Did Merkel really think she could overcome the consequences of massive Muslim invasion?
‘We can do it’ motto came to mock Merkel. No, Chancellor, they didn’t want to do it — settle millions of hostile invaders.
Exit polls said her ascendant arch-political rival – the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party – clinched 12.9 per cent of the vote, higher than the 11.5 per cent predicted earlier. The win comes a fortnight after it pushed the chancellor’s CDU conservatives into third place in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, her home state. Michael Grosse-Broemer, a senior CDU lawmaker, acknowledged the abysmal result.
He said: “There is no question. We didn’t get a good result in Berlin today.”
…the fact that the anti-EU, anti-immigrant and anti-refugee AfD party could score such a high percentage of the poll in multi-cultural and ‘hip’ Berlin is an indication of how far Merkel has alienated voters with her refusal to change direction on the migrant issue. (more…)
Alternative for Germany, anew party barely three-years-old party that placed opposition to Ms. Merkel’s acceptance of refugees at the core of its agenda, came in fifth with 14.1% of the vote, according to the projection. The result means the party will be represented in 10 of Germany’s 16 powerful state parliaments.
As for Germany voting for the Socialists – we know how that worked out in the past. You would have thought they learned from Hitler’s great socialist society.
“German Center-Left Party Wins Berlin State Election, but Anti-Immigrant Group Gains Seats,” WSJ, September 18, 2016:
Alternative for Germany, which opposes Chancellor Angela Merkel’s refugee policy, comes in fifth
BERLIN—The center-left Social Democrats won an election Sunday in the city-state of Berlin, in a vote that propelled an upstart anti-immigrant party in Germany into its 10th state legislature.
The Social Democrats, led by Berlin Mayor Michael Müller, finished first with 21.6% of the vote, according to a projection based on exit polling and partial vote counts released by public broadcaster ARD. The center-right Christian Democrats, the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel, came in second with 17.5%, followed closely by the radical Left Party and the environmentalist Greens.
Alternative for Germany, a three-year-old party that has placed opposition to Ms. Merkel’s acceptance of refugees at the core of its agenda, came in fifth with 14.1% of the vote, according to the projection. The result means the party will be represented in 10 of Germany’s 16 powerful state parliaments.
With the political landscape scrambled by the Alternative for Germany, the Social Democrats and the Christian Democrats—Germany’s two long-dominant political parties—both appeared set to finish with their worst results in Berlin’s postwar history.
The vote showed how the refugee crisis continues to shake German politics, more than a year after Ms. Merkel refused to close the country’s borders to asylum seekers arriving at a rate of thousands a day. Many conservative supporters of the Christian Democrats, known as the CDU, have bolted for the AfD to register their disapproval with Ms. Merkel’s migration policy.
“Our task as a party is to take the people along on those issues that are of greatest importance to them,” AfD national Co-Chairman Jörg Meuthen said on ARD television after the first results came in. “We surely do this more than other parties, and that explains our success.”
Nearly half of Sunday’s AfD supporters voted for minor parties or didn’t vote at all in the last state election, an exit poll released by public broadcaster ZDF said. Another 22% of AfD voters came from the Christian Democrats’ camp. The ARD exit poll found that refugee policy was the decisive issue for 72% of AfD voters and that more than two-thirds voted for it because they were disappointed with the other parties.
While Mr. Müller will retain his party’s 15-year hold on City Hall in the German capital, the Christian Democrats appear likely to lose their status as the junior partner in Mr. Müller’s governing coalition after dropping some 5 percentage points from the last Berlin election, in 2011. Instead, the Left and Green parties are likely to replace the Christian Democrats as coalition partners to the Social Democrats, pushing Berlin’s government to the left.
In all, only 32% of Berlin voters said they were afraid because so many refugees had arrived, while 55% said they saw refugees as enriching life in Germany, according to the ARD exit poll.
Nevertheless, the state election in Berlin came as a preview of the threat Ms. Merkel’s Christian Democrats face in next September’s national election. The AfD, now running as high as 15% in national polls, is gathering momentum to gain its first seats in national parliament in the general elections next year. In the state election in the northeast region of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania two weeks ago, the AfD took 20.8% of the vote and finished ahead of the Christian Democrats for the first time.
Fear of losing conservative voters to the AfD has put pressure on Ms. Merkel to change course. She showed signs of doing so in a magazine interview released this weekend, in which she for the first time distanced herself from her “We can do it!” mantra voicing confidence that Germany could handle the refugees. More than one million people seeking asylum came to Germany this year and last, and Ms. Merkel exhorted Germans to face the challenge of accepting and integrating the new arrivals.
“I would most rather just about never repeat it any more,” Ms. Merkel said of her “We can do it!” phrase in the interview with WirtschaftsWoche magazine. “Some people have felt provoked by it. It was of course not meant that way, but rather encouragingly and decidedly in an appreciative manner.”
Ms. Merkel has pushed legislation through parliament in recent months to tighten asylum rules and sought to speed deportations of rejected asylum seekers. But her critics want her to do more, such as declaring an upper limit on the number of refugees Germany will accept.
“This is the second massive wake-up call in two weeks,” Markus Söder, a senior politician for Ms. Merkel’s conservative Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, told the Bild tabloid after the Berlin results came in. The Social Democrats and Christian Democrats, he went on, “must make an effort for more support of the citizenry, especially in the refugee question, and finally strictly limit immigration and bring security problems under control.”
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