The Greens are well on the way to regaining supremacy in the left-wing party spectrum. They not only benefit from their new pragmatism, but also from the war in Ukraine and its consequences.
With the SPD soaring before the last federal election, the well-known party system seemed to have turned the corner again. The SPD and Union fought for victory in the federal elections, and the brief upswing of the Greens came to an abrupt end. But less than a year later, the new, old conditions are restored. The Greens are preparing again and even more convincingly to take over the dominance of the left party spectrum. In almost all polls they left the SPD well behind. And the Union is also within reach.
The strength of the Greens comes from their political maneuverability. The well-declared compromise in the party has long since become more valuable than programmatically elaborate papers. This makes the party confusable in terms of content, but many voters have not yet noticed this in the tipsy state of success.
This has little to do with what they wanted in the election campaign a year ago: For Climate Minister Habeck, the willingness to delay the shutdown path for coal-fired power plants was ideologically painful. For a limited period of time, some power plants, which were only available as a reserve for the power supply, are to be used again. When asked whether security of supply was more important than climate protection, he replied: “In case of doubt, that’s the case.”
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Meanwhile, party colleague Annalena Baerbock is trying to be flexible in foreign policy, albeit with a similar speed of rotation. She is sitting between the chairs, like the Green Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, who approved the use of the Bundeswehr in Kosovo in 1999 when the Peace Party took part in the government. No one just throws paint bags anymore. On the contrary: people are proud of Baerbock, the pragmatic foreign minister. Between the chairs you can also be supported very well from the left and from the right.
But the world has changed, Baerbock notes: “If the world changes, I am deeply convinced of that, then our political answers must also change. “I am deeply convinced that if the world changes, then our political responses must also change. And in the future, pacifism is likely to recede even further into the background: “We are quarreling as to whether we are doing enough. Because even with these arms shipments, we don’t know when this war will end. Baerbock says about the special fund, the highest military spending in the Federal Republic in recent decades: “We have to use the next few years to maintain our alliance and defense capability. “
According to Welt am Sonntag, Robert Habeck’s Federal Ministry of Economics supported a “group account” project with 156,420 euros via an innovation program from which the extreme climate group “Last Generation” also benefited. In the capital, a green culture war is raging against the decision to continue building the A100 city motorway, although this matter is the responsibility of the federal government. People block, threaten to sue, mobilize and demonstrate. Old Green fundamentalism has been working here for years.
Conclusion: Baerbock and Habeck are the best thing that could have happened to the Greens in this legislative period. But whether that will be enough for more than the half-time championship this time is not clear. In the end, even the best storytellers are judged by how their party imagines the future. The Greens have not yet passed the reality check as chancellor party in federal elections. True success would be if the next time – for the first time – it didn’t turn out that way.
Gabor Steingart is one of the best-known journalists in the country. He publishes the newsletter The Pioneer Briefing. The podcast of the same name is Germany’s leading daily podcast for politics and business. Since May 2020, Steingart has been working with his editorial staff on the ship “The Pioneer One”. Before founding Media Pioneer, Steingart was, among other things, Chairman of the Management Board of the Handelsblatt Media Group. You can subscribe to his free newsletter here.