The Greens aim high. The main message from their party’s conference at the weekend: “We’ve been at odds for a long time. It’s time to move into the driver’s seat.”
Germany goes to the polls in September and the Greens remain steady at around 20% in opinion polls, despite having to hand over most of the publicity to the government in the COVID-19 crisis.
Their main priority now is not to lose hard-earned results with voters. They aim to be part of the next German government, either with the conservative CDU and CSU as partners or, in a much less likely scenario, in a coalition with the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Left Party.
The Greens have softened their stance on a number of issues for the latest manifesto, a process that previously would have resulted in lengthy and divisive debate.
For example, parties no longer reject ideas genetically modified crops out of control, despite his skeptical position.
He also found ways to streamline his policies on its core issue, the climate. It continues support demand by the Fridays for Future movement so that the planet does not heat up by more than one and a half degrees Celsius. But also explained that he could live with two degrees, the maximum allowed in the Paris Agreement on climate change.
The message is clear: The Party will no longer cut its own loose negotiations by imposing fundamental demands. Because if the trend continues, the Greens will emerge from the September polls stronger than ever … though not strong enough to do it alone.
Compromise without controversy
These measures were adopted at the weekend without major debate. One reason for this is the number of young people who have joined the party in recent years. They don’t want a truck with the old and often absurd trench wars between fundamentalists and realists, between dreamers and pragmatists. There is no industry resistance, no massive demands for an end to the automotive society.
Instead, the party has taken a step toward elements of society that are often skeptical of it: “Our new manifesto is an offer for you, us, for everyone,” said co-leader Annalena Baerbock. That thought was echoed by the other co-leaders,Robert Habeck, when he says that the most important task is to find a common language and set goals that will win the approval of as many people as possible.
While the CDU’s search for a new leader, and therefore to become Germany’s new chancellor, descends into public squabbles, the Greens have found a new sense of unity.
But the election year 2021 still poses a risk for the Greens, who must quickly commit to one leader or another. Robert Habeck is better known and more popular among voters however Annalena Baerbock is a party darling.If the party can settle this argument without destroying itself, very little will stand between that and a role in government.
A survey in September 2020 saw Robert Habeck gaining a lot of support to become the Green Party’s top candidate for next year’s election
Can the party prove its courage in a crisis?
Times have changed since the last party in government, between 1998 and 2005. Back then, the SPD’s junior partners and were seen as left-wing breakers who almost always had to operate from a minority position.
Today, it holds the reins of power in several federal states and has credible experts in all areas of politics. His instincts felt confirmed by the COVID-19 crisis. When the emergency subsides, the need to reform our business, society and culture, in general, will top the list.
The party must hold back its courage in these difficult times, as Europe sees a revival of nationalism and populism, the pandemic underscores a growing chasm between rich and poor, and the European Union threatens to collapse under its feet. Restless governance is the last thing that is needed.
It seems the party leadership has caught on. Whether that could turn those findings into reality was anyone’s guess. But organizations that were once considered the “anti-party party” have never had a better chance.
This article was translated from German.