The Greens, who came second in the polls, are pushing their way into the federal government. At its digital party congress on the new basic program, the party shows itself determined and united. With a view to the federal election, this must be of particular concern to the CDU.
The Greens can already score one point for themselves: As the first party represented in the Bundestag, they are setting up a completely digital party congress that is really about something. There are no personnel elections that are only possible in person or by postal vote: The debate and adoption of the first Greens basic program in 18 years is anything but a minor matter. The party succeeds in this technically demanding undertaking impressively well, despite some wobbles and delays. The CDU, whose postponement of the party congress caused an unprecedented scandal, has to be demonstrated here in terms of digital competence. Ironically, from their most serious opponent in the upcoming federal election.
But something else should give the strategists in the Konrad-Adenauer-Haus a headache: namely, how much the party moves into the political center, talks about “leadership claims” and also accepts conflicts with more radical climate and environmental activists. Annalena Baerbock even set herself apart from the activists to a certain extent: She made it clear that the movements are welcome to exert pressure on the streets, but that it is the Greens who organize parliamentary majorities for a different policy.
No longer a prohibition party and moral apostle
Both Baerbock and their co-chairman Robert Habeck admonished their members in their political speeches to take the whole of society with them and to take seriously the population’s fears of a restructuring of the economic system. Baerbock tried to allay worries by saying the Greens’ plans were as revolutionary as a “home loan and savings contract”. Habeck turned against a division between town and country. Federal Managing Director Michael Kellner explained with a view to the basic law enthusiastic basic program that the Greens are the real protection of the constitution in the country. Green parliamentary group leader Anton Hofreiter assured: “We do not demonize the car, we modernize it and make it CO2-free.”
The Green leadership no longer wants to make it so easy for their political opponents to demonize them as a prohibition party and an overbearing moral apostle. The new basic program aims at the structures behind climate and environmental destruction, instead of dictating that people should behave individually and blaming them like schoolboys for violations. A Veggie Day, i.e. the proposal of a meat-free canteen day, which the party pursued until the 2017 federal elections, will no longer be called for by any top Green politician.
Greens ready for super election year
With their new basic program, the Greens conclude this new self-assessment largely smoothly. You end a programmatic process in time for the coming super election year, which CDU chairwoman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer had promised her party, but which stopped halfway. What long-term vision the CDU has for this country is just as open as the question of the candidate for chancellor. In addition, Kramp-Karrenbauer had to admit on the weekend of the Green Party Congress that the competition for her successor for the CDU was “ruinous”. In the struggle between the favorites Armin Laschet and Friedrich Merz, a lot of porcelain was smashed. Voters, however, don’t like arguments, especially not Union voters.
The duel for the top Green candidate, on the other hand, is not at all: Both applicants strive for an amicable solution and visibly enjoy keeping the tension high until the decision planned for May. Is that why the Greens are the next ruling party? No, because there are numerous contradictions and imponderables. They go far beyond the question of whether the new Green rhetoric is catching on in the country, in the East and outside the academic electorate in the cities.
The Greens plans to rebuild the energy and economic system raise serious questions about serious counter-financing. How eager to experiment the voters will be in view of the foreseeable corona economic crisis is also open. In addition, the conflicts with the activists of Fridays for Future or in the Dannenröder forest hold potential for escalation. A closed CDU should not be afraid of this opponent in view of its own survey lead. But eleven months before the first federal election after Merkel, the Greens are in a much better condition than the CDU. The Christian Democrats would therefore do well to take the Greens’ new claim to leadership seriously.