German SPD bureaucracy stops members from voting against joining right-wing coalition


This video from Germany says about itself:

21 January 2018

As the Social Democratic Party (SPD) is holding a convention on official coalition talks with Angela Merkel‘s party Christian Democratic Union (CDU), protesters against the ‘Grand Coalition‘ gathered in front of the venue in Bonn, on Sunday.

People were holding flags and banners reading ‘No GroKo,’ meaning they oppose the Grand Coalition.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 – 18:10

Germany’s Social Democrats seek to cut new members out of vote on coalition deal

GERMANY’S Social Democrats (SPD) are taking a leaf out of the New Labour handbook in a bid to stop new members blocking a coalition deal with Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU).

Party officials plan to introduce a cut-off point after which new members will be ineligible to take part in a ballot on coalition terms. They said they would decide on a date next week.

Similar administrative tricks were used by the Labour Party bureaucracy in the 2015 and 2016 leadership elections in a futile bid to stop socialist candidate Jeremy Corbyn from winning.

Social Democrat leader Martin Schulz won permission to open negotiations with the CDU and its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union at the weekend, but the terms of a final agreement would go to a ballot of the membership.

Many are sceptical of another “grand coalition” with the right after last September’s disastrous general election, which saw the SPD drop to just 20 per cent of the vote, its lowest share since the second world war.

The CDU also lost seats in a poll which saw modest gains for The Left party and the Greens and huge advances for the neoliberal Free Democrats and far-right Alternative for Germany, which won 80 and 94 parliamentary seats respectively, both up from zero at the previous election.

The SPD youth wing, the Young Socialists, launched a campaign offering two months membership for €10 (£8.70), urging people to join up and vote against another coalition.

In the outgoing government, the SPD were the junior partners of the conservative CDU. That drove many SPD voters away at the recent election. Another CDU-SPD ‘grand coalition’ of more militarism, more for the rich and less for the poor, would drive most of the remaining voters away. Leading to a catastrophic defeat, like happened to the SPD’s sister social democrat parties in Greece, the Netherlands, France, etc. And to the British Labour party, before the leftward turn with Jeremy Corbyn.

Such a ‘grand coalition’ would make the neo-fascist AfD the official opposition in parliament, threatening to make them still bigger than they unfortunately already are.

Following the decision by the Social Democratic Party (SPD) at its special congress to initiate coalition talks with Germany’s conservative parties, the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (SGP) strengthens its demand for new elections. The ruling elite cannot be permitted to bring to power the most right-wing government since the downfall of the Nazi regime, in the face of strong opposition from workers and young people. The performance of the SPD leadership at the Bonn congress has already made clear that a new installment of the grand coalition would not merely continue the policies of the current government. It would implement the despised policies of militarism, the construction of a police state and a social counter-revolution, with increasingly authoritarian methods in the face of mounting popular opposition: here.

The speech by German Chancellor Angela Merkel (Christian Democrats, CDU) at the World Economic Forum in Davos made clear that the new coalition government being formed in Berlin will be dedicated to militarism and great-power politics. At a luxury resort in the Swiss Alps, the acting Chancellor sought to drum up support for a European defence policy that would enable Germany and Europe to enforce their economic and geostrategic interests around the world: here.

A third edition of the grand coalition will not simply continue the policies of the current one. It will massively upgrade the military, initiate a new round of social attacks and establish a police state in close cooperation with the far-right AfD. This is becoming increasingly clear with the approaching agreement between the SPD and the conservative Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union (both parties known as the Union): here.

German parties reach agreement on grand coalition for war and austerity: here.

Dozens of commentaries have appeared in the media in recent days describing the power struggles over the direction of Germany’s new government as if they were merely a competition between individuals, conflicts between generations, or fateful Greek tragedies. The daily Süddeutsche Zeitung referred to Social Democrat (SPD) leader Martin Schulz as a “tragic figure” and titled an article about current SPD Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel “Game, set, defeat.” One searches in vain for an analysis of the political questions driving the conflicts. There is a simple reason for this. Bitter conflicts are raging between and within the political parties over foreign policy, in particular Germany’s relations with the United States. But nobody wants to discuss this openly, because the vast military build-up they are planning would then become clear. This would be met with strong opposition from the population: here.

Germany: SPD leadership seeks to fool party members in vote on grand coalition: here.

Even before Angela Merkel and her cabinet are sworn in on Wednesday, Horst Seehofer (Christian Social Union, CSU) has reaffirmed the reactionary character of the new government. In Bild am Sonntag, the designated interior and homeland minister presented a “master plan for more consistent deportations” and announced mass surveillance and other police state measures: here.

Great power politics, militarism, increased deportations: The right-wing programme of Germany’s grand coalition: here.

The new German grand coalition is the most right-wing government in Berlin since the downfall of the Nazi regime. This assessment made by the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (SGP) has already been confirmed in the first days following the re-election of Chancellor Angela Merkel (Christian Democrats, CDU). The government is deliberately stoking a racist atmosphere in order to further its policies of militarism, social attacks and the strengthening of the repressive state apparatus: here.

The new budget presented by the Social Democratic Finance Minister Olaf Scholz was discussed yesterday by the cabinet. It is characterized by two things: it maintains the notorious “black zero” (balanced budget) of his predecessor, Christian Democrat Wolfgang Schäuble, which has made Germany one of the most unequal European countries, and it massively increases defence spending to pave the way for an aggressive foreign and great power policy: here.

In the spring, the German government used the so-called BAMF affair, in which the Federal Office for Immigration and Refugees (BAMF) office in Bremen was accused of wrongfully granting asylum to more than a thousand refugees between 2013 and 2016 whose applications had been dismissed in other federal states, in order to whip up anti-refugee sentiment. Now, it is launching its next xenophobic campaign. On last Thursday’s “Tagesthemen” TV news programme, Social Democratic Party (SPD) mayor Sören Link ranted against European Union (EU) nationals who were allegedly flocking to Germany to fraudulently obtain social welfare payments such as child benefits. Since then, leading Social Democrats have been banging the drum for cuts in child support payments to families of European workers and plying racist sentiments in the style of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), among other things. “We have about 19,000 people from Romania and Bulgaria in Duisburg, Sinti and Roma. In 2012, we only had 6,000,” Link agitated: here.

Duisburg, Germany: Social democratic mayor agitates against refugees and migrants from Eastern Europe: here.

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