Never before have so many voters been undecided about which party to vote for before a federal election. According to surveys, up to 40 percent are still wrestling with themselves and the circumstances. At the same time, interest in the election is higher than ever. The Germans look into the ball, spellbound like never before. But there can only be seen a colorful, blurred flicker.
The moods and opinions measured by the demoscopes have no clear direction. That promotes indecision. People tend to join cohorts, preferably those who have mass and promise to succeed. But no party excelled in that. And no dominant topic emerged that could have focused the election campaign in terms of content.
Germany is entering a new phase of democracy, which perhaps demands a little more from voters than previous generations were used to. The era of large cohort parties with their core constituencies (also known as people’s parties) is long gone. Now a multi-party system with its colorful bouquet of offers and possibilities has finally emerged. Swap voters are nothing new, they could also be the decisive factor in the past. But now there are more of them – also given the greater choice – and their characteristic is to remain undecided for a long time.
Many parties, too little orientation?
In a multi-party system, orientation is not fundamentally more difficult. What apparently causes many problems is the question of the coalition. You want that or you don’t. The play of colors is confusing: traffic lights, Jamaica, Belgium, red-green-red, even the worn-out “Groko” is involved, just the other way around, maybe, red-black instead of black-red.
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What to do? It is best not to look at coalitions. What emerges in the end is incalculable anyway. But the parties have submitted their programs and ideas, which helps with orientation. The front row staff, who matter, is now better known. Those who want change have several opposition parties to choose from, which promise different accents. With red-green-red, there may be a clear departure from the central policy of the past few years. Or there are variants of the left-right constellation, just traffic lights or Jamaica.
Too fixated on coalitions
In both coalitions, the Greens and the FDP would be influential. Because whether the SPD or the Union provides the chancellor – they look emaciated and they will have to fulfill many green and yellow wishes. If red-green-red came, the left could also make claims. No coalition would be the downfall of the republic. And everything that prevents another “Groko” has an invigorating effect.
If you say goodbye to the fixation of a coalition, to the fear of promoting the wrong alliance, voting will be easier. You vote for the party for which you develop enough sympathy, with which you are most likely to agree, which offers the relatively best solution on the most important issue you see. There is no such thing as a party that can do everything, that has everything on offer that you think is right and necessary. Not in the six-party system, probably not even in a sixty-party system. So: keep your eyes open and through.