Our Analytics 30 august — 19:02

Schulz or Merkel next chancellor? (Azeri Daily from Germany)

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BY THOMAS OCCUPY, FRANKFURT

Even if there are more candidates for the office of the Federal Chancellor, it is probably very realistic to assume that the race will be decided between Martin Schulz (SPD) and Angela Merkel (CDU).

The next parliament election will take place in Germany on September 24, 2017. In this election, 48 parties are admitted, 14 more than in the last election in 2013. 46% of voters do not know yet who they will vote for. In the past 20 years the number of undecided was never so high a month before the election. According to a survey, 31% are against both Merkel and Schulz as the next chancellor.

The increasing number of parties and the number of undecided demonstrates that the German population is largely unconcerned with the policy of the current government, and the political dependency is still very great. The government's shouting speeches are not believed by the wider parts of the population.

Several polling institutes present the so-called Sunday question every week. If elections take place next Sunday, how the legacy would look like. The variation range of the results is relatively low: http://www.wahlrecht.de/umfragen/.

Results of the Forsa survey of 23 August 2017 in per cent:

CDU - 38%

SPD - 24%

Left - 9%

Green - 7%

FDP - 8%

AFD - 9%

Other parties - 5%.

It is to be assumed that the smaller parties will not be much changed. The difference of 14% between SPD and CDU appears to be unbreakable. But if theoretically any increase of the SPD correspond with a loss of the CDU it is only 7% up to equal. The hot phase of the election campaign has just begun.

Interesting is the consideration of similarities and differences between Merkel and Schulz. Objective can only be established that both are nearly the same age and have been actively and successfully active politically for many years. Martin Schulz was a member of the European Parliament from 1994 to 2017 and its President from 2012 to 2017. Angela Merkel has been a member of the Bundestag since 1991 and from 2005 until today she is the Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany. Thus one can safely assert that both are political heavyweights. Subjectively, I would classify both as advocates of neoliberal politics, albeit with very different occurrences. Merkel avoids clear announcements and makes the impression to me that she prefers to do things and pulls on the strippers mainly outside the public perception. Schulz, on the other hand, is openly addressing grievances in his speeches, and often calls "horse and rider", in contrast to Merkel. But it should not be distracted from the fact that, as President of the European Parliament, he has also often made and influenced decisions in the background.

Interesting in connection with the outcome of the election would certainly be a short look at the substantive argumentation of both candidates. What are the arguments that try to draw the voters to their own side, and can an assessment be made of the future direction of German policy?

One of the few points where Schulz and Merkel argue mainly the same way is the conflict with North Korea. The missile tests by Kim Jong-un are clearly criticized by both. Otherwise the candidates have different topics, or argue differently with the same topic fields.

With regard to the diesel scandal, it is not surprising that both candidates point to this. With her demand for more commitment to future technologies by the car industry, Merkel is much tame than Schulz, who spoke of "irresponsible managers". The top candidate of the Greens Katrin Göring-Eckardt criticized Merkel for the "attempt to clean-up of her own responsibility for the Diesel affair". In all her chancellor years, Merkel had always "held her protective hand" over the car industry. In this debate, Schulz used a much sharper choice than Merkel. "Millions of heavy managers at VW, at Daimler" would have "oversleept" the future he said. "Because of the short-term effect on their balance sheets, they have not invested in the areas where we should have had to invest." Now there is the problem in the exhaust gas affair, that the diesel drivers - mainly commuters, small craftsmen, suppliers - should "pay the bill ". "No, I'm against it," Schulz said.

In contrast to Angela Merkel, Martin Schulz promises to abolish the car toll in the event of an election victory - if, as he expects, it does not make a reasonable profit. "If there is no relationship between costs and benefits, it must be abolished," said Schulz. As this affects a large part of the population, this could increase Schulz's popularity.

Schulz criticizes Merkel's "rearmament", as she wants to increase armament spending further, also under the pressure of US President Donald Trump. "It can not be, that the Federal Republic of Germany is looking to a rearmament spiral, which is wanted and continued to develop by Trump, without comment and without action, " said Schulz. "The North Korean conflict shows more than ever that armament limitation and, in particular, nuclear disarmament are urgently needed, more than ever before." In addition, Schulz wants to use the event of an election victory to push for the withdrawal of US nuclear weapons from Germany. Schulz, too, did not leave good marks on Trump's administration, which he accused of a policy "of perfidy." According to Schulz, "there are economic critters of anxiety that are making their capital from every fright," guys like Donald Trump, "a representative of a policy to which every wickedness is right."

Merkel and the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) have placed internal security as a prominent theme, and the acting Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière has now forbidden the linkspolitic Internet platform https://linksunten.indymedia.org/. Some media and politicians regognise this as a "transparent electoral campaign". In fact, de Maizière has deliberately lied to the public at a press conference. He falsely claimed that weapons were found among the operators of the website. Perhaps the emphasis on internal security should also serve to divert other topics. For example, the issue of pension in this election campaign is completely rejected by the CDU. This happens in times of rising poverty among the elderly is more than questionable.

In any case, it is perfectly clear that if Merkel wins the election, there will be no positive changes for the overwhelming mass of the population. Should Schulz win, there would be at least the possibility.

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