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Germany’s Political Earthquake: 2024 Elections Shake Up the Landscape

2024 is likely to be a year of transformation of Germany’s political ecology, fission of party structure, and reshuffling of party resources. Many political games have already begun to play out, or are waiting to be played behind the scenes. These games can be seen as a preview of the 2025 German election.

There is still more than a year left before next year’s parliamentary election. No matter how good a political actuary is, no matter who will win, it is impossible to predict. However, there are several important elections this year, and the results will provide a powerful reference factor for judging the party structure in Germany next year.
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The first important election in Germany this year is the European Parliament election. According to the provisions of the “EU Quasi-Constitution” and the “Lisbon Agreement”, Germany can send 96 people to serve as members of the European Parliament. On June 9, various political parties in Germany will chase the seats allocated to each state in the 16 states.

This European Parliament election does not seem to involve the redistribution of Germany’s governing power, but its results have a strong vane significance for political parties to sprint for next year’s German parliamentary election, compete for federal power, and reorganize the government.

The last European Parliament elections were in 2019. All six political parties in the Bundestag received tickets to the European Parliament. The Alliance Party (CDU/CSU) won 28.9% of the vote; the Green Party was second, with 20.5%; the Social Democratic Party lost miserably, with 15.8% of the vote, but higher than the Alternative Party. 11% of the party, 5.5% of the Left Party and 5.4% of the Liberal Democratic Party (commonly known as the “Yellow Party”).

The highlights of this European Parliament election, which are also the main reference value of the weather vane, are the following three exciting questions:

First, whether the Alliance Party, which is at a peak in the polls, can withstand the pressure of conservative forces within the party to leave the party and maintain a vote rate of about 30%, thus laying the foundation for becoming the largest political party after the German election next year and replacing the Social Democratic Party’s Scholl Prime Minister Ci, please leave the Prime Minister’s Office?

Second, can the “AfD”, which has been making great progress in the past two years, double its results in the last election, from 11% to about 22%, and use its resounding “vote income” to verify this far-right “protester” background? Does the party really have the strength to steadily ascend to the throne of the second largest party in Germany?

Third, can the emerging new party “Shava Alliance” use a fresh and beautiful image and cross-party political ideas to break through the muddy water of German politics and give birth to a new political party structure, especially the end of the far-right party “AfD” Is the rising momentum of the party providing German voters with an alternative alternative party?
The first bellwether: the fate of the Coalition

According to current polls, the Alliance Party has a support rate of 30% to 32%. If this momentum continues, it should be just around the corner for the Social Democratic Party to replace Scholz as the “party of prime minister.”

However, “Cheng Yaojin” suddenly emerged from within the Alliance Party, a peripheral organization called the “Value Alliance”. It is an extra-party club for the right-leaning conservative forces of the Union Party. The members of the club are either members of the CDU or CSU.

The current chairman of the Value Alliance is Hans-Georg Massen. Maassen served as the director of the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution for six years. In 2018, he was dismissed by Horst Seehofer from the CSU, the then Minister of the Interior and a colleague in the Union Party.

Mason’s remarks that sympathized with the far-right forces were the trigger for him to lose his hat. The Social Democratic Party, the ruling partner of the Alliance Party at the time, could not bear to tolerate Masson and strongly demanded that the Alliance Party “cut a clean break” with him and allow him to retire early.

After Masson was forced into early retirement, he continued to make highly controversial remarks. Because these remarks were considered anti-Semitism, right-wing extremism and conspiracy theories, the CDU Party Central Committee initiated legal procedures to expel him from the party in February 2023.

In July of that year, the party’s lower court ruled that Masson’s expulsion from the party was illegal and retained his party membership. However, Ma Sen was determined to “establish a new branch”. When he announced his “leavement” from the party in January this year, he claimed that he would build the “Value Alliance” society into a political party and pursue governance as the leader of the party.

Ironically, the former head of the Constitutional Protection Service is now regarded as a right-wing extremist suspect by the Federal Service for the Protection of the Constitution, which he formerly led, and has been included in the “observation target” blacklist.
Ironically, the former head of the Constitutional Protection Service is now regarded as a right-wing extremist suspect by the Federal Service for the Protection of the Constitution, which he formerly led, and has been included in the “observation target” blacklist.

