Women’s problems, issue problems and the AfD on the right: The CDU could lose its strategic ability to win a majority. Unless she comes to her senses. A comment.
Here’s what’s coming up for the weekend? And who? A man as CDU chairman, that in any case. The membership survey is still running, the results will be presented on Friday, and the party, led by women for 20 years, has not found one for the top post. Or in other words: no known ones were found who wanted to follow the demand of the still militant Rita Sussmuth and run for office. What seems like a relapse can also become one.
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Why this is so? Empiricism tells those who don’t want to believe it: Today, more than every second CDU member is older than 60, but among those eligible to vote, only about one in three is. Which means: modernization and rejuvenation are a must, so that the CDU does not lose members, but keeps and wins them, especially young people and women. If it doesn’t succeed, if it doesn’t defy its age average, its male dominance, it has no future.
Now the SPD is working hard to ensure that the CDU/CSU permanently loses its strategic majority. What can happen. Unless the CDU comes to its senses and uses its time in opposition. It must find a place between the broad traffic light alliance, which reaches from the left to the center, and the AfD on the far right.
The old members still dominate today
And how? The CDU must open up, for issues as well as for people. Its old members, the many men, politically grown up in the 80s, are still the majority today and determine. Wrong! The world has changed rapidly, and society with it. Angela Merkel’s modernization course is possibly only now becoming really visible and understood in the party. Now that it has lost everything: power and Merkel – and a little bit of itself in the election campaign.
One example: there was a clear lack of a political idea that had an impact across the board. Women, family, career, advancement, social security: none. No one in the party thought it could bring about social justice.
The results of the survey were clear. The fact that the SPD and the CDU/CSU have come closer in the meantime is not necessarily to the detriment of the CDU. Instead, the new CDU leadership must succeed in addressing social policy issues, as Merkel did, so as not to drive even more voters to the Social Democrats. Lowering taxes is not a program, apparently not even among CDU/CSU voters anymore.
[Read here at T-Plus: Only men are involved in the poker game for the CDU presidency – there’s a sad reason for that]
Where the CDU/CSU governs, it must instead pave the way for an image of society that is reflected in the reality of life for the younger generation. That used to be a brand essence of the conservatives: decades ago, when Sussmuth and Heiner Geibler promoted the most modern support instruments, at that time something like the Erziehungsgeld (education allowance). Here the CDU, wherever it governs, should come up with something very quickly.
Where the CDU is arch-conservative, it loses approval
And now nobody says that the modernization course is nothing, in order to fetch thereby majorities. In the 2013 election, Merkel won more than 40 percent of the second votes for the first time in almost 20 years. And kept the AfD under five percent. That’s the way: further away from the AfD. Any shift toward more right-wing positions promises no gain, but a loss of votes and of one’s own identity.
In fact, where the CDU’s course is arch-conservative, middle-class voters are turning away from it in favor of the Greens. See Baden-Wurttemberg. And in the Bundestag election, the Merkel moderates ended up going to the Scholzomats, who didn’t want to do everything differently, but much better. That was the ten percent that brought the SPD to just under 26 percent.
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