Because the AfD Party (the anti-immigrant group) exists now in the Bundestag.....various debates can be suggested and brought into some political forum. It's a positive and a negative.
So there was open debate yesterday about an AfD topic....banning the Nikab and Burka in German public areas.
Focus (the German news magazine) brought up the details over this light discussion.
Most of the parties took the position of opposing this open discussion. You would expect that.
The lagger in this talk of a open debate? The CDU. What the right-of-center (Merkel's party) group did was walk around the topic as much as possible. They have a serious problem.
If you went to the normal voters of the CDU....I would suspect that about fifty-percent of them want various immigrant issues resolved. Included in this priority list....is the negativity seen about the Nikab and Burka. If you went to the CSU folks of Bavaria....it's probably higher than fifty-percent who want a discussion.
No one within the SPD says much, but I would take a guess that at least 10-percent would like the debate to occur as well.
All of this leads around to the functionality of the AfD now, and the fact that they can 'stir' the pot and cause debates to be openly discussed, and forcing parties to paint themselves into a corner.
If this was a big deal with CDU voters.....they can stand up in state elections, and vote against the CDU for this position of theirs. They know this is a painful process to face now. The same is true for Linke Party, SPD folks, and even the Greens. Each halt of a open debate will be used later in advertising for future elections.
A massive issue with Nikabs and Burkas? Well....that's the funny thing. If you hang around small towns in Germany, you could go an entire year without seeing a single one. If you hang around metropolitan cities....yes, you might see forty in a single day. Some Germans have an opinion....some simply don't care. So you'd expect polls to exist where the question is asked nationally....but no, there just aren't any polls like this ever done.
No matter how journalists talk around this issue....having the AfD in the Bundestag now creates unusual factors....that you just didn't have four years ago.