The vaccination is picking up speed and if it goes well, the incidences will drop below 100 in the foreseeable future. Reason for confidence. But who will benefit in the end: Baerbock or Laschet?
We are on the home stretch, said the Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder. Even if it is out for a very long time: the home stretch sounds good, optimistic, confident, and gives hope for an end to the pandemic. Or rather: to the beginning of the end. It would be good, if he is right, the would-be Chancellor candidate who does not want to be deprived of the authority to interpret the course of events.
One can assume that he has the Bundestag election in mind when he talks about the speed of vaccinations or the quick return of freedoms.
On September 26, the Germans will mainly vote on whether and how the rulers have coped with the pandemic. The mood was already worse and it seems to keep turning for the better, we can see that from the comments in newspapers, on television and on social media.
There is also a reason for this. As of today, slightly more than 26 percent of Germans are vaccinated for the first time, 7.7 million of them twice. The vaccination is finally making headway. From June, company doctors are also to be involved and there is no longer a lack of vaccines, as well.
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Election predictions are in quicksand
Let’s happily assume that half of Germans will be vaccinated by the end of June and half of them twice. How many will there be at the beginning of September, when the really hot phase in the federal election campaign begins? What will the general mood be like in the country then?
As for the development of the pandemic, the predictions about the election result are also on quicksand. What can be said today can slip away tomorrow. Whoever shoots up today may fall down again tomorrow. Opinion polls almost five months before the end of the day are nothing but feelings and waves. Just ask Martin Schulz about it. He is the key witness for the negligent belief in the empirical value of mere snapshots well before election day.
Annalena Baerbock could learn from this that there is a great danger from high-altitude flights that lead too close to the sun. Your well-staged presentation as candidate for chancellor and the ruling by the Federal Constitutional Court on the Climate Protection Act are as if painted for the Greens and chase their numbers up to 28 percent. From there it can only go downhill, let’s say realistically 22.23 percent, which would be an outstanding result for you. Just a reminder: In 2017, the Greens landed at 8.9 percent.
Baerbock has already made one mistake
The green candidate for chancellor has acquired knowledge of foreign policy and is now revealing it in interviews. That makes her good, as she does a lot of things well. But she made the mistake of committing herself politically at the wrong time. It’s about the construction of Nord Stream 2, the Baltic Sea pipeline over 1,200 kilometers from Vyborg to Lubmin. Few political problems are similarly complex, so permeated by very different strategic, political and economic interests on a national and international level. It couldn’t be more difficult.
The candidate is against the project, which is about to be completed, we now know that. The Greens have long wanted to stop it. Read here what is behind the dispute over the controversial pipeline project.
Simple solutions in highly sensitive cases are only available for those who are not close to power. But Annalena Baerbock is close to power. To be against it, because the incumbent government is for the project, is rather poor. At least she would first have to prove how clear her no is if she was to take responsibility herself.
And the competition? The CDU’s chase to catch up will inevitably consist in portraying Annalena Baerbock as naive and inexperienced and the Greens as a real threat to the industrialized country of Germany. With a fear campaign, the CDU and CSU are likely to try to prevent the worst – that the Greens will be the child of the world on September 26th, who can choose their coalition partner.
Almost five months left. A lot of time to make a lot of mistakes, also for all candidates for chancellor besides Annalena Baerbock. Plenty of time to vaccinate. A lot of time for emotion and waves through not entirely serious surveys, which nevertheless have a political impact. This home stretch is going to seem a hell of a long time.
Here you can find all of Gerhard Spörl’s columns.