Seeon (dpa) – Paradoxically, once the CDU and CSU settle down after their internal quarrels over the chancellor-candidate election, harmony in the Union is seriously disrupted.
The short version of the crooked house blessing: After the CDU boss and chancellor-candidate Armin Laschet stated in an interview that there was no room for tax cuts “at the moment”, the Bavarian sister party immediately grumbled. After all, just a few weeks ago, the CDU and CSU decided on a joint election program that calls, among other things, for tax cuts for small and medium incomes.
What follows are the classical mechanisms of politics. The opposition immediately sees an opportunity to criticize the contradictory statements, and alarm bells are ringing among many election campaigners in the Union. At the beginning of the state group’s retreat at the Seeon Monastery in Upper Bavaria, CSU chief Markus Söder spoke of the fact that Laschet’s statements had “surprised him a little”. After all, it is “black and white” in the election program that the Union wants to unburden citizens and businesses.
CSU seeks escape to the front
The CSU also sees an opportunity in the debate to present itself as an independent party alongside the CDU and is looking for a flight forward. More and more demands and statements about concrete reception are being published at a rapid pace. State group leader Alexander Dobrindt even makes a “promise of relief” in Seeon: that if the coalition succeeds, the CSU will fight for tax cuts for low- and middle-income families and single parents.
And Laschet? The CDU boss will have many opportunities today to clarify his position in direct dialogue with the CSU in Seeon. During a meeting in Baden-Württemberg yesterday, he stated that he saw neither a disagreement between the CDU and the CSU nor a contradiction in his statements about the Union election manifesto: “The statements in the election manifesto are clear. That’s true.” But that won’t happen “immediately after the election.”
Union leads in polls
So all just a misunderstanding? Could be. However, the debate also shows that there is still anything but blind faith and unity in the Union. But that is exactly what the Union needs if it wants to defend the Chancellery on September 26 after the end of the Angela Merkel (CDU) era against the Greens and the SPD.
Even if the Union is clearly ahead of the accumulated competition in surveys with values between 28 and 30 percent, the choice can still go wrong in the end: if, for example, the Greens, SPD and FDP are able to form a light coalition, the CDU and CSU could reunite after 16 years. Find yourself on the uneasy opposition benches – regardless of the strongest force in the Bundestag.
Nearly two and a half months before the election, polls show how open the race is. Union and Greens come as a two-party alliance to 45 to 49 percent. The future government would only have a secure majority with the FDP – but whether the Greens and Liberals would become involved in a so-called Jamaica coalition, if other alliances were also possible without the Union, is not certain. It is precisely for this reason that the Union has now repeatedly announced its strong sympathy for a “Germany coalition”, an alliance of the Union, SPD and FDP. “There must be a government option without the Greens,” Dobrindt emphasized, for example, according to participants in the exam.
Harmony alone is not enough
So there is still a lot of work and a lot of uncertainty for Laschet, Söder and the two sister parties. Not just because they can hardly trust that the Greens, as their biggest competitor, will stumble over the next ten weeks because of their own strategic mistakes or targeted campaigns.
“It won’t happen on its own until election day,” Söder said in Seeon. The upward trend must continue, with your own achievements, with your own ideas, with your own drive, with your own momentum. The harmonic images of Söder and Laschet, as the director’s book for the exam has firmly planned today, certainly can’t hurt. But even the greatest optimists in the Union also know that that alone will not be enough.