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Migrant Policy
A Warning Sign for Merkel?

A new poll is sending tremors through Germany’s political establishment ahead of this weekend’s local elections: the anti-immigrant Alternativ für Deutschland (AfD) has overtaken Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union in the eastern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Reuters:

The poll, conducted by the Insa Institute for the monthly Cicero, forecast the AfD would win 23 percent of the vote in Sunday’s state election, compared to 20 percent for the CDU, which would mark a huge setback for Merkel in her home state.

“It would be a complete meltdown for the Christian Democratic Union if a new party was able to establish itself on a statewide level to the right of the Union, and actually exceed its size,” Cicero wrote on its website. […]

Cicero’s poll showed the left-leaning Social Democrats (SPD), part of Merkel’s ruling coalition in Berlin, led in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern with 28 percent of the vote. The SPD heads the state’s current governing coalition.

The latest polling results would allow the current SPD-CDU coalition government to continue to govern the northeastern state, with a combined 48 percent of the projected vote.

It could also enable a governing combination of the leftist Linke party, which is projected to get 15 percent of the vote in Sunday’s election, together with the SPD and the Green party, which is projected to get 6 percent of the vote.

Merkel has been steadfastly clinging to her open-doors migrant policy, but her popularity has been flagging. And the griping within her governing coalition has gotten louder and more insistent, especially from the Bavarian sister-party, the CSU. If AfD manages these kinds of numbers in Sunday’s election, Germany-watchers are expecting Merkel to start listening to her critics more, and modulating her approach in earnest ahead of next year’s federal elections.

Stay tuned.

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  • Beauceron

    AfD is the only hope for Germany at this point– and I do not think Germans will pull the lever for them.
    It’s a pity, but Western Europe is looking to be going the way of the US. The countries will be there in name, but the cultures and people that made them what they were will be gone and forgotten.

    • Observe&Report

      Many were equally pessimistic about the prospects of a pro-Brexit vote, and yet the British surprised everyone.

      On both sides of the Atlantic, those being written off as sheep are rediscovering their lion side. A brash, blunt, outsider who hasn’t spent a day of his life in the cosy Washington bubble is leading the charge against the corrupt and arrogant status quo that Clinton champions and personifies. The National Front in France has a serious chance at reaching the presidency in next year’s election, and is already forcing the likes of Sarkozy and other contenders to change their tune against mass immigration and Islamisation. Hungary, as well as other eastern and central European nations, are holding firm against the EU scheme to distribute unwanted, third world vagrants across Europe. In Italy, an anti-euro coalition called the Five Star Movement could topple the government and start the unravelling of the wretched eurozone, thus giving long-suffering Greece a ray of hope. And in Austria, a genuinely nationalist party will almost certainly win the presidency in the election rerun in October.

      The mere fact that the AfD is doing so well is a sign of hope that even the self-hating Germans aren’t as suicidal as their snivelling rat of a Chancellor. I’m not giving up on Europe just yet.

      • Jim__L

        I was right up there with you, until the “sniveling rat” comment.

        I don’t think Merkel snivels at all. I think she honestly believes she is standing up against demons from Germany’s past with her immigrant policy. She is doing what she is doing for the same reason bien pensants on this side of the Atlantic do — to remain in good standing with the cocktail party set and the Davoisie.

        The problem here is that in doing so, she dismisses legitimate aspirations — the idea that a government should only serve the peoples of the world over its constituents, insofar as those constituents want their government to. In ignoring this, the entire Davoisie shows how out of touch they are with the peoples of Europe, and how out-of-touch (insulated) they are, compared to the reality of the world. They also ignore Democracy’s great strength, and the warning inherent in Democracy’s social contract — do as your people want, or lose (at least) your job.

        I made this call a little while back — Merkel may have threaded some kind of elite needle with her policy, but that won’t fly with the electorate.

        This is a specific demonstration of how the Elites need to change. And change they will, as Democracy rolls on.

        • Observe&Report

          It’s difficult to express just how much contempt I personally feel for this particular “leader”. It’s not just her decision to throw open the doors to whoever wanted to come, or the attempts to cover up and trivialise the New Year’s “gropefest” in Cologne caused by gangs of Muslim migrants (remember the German Interior Minister saying online comments condemning the attacks were “at least as bad”?). It was the craven, sort-of reversal she made when she struck a side deal with Turkey to stem the migrant flow which she encouraged in the first place. She then proceeded to prosecute comedians for hurting Erdogan’s feelings and suppress official reports into human rights abuses in Turkey; all in order to preserve the migrant deal even though, as TAI has reported, the real reason for the drop in migrant arrivals was bad weather and the sealing off of borders. Now, we’re hearing news that the migrant flows to Germany are going to surge again this year. I have no doubt that Merkel feels some sort of righteous justification for her migrant policies, but surely, there has to be a limit to what some members of the elite will do to stay in good standing with the cocktail party set.

          In a previous comment, I once described Merkel as a “snivelling weasel”. ‘Weasel’ in the sense that she’s actually a very calculating figure within the milieu of German domestic politics; up until the migrant debacle, she maintained quite high approval ratings by constantly adjusting her policies to fit public opinion, hence the lack of an obvious alternative to replace her. ‘Snivelling’ in the sense that she’s a coward beyond Germany’s borders, hence her wretched self-abasement before Hitler’s Anatolian lookalike to preserve a migration deal has probably done almost nothing to stem the flow of arrivals.

          Having taken in over a million unwanted migrants, I fear there is no way Merkel will willingly reverse course, not even in the face of overwhelming public pressure. To do so would be tantamount to an admission of a massive misjudgement on her part. It’s human nature to stick to one’s guns in the face of outside pressure and condemnation, especially when you know you’re in the wrong. The bigger the mistake, the stronger the tendency towards stubborn self-justification. That’s why I think Merkel is politically irredeemable and would have to be ousted from power by her own party, a not unlikely outcome if the AfD does well enough in the polls.

          In summary, whilst the German political elite may well change their tune to accommodate the shift in public opinion (as they should), Merkel herself will never change. Her leadership talents are best suited to a pack of lemmings, not to the country that gave us Bismarck.

          Respectfully, I stand by my description of her.

  • gabrielsyme

    In the last round of regional elections in March, the AfD ended up outperforming their poll results significantly in all three elections, in a range of 3-6 per cent. We should anticipate that the polls are probably still underestimating AfD support to some extent.

  • Pete

    Merkel is a fool. for the life of me, i can’t understand her thinking. It’s totally screwy. The woman must be a self-hating German.

    • Angel Martin

      Stazi. Control passed to FSB.

  • Matt B

    Has “Gerxit” entered the lexicon yet?

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