Hard landing for the liberal FDP | Germany | DW

Welcome, indeed, to the reality of the coronavirus crisis! 92 percent of the FDP delegates in Berlin ratified the coalition agreement with the Greens and the SPD. The day before, with 99 percent approval, the Social Democrats showed that unity and satisfaction with the management team looked different.

Next week, the government of new Chancellor Olaf Schulz should begin. But along the way, the FDP had a lot to give. The euphoria and rapid success of the coalition negotiations was suddenly followed by a decline in the management of the epidemic. The FDP was not prepared for that.

During the election campaign, the party’s leader, Christian Lindner, promised that there would be no mandatory lockdown or vaccination with the FDP. Freedom of the individual is important and this is not a privilege but a basic right. Moreover, the economy should not continue to “choke”. Because of these promises, many citizens voted for the FDP and gave it 11.5 percent of the vote.

But with the number of coronavirus cases on the rise, the freedom advocate has received one promise after another. Even if Lindner asserted at the party conference that “there is no change in the course of the FDP in pandemic policy.”

Volker Whiting

Liberal Democrats and “Freedom Day”

In a joint appearance after their electoral victory, the three future coalition parties proudly announced that all measures against COVID-19 must be completed by March 20 at the latest. Above all, the FDP lobbied for a speedy end to the restrictive policy of Angela Merkel’s government.

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Many in the party were dreaming of a “Freedom Day” like Britain Day when British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the lifting of all restrictive measures in July of this year.

But as the number of coronavirus infections continues to rise, the FDP has also been forced to step back and take a tougher stance. One of the taboos fell. Now connectivity restrictions should be possible and so-called 2G in Germany (vaccinated, recovered) or 3G (vaccinated, recovered, tested negative) is quickly enforced. Now Lindner does not want to rule out compulsory mass vaccination.

One disappointment after another

And last Tuesday was the liberals’ next setback: the Federal Constitutional Court backs the federal government. The strict measures issued by Berlin do not violate the basic charter, namely curfews, school closures and communication restrictions. About 80 members of the FDP faction in Parliament have also filed a lawsuit, including Lindner and future Minister of Justice Marco Buchmann. what a shame!

Bettina Stark-Watzinger is expected to be the only FDP woman to hold a cabinet

Bettina Stark-Watzinger is expected to be the only FDP woman to hold a cabinet

The Party and Its “Feminine Problem”

The FDP will have four members in the new government. In addition to Lindner, who will receive the Treasury, as required, FDP General Secretary Volker Wessing is expected to become Secretary of Transportation and Bushman Minister of Justice, as previously mentioned.

The only female FDP in the future government will be the almost unknown Bettina Stark-Watzinger, who is expected to be the education minister. Stark-Watzinger is also a member of the FDP’s parliamentary group, where once again women are underrepresented.

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Also, for the two vacant positions of the first speaker of parliament and the new head of the parliamentary faction, only men are expected. FDP has a problem with women!

Looks like the magic of the beginning has faded

The FDP negotiated hard in the coalition talks and made a lot of profit: no tax increases, no speed limits, no new debts, and Leander as chancellor. According to a recent poll, 37% of Germans think the coalition agreement is signed by more liberals.

“Let’s begin” was the slogan of the party congress in Berlin. Next week it all begins and the harsh reality of judgment. The FDP should be careful not to irritate voters and party members.


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