In Thuringia, the CDU and the AfD pushed through a tax cut. The Christian Democrats in Erfurt are in a quandary. But they built them themselves.
In the future, Thuringian home buyers will no longer pay six but only five percent of the purchase price as real estate transfer tax, the Erfurt state parliament decided on Thursday. And now about the weather.
This is how it could have happened. Because taken on its own it is little more than a boring administrative regulation. No upper limit on refugees was decided here, no constitutional reform, yes, it wasn’t even about heating.
“You’ll probably still…”
But because this bill, introduced by the CDU, only received the necessary majority thanks to the votes of the AfD, the weather has become unpleasant. A nationwide hurricane is blowing. For Bodo Ramelow, the left-wing Prime Minister of Thuringia, it was the “blackest day” of his parliamentary life. Politicians from the traffic light parties are warning that the firewall will finally be toppled. The leadership of the AfD is already celebrating its collapse. Politicians from the CDU/CSU parties are trying to calm the storm with sentence modules that begin with “It will probably happen…” or “What can we do about it if…”.
You can read the counter-commentary on why the CDU essentially acted correctly here:
It must be possible to carry out constructive opposition work – without having to listen to accusations, complains Karin Prien, the CDU deputy leader who is not suspected of right-wing activities. It would be “infamous” to turn this into a collaboration with the AfD. Sounds right on its own, but upon closer inspection it seems unconvincing. For three reasons.
Majority is never just a game of calculation
Firstly, the question of majority is never a pure calculation game. The scandalous election of the FDP politician Kemmerich as short-term Prime Minister of Thuringia made this simple truth clear to all political actors: a majority that is only achieved with the votes of the AfD can never be a democratic majority. This applies everywhere and it applies doubly or triple in Thuringia, where this party is led by a Björn Höcke and is classified by the state Office for the Protection of the Constitution as clearly right-wing extremist.
Secondly, the CDU shares responsibility for the situation in Thuringia. The only reason why the opposition is able to push a legislative proposal against the government through parliament is because this state government does not have its own majority. Why? Because the CDU has decided to tolerate Ramelow’s minority government as a “constructive opposition” rather than go into government itself – or vote for new elections.
The AfD the lesser evil?
She cannot now oppose quite as freely as in parliaments with an orderly balance of power. Yes, that’s a quandary. But it is one that the CDU built for itself. In a bind, you lose with every move. Left or right? Ramelow or Höcke? If you give the Thuringian CDU a choice, they apparently consider the AfD to be the lesser evil.
That’s why Karin Prien’s argument from a third point is extremely dangerous. Next year there will be elections in three eastern states, Saxony, Brandenburg and Thuringia. Given the AfD’s current strength in polls, there is much to suggest that there will be an unclear majority. What then? Can the AfD then tolerate a CDU-led minority government? The same applies again: majority is majority? And: We can’t do anything about it if they approve our draft laws?
A fire wall was torn down in the Thuringian state parliament yesterday. With the votes of the CDU, a backdrop made of papier-mâché was erected in its place. And now about the weather.
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.