The forthcoming date, i.e., September 26 will be a normal date for the rest of the world though for Germany it will hold massive importance. It will be the date where, at least, one hopes the better part of 8.5 million Germans will go out there to vote. They will have their say in deciding Germany’s future. And vote they shall to elect that promising leader who will write the next course of German history for the next bit of the 21st century. If there’s one subject that’s unfailingly meriting reactions and debates from the average Deutcher then it’s the subject of Germany’s forthcoming federal elections.
Up to this point, the 1954-born Angela Merkel, who enjoyed the longest reign as her country’s chancellor, for a period no less than a decade and a half, 15 years and 267 days at the moment, to be precise, has scripted both good and poor narratives.
To her credit, she oversaw the transformation of a country noted previously for a growing intolerance toward accepting those from the wider world into mainland Germany into being a more accommodating, tolerant nation now known for being a favourite hot spot of asylum seekers.
Not since the Second World War did the world witness such a massive exodus of people as what was evident from the onset of 2014 onwards. Many of the homeless from the warring Middle East sought refuge in Germany and the sight of Merkel posing smilingly for selfies with those who sought a second beginning in Deutschland spruced a new changed image of a country berated to this day for the horrors committed in the Second World War.
But the same Merkel has also earned the wrath of those who label her stance weak toward promoting economic reforms at a time where the strongman of Europe so desperately needs.
But what next? What can be expected from Germany’s Federal elections?
To get a sense of what might happen in the imminent future, it’s important to note a change of sorts. The last elections, which Merkel and her CDU won, were largely about embracing a change- AFD (Alternate for Deutschland) party. But this time around, Germany’s federal elections will be about the surge of popularity- if not absolute prominence- of the Greens.
The party whose mantras have largely been about antinuclear protests, batting for climate change awareness and peace, may just have the last laugh in Germany’s federal elections, unless one has that really wrong.
Will the sound of thumping victory emanate from the southern state of Baden Wuerttemberg, in taking the leap for the big step forward? We have to wait for that.
But here’s what Bloomberg.com had to say on a matter that holds most importance in the Germany of the present day:
Germany certainly feels like it’s at a turning point. The world is changing, and Germans aren’t sure they recognize it any more. The U.S., after enabling the nation’s post-World War II rehabilitation and providing security guarantees throughout the Cold War, is no longer seen as a dependable ally, largely but not exclusively because of Donald Trump. A Pew Research Center poll from June found that although sentiment has improved markedly since Joe Biden became president, Germans have the least favorable views of the U.S. of any Group of Seven nation.
Merkel is standing down, depriving Germans of their rock of restrained stability. Even if there is a desire for change—and there is—she remains Germany’s most popular politician, a singular achievement after some 16 years at the helm of Europe’s biggest economy and dominant country. Germany will have to face the coming challenges without her.
“It’s really a watershed election,” says Chantal Kopf, the lead candidate for the Greens in Freiburg, a city in Baden-Wuerttemberg known for its 13th century cathedral, a university that’s over 500-years old.
Regardless of who wins, a new course in modern German times will have to paint a strong narrative for the simple reason that the country is more than the strongman of Europe or the beating heart of Western Europe; it’s the fact that the world will be watching the country curiously to know what its next path is.