a SPD-Green-Linke deal gets you?
Most of the politics and platforms would be from the middle to far end of the left spectrum. They would be pro-EU, find additional tax methods, and try to appeal to the working-class voter.
Answering the immigration, integration, refugee, or asylum issues? No. I wouldn't expect anything much to change. While some members of the Linke Party have tried to press the party to establish boundaries and repair the damage done by the Merkel policy.....the leadership of the Linke Party has stayed on track. Same story with the SPD....they have members who've suggested some changes and moving away from Merkel's vision. So far.....neither party has done much of anything. The Greens? Absolutely nothing, although some Greens in Bad-Wurttemberg have expressed some desire to repair the integration business and lessen future numbers, but the national leadership hasn't discussed any real change.
The odds of this partnership occurring?
There are two issues. First, can the SPD actually win? Right now, they show some national numbers around 24-percent....it did drop to 19-percent back six months ago but came back.
In each state election held over the past year.....their numbers were less. For the three state elections in the spring of 2017, I'd expect the SPD to see three to ten points off where they had their election back in 2012. That's not helpful for the national election.
Even if they did come out ahead with 24-percent....then you have the issue of Greens and the Linke Party getting enough votes nationally to move past 50-percent of the national vote. Some polls show the Linke Party getting marginal votes (particularly in the spring state elections). Both the Greens and Linke Party need to clear ten-percent each.....to make this three-way partnership work. Presently, I give it less than 50-percent of happening.
The journalists and intellectuals? Over the next twelve months, it'll be a weekly thing as they explain how it's great with a left-light-left-strong partnership for Germany. Some SPD folks will ask stupid questions....especially over integration and asylum....and start to look for some 'retreat'. These are people who don't want the CDU or AfD.....but they don't want to support the Greens or Linke Party. The only option left? FDP.
Maybe the FDP will benefit in some weird way off this deal.
In the end....at least from an American prospective.....as Americans are frustrated with both parties.....even Germans are becoming more and more frustrated, but at least they have 'other' parties existing and you can cast a frustration vote to send a message (something that an American has limits upon).