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how the CDU did not find another candidate

Reader comment on item: Merkel's Historic Folly
in response to reader comment: the enigma of Merkel's self-radicalisation

Submitted by myth (Germany), Aug 30, 2017 at 10:12

The short answer to the question why the CDU did not find another candidate is this. They did not even try. Here's the long answer how they did not find another candidate:

1 - They never do. Parties, certainly the CDU, choose a single candidate and then confirm the candidacy with an internal vote. There has never been a process similar to primaries in the US. The vote is more of a coronation of the type the Democratic Party envisioned for Hillary.
Angela has never run against any candidate in her party. Who can argue against tradition here?

2 -There is no oppostion candidate thus no need to have another strong candidate. The SPD's obivious candidate would have been now Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel. He however stepped aside to have outsider and Euro-bureaucrat Martin Schulz fill the vacancy. Schulz is to take the fall, lose the election, and keep Gabriel's reputation intact along with Merkel holding office.

3 - The internal opposition is Bavarian. The flow of refugees entering Germany from Austria cross the border into Bavaria. That region has been reacting with the most outspoken complaints. However the conservative CSU, with the CDU absent, represents the convervative opposition. The CSU could in principle provide a rival candidate. Accepting a CSU candidate to lead the nationwide CDU-CSU alliance would challenge one of the two dogmas. One dogma is there shall be no CSU candidate. The other dogma is this: CDU and CSU shall never compete. That is the CSU campaigns only in Bavaria, the CDU elsewhere.

Another odd observation is this. Two chancellors of West-Germany (Adenauer, Kohl ) held office longer than Hitler did in Nazi-Germany. Merkel is about to overtake him with the next election. It is quite odd how a democracy does provide for longer lasting governments than a dictatorship does. Not even trying to find another candidate seems like a necessity to prolong this tradition.


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