However, the “new party” that Masson is preparing to build is expected to have great appeal to the right-wing conservative forces within the CDU/CSU. Most members of the “Value Alliance”, which is well-organized and has strong beliefs, do not agree with the CDU leadership’s refusal to cooperate with the “AfD”, and especially sneer at party chairman Mertz’s approach of setting up a “firewall” with the far right.

Ma Sen claims to have received nearly 9,000 applications to join the party. He said that in order to ensure the quality of party members, he would retain the “Value Alliance” membership standards: two introducers to join the party and a two-year “preparatory party member” period.

He is obviously planning to draw nutrients from his original mother party, and does not rule out cooperation with the “AfD” as his main demand, hoping that one day he will become a co-governing partner with the “Affair”.

Mason’s move hit the soft underbelly of the Confederacy. There is no shortage of party members in the Alliance Party who advocate cooperation with the Alternative Party, believing that this is the only way to attract lost conservative members from the Alternative Party. Especially in East Germany, informal cooperation between the Alliance Party and the Alternative for Germany abounds, and party chairman Mertz can only turn a blind eye.

Once Mason’s new party is formally established and launched into the election campaign, its “blood-sucking” effect on the Alliance Party will be immediately apparent. It is unknown how many members and voters left the Coalition. It is for this reason that the European Parliament elections on June 9 have strong bellwether significance.

The election results will tell us how much space there is for Masson to try to build a “quasi-far-right” party between the center-right party “League” and the far-right party “AfD”. It will also tell us whether the Alliance Party has the ability to defeat Mason’s sharp challenge and prevent the loss of party members and votes to a more “right” direction, thereby laying the foundation for itself to regain the Prime Minister’s Office in 2025.
The second bellwether: the effect of “anti-extreme right”

Since the “red, green and yellow” traffic light government came to power, the “AfD”‘s support in polls has hit new highs, and it seems to have firmly become the second largest political party in Germany.

However, in the past few days, large-scale “anti-Nazi”, “anti-extreme right” and “anti-xenophobic” demonstrations have broken out in many cities in Germany. Thousands of people took to the streets, holding flags and slogans, to protest against the AfD’s xenophobic conspiracy with the far-right.

The cause of the matter is that the German in-depth investigative media organization CORRECTIV published an investigative report on January 10 this year, revealing the contents of a secret meeting of German right-wingers at the Adlon Villa in Potsdam on November 25 last year – the “deportation of immigrants” plan It’s obvious.

Although the far-right people participating in the meeting were not only from the Alternative for Africa party, but also from Maassen’s “Value Alliance” and Mertz’s Christian Democratic Union. However, the public and public opinion protests mainly pointed at the “AfD”. For many who had hitherto voted for the AfD, the true face of the party was beginning to be revealed.

The Alternative for Germany, which had been complacent and smug for the past two years and took advantage of public dissatisfaction with Scholz’s administration to lash out at Germany’s domestic and foreign policies, suddenly fell into unprecedented passivity.

For the ruling party, this revelation comes at the right time. German Interior Minister Nancy Feser lost no time in writing in the media, claiming that the Adlon Villa in Potsdam was a “conspiracy” reminiscent of the “terrible Wannsee Conference.”

The “Wannsee Conference” in January 1942 was the beginning of Hitler’s Nazi group’s systematic persecution of the Jews. At this meeting, the Nazi SS and Gestapo leaders planned the extermination of European Jewry and formulated a road map for the massacre of the Jews.

What is thought-provoking is that the location of the “Wannsee Conference” was less than 10 kilometers away from today’s “Adlon Conspiracy”, both in the southwestern suburbs of Berlin. No matter how eloquent the AfD is, it is difficult to say that this is just a “historical coincidence.”

As the slogan “Nazis get out” becomes more and more popular, the “AfD”‘s support in polls also shows a downward trend. A poll released by German TV station 2 on February 2 showed that the support rate of the Alternative for Germany dropped by 3 percentage points in three weeks, from 22% to 19%.

