Sunday, November 28

First session: no turning point in the Bundestag


Status: 10/26/2021 5:18 p.m.

For the third time in its history, a woman is at the head of the Bundestag, there are many new members and the Union is in the opposition. A turning point? Rather not.

A comment by Daniel Pokraka, ARD capital studio

A new style in the Bundestag? A new tone? At least not today. It is true that there are many new faces, almost 300 new MPs. But today, if at all, they only had their say outside the plenary chamber, in front of the television microphones, to tell us what it’s like to be new in the Bundestag.

Daniel Pokraka
ARD capital studio

Inside, on the other hand: familiar faces and, all too often, old behavior patterns. The new President of the Bundestag Bärbel Bas will later say: “We are not here to fight each other personally.” But at this point in time the first low blows of the new legislative period had already occurred: The AfD provoked – stopped traffic with ill-founded procedural proposals, claimed Willy Brandt and made comparisons with 1933.

The other parties give space to the debate, answer one by one instead of shortening the matter – and Left Party parliamentary leader Jan Korte wedges back: The AfD is in the tradition of the Nazis. It is not sovereign.

Guerrilla warfare because of the seating arrangement

The same applies to the guerrilla war between the Union and the FDP because of the seating arrangements. The Liberals have been sitting to the right of the CDU and CSU in the Bundestag since 1949, and they felt at home there for decades. It wasn’t until 2017, when the AfD moved into parliament, that the FDP realized that it would rather sit in the middle, to the left of the Union. Now, in 2021, it could work – with the votes of the traffic light partners. The Union senses, not without good reason, “a touch of arrogance of power”. New style? No, old power politics.

Simply good politics

So you shouldn’t expect miracles from a younger, more colorful Bundestag either. It’s about the matter, but also about party-political advantages, as always. The hope of fairness and decency has narrow limits as long as the provocative and taboo-breaking AfD is there. The Bundestag therefore does not expect the “turning point” that Bärbel Bas proclaimed today, but simply good politics.

Editorial note

Comments generally reflect the opinion of the respective author and not that of the editors.

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