Angela Merkel’s conservatives garnered more support than any other party in today’s German elections. However the result also marked the worst performance for the party since 1949 and could fundamentally undermine plans for Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel to re forge the European dream.
The pivotol divergence saw the right wing Alternative for Germany surge to a predicted 14 % of the vote. The AFD stood on a eurosceptic anti immigration platform that mobilized a section of the electorate frustrated by Merkel’s decision to open Germany’s borders to nearly a million migrants in 2015. Now for the first time since the 1950’s a significantly right wing party has taken its seat at the table of German power.
The era of dull German coalitions may have come to a shudering hault as Merkel will now be forced to face a reality that many within Europe seem determined to ignore. The consensus that once seem to exist around the EU and the value of multiculturalism is being directly questioned by European Citezens. Indeed it has become readily apparent that the future of Europe is up for grabs and there are many hands grasping at the levers of power.
At times the EU and its national leaders has shown a propensity to isolate themselves from public opinion. In past years it seemed that the technocratic detail of the EU’s day to day detail was seperate from the the dirty business of nation states and its peoples. Those days are gone. If that reality is further denied some very dangerous enities may come to fill a void that the political elite refuse to peer into. Whether those elites like it or not, within that void lies their future.
Photo: Holocaust Memorial Berlin 2014 – Nikon 35mm