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Bundestag election: this is how a future traffic light could work

2021-09-19T11:50:41.325Z

After the general election there will be various coalition options. When it comes to the most important issues of the present and future, a red-green-yellow variant could actually work.



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Election posters in Berlin, September 2021

Photo:

Kay Nietfeld / dpa

The most important political topic of the next legislative period - and the following one too - is climate policy. The heat waves, floods and droughts of recent years are just a small foretaste of the climate changes that are in store for us. At the same time, the global economy will move towards CO₂ neutrality faster than you can imagine at the moment. German industry - not just the automotive industry - is not yet prepared for this either.

On the one hand, the next government will have to make preparations for weather-related disasters that can no longer be averted.

On the other hand, it will have to ensure, of course also in international concerts, that humanity still prevents the worst.

And for Germany to remain competitive in this new world, and possibly even to become a role model again.

Worn out

All of this will have to happen at an extremely high speed, because the federal governments of the past 16 years have unfortunately failed miserably in these tasks.

That is also the reason why the Union parties urgently belong on the opposition bench.

They have proven that they cannot (or do not want to) do it, neither in terms of climate protection nor in terms of digitization.

In terms of digital advances, especially in the business sector, Germany is currently in penultimate place in Europe, according to a study by a private business school.

There is only Albania behind us.

The Union has let people suspect massive corruption make its climate policy, it has given climate "skeptics" and wind power opponents in the Ministry of Economic Affairs responsibility, let the lignite companies cheat them - to the detriment of taxpayers - and the conversion of mobility and expansion alternative energy generation and infrastructures constantly stood in the way.

Hopefully this phase will be very short

And after the last shoddy election campaign maneuvers at the latest, it should be clear to all other parties that this Laschet Union has run down.

She urgently needs a recovery period.

That leaves four democratic parties that can potentially form a government that is up to the tasks at hand.

The left has effectively disqualified itself from participating in government with its positions on foreign policy, NATO, Vladimir Putin's kleptocratic regime and the rescue of local Afghan workers.

The Greens, by definition, see it that way, and with Olaf Scholz you don't really have the feeling that he is really serious about the red-green-red option.

After the election, the left will temporarily become a threat and bargaining ground, and this phase will hopefully last as short as possible.

Because we don't have time.

Not just the smallest evil

And all that remains is a traffic light coalition, currently presumably under the leadership of a Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

But this coalition would not be just the smallest evil.

In theory, at least, it could even be a successful mix.

The distribution of roles in such a - imagined, ideal - traffic light coalition would be clear.

All three parties, the SPD, the Greens and the FDP, have recognized climate change as an urgent problem.

It would fall to party leader Christian Lindner to catch wandering ricochets within his party.

People like Nicola Beer, who repeatedly attract attention with outrageous relativizations ("small rashes that do not matter") on the topic of the climate crisis.

The FDP would also have to say goodbye to the really strange idea that "freedom" arises above all from the unchecked burning of fossil fuels.

And this time she shouldn't pinch at the last minute, but Christian Lindner would not survive as party chairman anyway.

The three parties and their core competencies

A whole series of ingredients are needed for the enormous reform and restructuring task of the coming years, and the three parties to such a traffic light for the future could certainly supply them, at least on paper.

The Greens have the best thought-out concept for climate protection.

Even theirs is not enough, according to a study by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), which is not suspected of being part of an election campaign, to keep Germany within a 1.5-degree budget.

But it is the closest of all parties, says the DIW.

The FDP has presented a climate protection concept with large gaps, and it has been promoting in some cases proven nonsensical approaches such as so-called e-fuels for cars.

They are far less efficient than simply refueling electric cars with electricity from the wind turbine or solar system.

And we would have to import them.

In a traffic light for the future, however, the FDP could avoid such silly diversionary maneuvers and hopefully play out a strength that should actually belong to the core competencies of a liberal party: effective deregulation.

We need them urgently, but without the increasingly ridiculous "prohibitions, prohibitions" howls of warning.

What, even Armin Laschet is exceptionally right, really urgently needs to become faster and leaner in Germany, are approval procedures, especially for infrastructure projects.

Be it wind farms, railways or power lines.

Germany needs a huge infrastructure update very quickly, and who better to clear the thicket of paragraphs than the party, whose credo has always been "less state"?

Bonus: on civil rights issues, the FDP and the Greens should actually come to an agreement very quickly.

In return, the FDP could help the green party leadership to say goodbye to some of the popular anti-science and technology positions that are popular on the green base.

Scholz is not a climate protector

The SPD, on the other hand, is indeed complicit in the current misery in climate and digitalization policy as a longstanding ruling party, and Olaf Scholz has really not distinguished himself as a climate protector, on the contrary.

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A real purification can be seen from parts of the party - as long as it manages to break away from its traditional enthusiasm for everything that has to do with coal.

Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze was slowed down by her own party colleague Scholz in the last legislative period.

Hopefully the progressive, climate-conscious forces of the SPD could develop better in a red-green-yellow coalition.

Above all, however, if one proceeds from the old core competencies of the parties, the SPD could ensure that the necessary changes actually take place in a socially acceptable manner.

That additional costs due to higher CO₂ taxes primarily affect people with high incomes and wealth, not those who already have little.

Again, red-green should bring enough weight to overrule the FDP.

The Greens for real climate policy, the FDP for the necessary deregulation, entrepreneurial culture and acceleration, the SPD for the social - if such a federal government were actually ready to devote itself to the tasks at hand quickly, constructively and willing to compromise, instead of falling into the election campaign again , it could be a real asset for Germany and the world.

Source: spiegel

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