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In Germany, the Greens’ future looks bright, yet uncertain

An interesting article from Der Spiegel about a combination of news on the Green front, particularly their polling as high as 20 percent nationwide while, at the same time, launching anti-nuclear protests that could ruin their chances of a coalition with the party in power now:

The good news for Germany’s Green Party just keeps on coming. In survey after survey, the erstwhile protest party is receiving record support: 23 percent in Bavaria, 27 percent in Baden-Württemberg and, in a poll released on Wednesday, an amazing 22 percent countrywide, just two percentage points behind the center-left Social Democrats.

But help isn’t just coming from German voters. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government, by announcing concrete plans to extend the lifespans of Germany’s nuclear reactors by up to 14 years, recently provided yet more wind in the party’s sails. The Greens cut their political teeth on massive anti-nuclear power protests back in the 1970s. Now, after years of watching other parties — including Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) — encroach on their environmental territory, the Green’s have their signature issue back.”From a tactical point of view, the Greens must be screaming for joy right now,” Gerd Langguth, a former CDU parliamentarian who now teaches at the University of Bonn, told SPEIGEL ONLINE. “They have their issue back. Their unique selling point will become much more visible.”

On the strategic horizon, however, dark clouds are gathering. Having been in opposition in Berlin since Merkel’s ascendancy to the Chancellery in 2005, the Greens had begun dreaming of a possible coalition with her conservatives following the next parliamentary elections in 2013. But with the CDU now planning an extension of Germany’s reliance on nuclear energy, that dream looks to have died a premature death.


  1. Deran Deran September 16, 2010

    Maybe this turn to the Left will make room for the GP and The Left to form a braod Left electoral coalitiono. Instead of seekiung to be lap dogs for the Social Democrats.

  2. Green Party Conservative Green Party Conservative September 16, 2010

    The Green Party is Germany is at 22 per cent as of the latest poll numbers from yesterday. So the numbers referenced here are already out of date.

    The Green Party is the strongest Party in one of the sixteen German states – Berlin. The Green Party is the second strongest party in two additional states, Bavaria, and Baden Wuerttenburg, where I studied.

    So it looks like the Green Party could elect two Governors in 2011.

    The German Green Party is a mainstream political party. The Green Party was founded as a “values conservative party”, by Petra Kelly.

    The Greens are centrist to conservative where they are most powerful in Baden Wurttenburg, and Bavaria in the south.

    Deran is wrong when he describes it as a turn to the left.

    The Green Party is performing so strongly because of the Green Party’s reliable performance in office at all levels in Germany for 30 years.

    The Germany economy is growing now, and it is largely thanks to the growth Green Jobs industries that the Green Party started.

    Solar power, Wind power, geothermal power, hydroenergy. High Speed Magnetic Levitation Rail..

    The Green Party is the future, in Germany, in Europe, and around the globe, if we are all to survive.

    The Left Party in Germany are not capable to national government.

  3. Gene Berkman Gene Berkman September 16, 2010

    Deran @ #1 – in western Germany, some of the left Greens might work with The Left Party.

    In eastern Germany, the Greens were dissenters when it was a socialist state. East German Greens opposed the Socialist Unity Party, and the Left Party is composed in the eastern states of former members of the Socialist Unity Party.

    The bitter history of East Germany makes a coalition of Greens with The Left Party unlikely.

  4. Green Party Conservative Green Party Conservative September 16, 2010

    1. Sorry about the poor typing and grammar above.

    An internal German Green Party study, that I have read, has some even more amazing results.

    It shows the Green Party could climb to 48 per cent support in a government with a five party system.

    If the Green Party climb continues- and why shouldn’t it with all the obvious energy problems, and crazy climate changes predicted 30 years ago by the Green Party- if the Green popularity climbe continues…

    This issue will not be about coalition partners.

    The Green Party will be the strongest Party in Germany. The Green Party will elect not only Governors. The Green Party will elect Chancellors, and Presidents.

  5. Ross Levin Ross Levin Post author | September 16, 2010

    “Centrist” means two totally different things in America and Germany, especially with regard to the Greens.

  6. Vaughn Vaughn September 17, 2010

    The Greens would potentially form a government that includes The Left where the Social Democrats would not.

  7. NewFederalist NewFederalist September 17, 2010

    Would Die Grunen work with the Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands?

  8. Vaughn Vaughn September 17, 2010

    Greens across Europe know that they hold the balance of power frequently…which helps them actually stick to their main issues.

  9. Ross Levin Ross Levin Post author | September 17, 2010

    Well, it’s been both beneficial and detrimental, from what I’ve seen. Sometimes they use it to push for their agenda but sometimes they compromise beyond the point of effectiveness. It’s a balancing act.

  10. Green Party Conservative Green Party Conservative September 17, 2010


    You have misunderstood what you have seen the Green Party in power in Europe do from the outside.

    I’ve been inside. Here’s the deal. If you only get 10 per cent of the power in Europe…even when you are a coalition partner… you still only have 10 per cent of the power.

    In cabinett meetings Joschka Fisher, as Vice Chancellor was simply out voted.

    The Green Party is so strong now in Germany at 22 per cent…they are moving toward being the Senior partner in a coalition government.

    It is the difference between night and day.

    And the positive results will be just as dramatic.

  11. Jacob Richter Jacob Richter September 21, 2010

    Die Linke, not the Green party, is the model opposition party for those on the left who conclude that a radicalized populist turn and anti-capitalist distancing from both social democracy and too many links with trade union bureaucratic fat cats is the way to go.

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