German voters are set to choose a new Parliament and, with it, a new governing coalition for the next four years. When analyzing our political endorsement –and due to the nature of the German political system-, RealLibs.com decided to make two endorsements: the first one, to choose our preferred political party and leader; the second one, to choose which kind of governing coalition we’d like to see.
The first endorsement shouldn’t be too difficult to guess. As our name indicates, among all parties, we choose the one that represents real liberal values and exposes real liberal policies –the Free Democratic Party (FDP). We believe the FDP manifesto represents real progress for Germany and Europe. With its emphasis on a well-regulated and yet free market economy, a strong protection of civil liberties and an advancement of civil rights, a cooperation-friendly foreign policy and a pro-EU stance, the FDP program offers Germans the chance to obtain liberal ends (like liberty, equality, social justice, peace) through liberal means (a market economy, an enabling yet limited and non-intrusive state, internationalism, cooperation).
The FDP program gives Germans more liberty, with policies that seek to remove red tape from businesses, reform the state’s bureaucracy, welcome immigrants, impede internet censorship and stop the collection and storage of data on the movement of persons. It gives Germans more equality and social justice, with policies such as the ‘Citizen’s income,’ the promotion of equal rights for gay and lesbian families, the pledge to keep the universal health insurance coverage scheme, and the promise to implement a scholarship system, so no one is deprived of higher education for financial reasons. As the FDP manifesto says, “education is a civil right.” It gives Germans the prospect of a more peaceful international order, with policies that promote greater European integration and more multilateral cooperation.
As liberals, we’d be delighted to see Mr. Westerwelle as the next Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany. However, we know that outcome is very unlikely. Thus the need to also endorse –-or, at least, hope for-- a particular coalition. Now the question is, which party would we like to see the FDP with? Although we dislike certain aspects of Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU Union (especially the social authoritarianism of the Bavarian CSU), we believe Merkel has shown real leadership during her time in office (and it was definitely not an easy time to be the Chancellor of Europe’s biggest economy). She has proven to be a competent leader in a time of crisis. On the other hand, Steinmeier’s Social Democrats, although also part of the current government, seem to have lost their raison d'être. They seem lost and without a clear program for government. Finally, the Greens should be praised for their fight for a greener, more sustainable world, though they seem to forget that regulations are just a part of the policy mix to fight climate change and protect the environment, not the whole solution. Taking this into account, we believe that, at this moment, the best governing coalition for Germany would be one formed by the liberal FDP and Merkel’s Christian Democrats.
In the end, we want to see the FDP as part of the next government, and Mr. Westerwelle as Foreign Minister. As the FDP electoral manifesto says: “Germany can do better." We say: With the FDP in government it will.
Tags: fdp liberal liberalism germany "guido westerwelle" "angela merkel" eu election elections endorsement
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