Whether this trend will continue, the European Parliament elections on June 9 will provide a bellwether answer. It will tell people whether the Germans’ support for the Alternative for the Party in the past period was support for the Alternative for Europe’s xenophobic policies, or whether it was just to vent their dissatisfaction with the Scholz government’s lack of governance.

If it’s the latter, Germany, Europe and the world can breathe a sigh of relief. Because dissatisfaction with the government is normal, it comes and goes quickly, and will be slowed down or even eliminated with the improvement of policies or the change of governments. Germany will remain the world’s bastion against Nazism and anti-foreigners.
The third indicator: How far can the “baby political party” go?

This European Parliament election will see whether a new “baby party” can gain the support of voters and rise. It is the newly born “Shava Alliance-Reason and Justice”.

On January 27, the famous German left-wing politician Sarah Wagenknecht presided over the first party member congress of the new party named after her “Shava Alliance” in Berlin and officially announced her participation in June this year. European Parliament elections and parliamentary elections in three eastern German states in September.

Wagenknecht is known for his sharp eloquence, refreshing image and quick thinking. He is not only the leader of the original left-wing party, but also the initiator of the massive peace movement in Germany last year. She and Alice Schwarzer, another representative figure of the German feminist movement, called for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine, and the peace initiative received nearly 1 million signatures.
The location of the “Wannsee Conference” was less than 10 kilometers away from today’s “Adlon Conspiracy”, both in the southwestern suburbs of Berlin. No matter how eloquent the AfD is, it is difficult to say that this is just a “historical coincidence.”

At the end of last year, Wagenknecht led 10 members of the German Parliament to quit the Left Party and set up a new party, claiming to establish a political party that could truly represent the interests of the German people. The political spectrum of her “Sharva Alliance” spans the political platforms of all political parties. This new “baby party” advocates strict immigration policies, but strongly opposes far-right xenophobia and racial hatred; she condemns Putin’s sending troops to Ukraine, but firmly advocates that Germany should stop continuing military aid to Ukraine and instead encourage Russia and Ukraine to end the war through diplomatic negotiations war; she emphasizes raising wages, raising pensions, and improving social welfare, but opposes encouraging laziness and abuse of the social security system; she favors accelerating decarbonization, but advocates renewed energy cooperation with Russia and reducing the cost of the energy transition; she opposes NATO , but advocates European independence and self-reliance.

Wagenknecht seems convinced that all voters who are dissatisfied with the “red, green and yellow” government, the League Party and the “AfD” can find a political home in her “Shava Alliance”. Obviously, this former left-wing star is trying to find the greatest common denominator in a cross-party way, attracting “wavering elements” or “middle voters” from each party.

The latest polls suggest this strategy may be working. Data from TV 2 on February 2 showed that 19% of voters could imagine voting for the “Shava Alliance” in the general election. Voters of the “Affair” are particularly active, and as many as 10% of voters are willing to switch to the “Shava Alliance” 45%.

If such votes flow or turn. When the European Parliament elections in June and the parliamentary elections in the three eastern German states in September actually happen, it means that the status of the “AfD” will be severely weakened. With a large number of votes flowing to the “Shava Alliance”, the “AfD” may be exposed for its true colors. At most, it can retain a basic base, and its vote share drops from 20% to about 10%.

September’s parliamentary elections in the three eastern German states may be a stronger indicator than June’s European Parliament elections. These three states (Thuringia, Brandenburg and Saxony) are also the states where the Alternative for Africa has the greatest hope. Here, the “AfD” tried to win an absolute majority of seats, govern alone, and seize the governor’s throne.

The birth of the “Shava Alliance” is not good news for other political parties in Germany, because they all have a strong competitor. However, for the “AfD”, the “Shava Alliance” may be a fatal stumbling block for this far-right party to seek power in East Germany.

2024 is a benchmark year for German politics, not a decisive year. However, the three weather vanes it provides will allow people to smell the smoke of the 2025 election campaign, foresee the direction of power distribution among German political parties, study and judge their own countermeasures, and prepare for rainy days.

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