Coalition options: who could with whom – or not


Status: 03.09.2021 9:58 a.m.

It could be difficult after the federal election: If the polls are confirmed, several alliances are mathematically possible. But in terms of content, a lot hardly fits together.

By Franka Welz, ARD capital studio

In terms of figures, according to the current status, several government alliances are possible after the federal election. Including the so-called traffic light, i.e. a three-party coalition made up of the SPD, FDP and the Greens. “It has an arithmetical majority, like Jamaica or a German coalition,” explains FDP leader Christian Lindner in the evening on ZDF. However, he also emphasizes that not everything that is mathematically possible goes together in terms of content:

If I put the programs next to each other, I still lack the imagination of what offer Mr Scholz could make to the FDP, for example, that would be attractive to us and not Mrs Esken or Kevin Kühnert, not with us.

“Still” – a small but subtle difference. A good two weeks ago, in the ZDF summer interview, Lindner sounded even more categorical: “I lack the imagination how red and green could ever make an offer to the FDP. They are much closer to the Left Party than we are.“There are major differences between the SPD, the Greens and the FDP, especially in economic and tax policy.

Tax policy is a source of conflict

The Liberals do not want a reform of the debt brake that the Greens have in mind, specifically the introduction of an investment rule to finance, for example, the expansion of fiber optics or new transport systems. Tax increases would also not be possible with the FDP – the only exception: large tech companies such as Google, Amazon or Facebook, which the FDP also wants to ask for more money.

The Liberals are calling for tax cuts, but they would not necessarily insist on them if the worst comes to the worst. But if the FDP should be able to strike stakes in this policy area, which is so important to it, compromises in other areas do not appear to be ruled out.

Strengthening or abolishing NATO

Another possibility: An alliance of the SPD, the Greens and the Left, albeit with a significantly narrower majority than a traffic light. Tax policy would not be the main problem here, but SPD Chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz forges such an alliance in an interview with the ARD of clear conditions. He insists, for example, on close transatlantic cooperation with the United States, “that we strengthen NATO and continue to seek our security in it, that we deal solidly with the money, that the economy grows, that we ensure internal security this country works “. For him, these are “non-negotiable positions,” said Scholz.

In its election manifesto, the left calls for the dissolution of NATO and instead wants to replace it with a collective security system involving Russia, with disarmament as the central goal.

One of the two top candidates, Dietmar Bartsch, has already signaled that although this is part of the election manifesto, it does not have to be included in a possible coalition agreement. But whether everyone in the party supports it? Training the Bundeswehr would also be difficult with the left. The debt brake would be another issue of conflict, because from the perspective of the left, that too should go.

Union attacks and Jamaica

In addition to these two alliances, according to the current surveys, there would also be enough for Jamaica, i.e. the Union, FDP and Greens. The FDP feels closer to the Union as a whole, but is attentive to attacks like this recently presented by CDU General Secretary Paul Ziemiak:

Everyone who votes for the FDP must also know – I like Mr Lindner, but we know that he has still not ruled it out – whoever votes for the FDP can also wake up in the end with the SPD and the Greens.

In the FDP, some coldly classify these attacks as a somewhat desperate attempt by the Union to counter the current downward trend in the polls. Party leader Lindner emphasizes the independence of the FDP on ZDF. It is not a “derived size, for example, from the CDU / CSU”, but rules in a Jamaica alliance in Schleswig-Holstein, black and yellow in North Rhine-Westphalia, in an “incidentally confirmed traffic light in Rhineland-Palatinate” and in a “new Germany -Coalition in Saxony-Anhalt “.

Germany coalition as a compromise?

Such an alliance of the SPD, CDU and FDP would currently also be mathematically possible in the federal government – however, the SPD would have to say goodbye to its resolution not to govern again together with the Union. In the event of the SPD’s election victory, the latter would face the problem of suddenly having to be a junior partner, or of refusing to accept state political responsibility and going into the opposition. So exactly what they put the SPD under pressure after the failure of the Jamaica negotiations in 2017.


03.09.2021 • 10:46 am

What is needed is a decisive coalition

Germany has so far mastered the crisis due to the pandemic well. But for the future, more is required in the areas of – Investment in education and schools – State-of-the-art digitization – Promoting the structural change in the economy towards sustainability and innovation – Climate and environmental protection – Ensuring social balance This requires a coalition that has the will to bring changes forward and to keep Germany as a business and industrial location at the forefront. THAT is the criterion for a government coalition.

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