Jamaica is history. The four participating parties CDU, CSU, FDP and the Greens went to great lengths, but from the very start the basis for common ground was small. Simply to form a government and participate in it – that proved insufficient for achieving a consensus. The political uncertainty is now set to continue for the time being. While there is still a possibility of relaunching the grand coalition, the SPD has shown no interest in being a part of this until now. Rather, the SPD is seeking a fresh start on the opposition banks, both conceptually as well as presumably also in personnel terms.
Thus, the only political alternatives left are either to form a minority government or bring forward new elections. However, bringing forward elections is only the final possibility. It seems highly unlikely that visibly altered majorities would be achieved through a fresh ballot. The risk also exists that the political periphery could emerge even more strengthened.
I believe that it would be better now to strive for a minority government. For this, the Union parties might have to establish the necessary majorities with the FDP, but this should be possible. A minority government and the constant search for majorities associated with this might not be in tune with Angela Merkel’s preferred notion of policy-making, but it should not be forgotten – despite all the party manoeuvring – that this is about Germany’s future. The primary task of politics should be to create good framework conditions. This should also be possible in such an – admittedly difficult – constellation. The established parties have a broad consensus in many thematic areas. Furthermore, Germany’s economic situation is very good, the economy is stable and has emancipated itself from politics in many areas. Tax revenues have reached record levels, thereby also creating sufficient fiscal scope.
The new government needs clear visions for Germany’s future and for the further development of Europe. Right now consensus on these issues would only appear possible in a minority government. In foreign policy issues, a government of this kind can set the tone together with the French President Macron. Economic and structural development in Germany and Europe would also be possible with a minority government in Germany. However, the style of policy making would have to change, although this would not necessarily be a bad thing.