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Political scientist on the federal elections: “The citizens don’t want big changes” | free press

A new Bundestag is elected at the end of September. Three parties stand with one candidate for chancellor. In uncertain times, people expect orientation, says Hans Vorländer. But none of the three candidates for chancellor succeeds in getting this across. Bernhard Walker spoke to the political scientist at the TU Dresden.

A new Bundestag is elected at the end of September. Three parties stand with one candidate for chancellor. In uncertain times, people expect orientation, says Hans Vorländer. But none of the three candidates for chancellor succeeds in getting this across. Bernhard Walker spoke to the political scientist at the TU Dresden.

Free Press: Polls show that most citizens are skeptical of all three candidates. How do you explain that?

Hans Vorländer: With Mr Laschet and Mrs Baerbock, the unfortunate behavior certainly plays a role – whether it be the laughter of Laschet during a visit to the flood plain or the late reported extra income, the inaccurate information in the curriculum vitae and the dirty work in The Book of Mrs. Baerbock. The crash is especially noticeable with Mrs. Baerbock.

And Olaf Scholz?

Many believe Scholz is undoubtedly fit for chancellorship; the weakness of others could become his strength. But he has an SPD behind him, which barely scores and is politically much more left-wing than his candidate on many points. That’s a credibility problem.

Would Markus Söder have been the better choice for the Union and Robert Habeck for the Greens?

One cannot necessarily draw that conclusion. The moment they became candidates, they would also be viewed critically by the public and the media. Habeck is often referred to as a “philosopher”, but not as a creator. Söder, on the other hand, is seen as a decision maker, but that is also staging. Söder likes to bark, but does not bite. This is also apparent from his dealings with his coalition partner Hubert Aiwanger of the Free Voters. The Bavarian Economy Minister’s non-vaccination is now even irritating the Bavarian economy.

Does the skepticism of the candidates also depend on the fact that after 16 years of Merkel there is a kind of vacuum?

A chancellorship of 16 years stands for itself. And it cannot be the yardstick against which successor candidates are measured, because no one can instill the confidence that Mrs Merkel gained only as Chancellor. I see less vacuum and more uncertainty.

What’s in it?

My position is that citizens do not want major changes because we live in times of great uncertainty. On the one hand, orientation and clear action are expected, on the other, citizens are again skeptical about major future programs. Not an easy situation for the candidates, who prefer to remain silent in order not to be vulnerable.

In the United States and France, presidential elections are all about people. That wasn’t so outspoken in the federal election because we don’t have a presidential constitution. If the three applicants have reservations: does that make the parties’ agendas more important?

There used to be the three big “Ps”, namely party, program and person. This is no longer the case, the person becomes more important in the voting decision. If the candidates fail to convince, the disillusionment we now see in the election campaign arises. But I don’t see the old three “P” coming back. Programs tend to work internally, in the batches. And the bond with the parties among the population is diminishing.

Has the party system changed? Is this a problem? Or just the passage of time?

Yes, it has changed, it is a problem and it has to do with the changing society. The party system has become more differentiated; there are more parties in parliaments. And it has made it more difficult to form governments. And the protest solidifies on the fringes of the party system. This is where a progressive alienation process becomes noticeable. But the classic party system in our country is not yet as eroded as, for example, in Italy or France. But the old milieus are beginning to disintegrate and individualization does the rest. This means that the parties have lost their old strength and cannot regain it. But you must still try to activate the political will of all citizens – in such a way that they are indistinguishable from each other. That is extremely difficult and yet essential for a living democracy

To the Bundestag election special of the “Free Press”

Hans Vorlander

The director of the Center for Constitutional and Democracy Research at the TU Dresden studied political science and law, philosophy and German in Bonn and Geneva. Between 2001 and 2005, the 66-year-old chaired the scientific advisory board of the Federal Agency for Civic Education. (walk / ali)

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