*you don't have to answer this ask due to its sensitive nature* What do Germans generally think of Angela Merkel and her refugee policy (idk what else to call it)? Apparently Germans themselves aren't happy with it but that's what I've heard and it mightn't be true. In your last post you've mentioned elections. Will they be electing a new Chancellor?
Thank you for the sensitive nature warning, but it’s fine! I’ll try to answer this as well as I can. Some of the links will be in German.
German Election 2017
We have elections for the Bundestag this year, on the 24th of September 2017. We elect a new Bundestag every four years - this is the 19th one.
We do not directly elect a chancellor. Our president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, makes a suggestion on who should become chancellor to the Bundestag, who then votes on it. In theory, he could suggest anyone over 18 years and with German citizenship - that person doesn’t need to be a member of the Bundestag. If they achieve an absolute majority (50% of votes +1), we have an official chancellor as soon as the president officially appoints him or her (3GG §63). If not (which has never happened before), we have a second vote with a different suggestion from the president, and then another one where they need a relative majority. If that is achieved, the president can either appoint that person or form a new Bundestag (4GG §64). A chancellor is usually in place until there’s a new Bundestag, so for four years. (source)
Before we go into who should or will become chancellor, some things about the parties:
- There are 42 parties participating in the 2017 elections.
- Eight of them who are maybe the most known: CDU (Christian-Democratic Union), SPD (Social Democratic Party), die Linke (Left), Bündnis90/die Grünen (Green Party), Christlich-Soziale Union Bayern/CSU (Christian Social Union), Freie Demokratische Partei/FDP (Free Democrats), Alternative für Deutschland/AfD (Alternative for Germany), freie Wähler (Free Voters).
- This is the current number of seats for each party. The CDU/CSU has the most.
- Currently, we have the so-called “große Koalition”, or short GroKo (big coalition) between the two biggest parties, CDU/CSU and SPD. If you’re interested, here is their coalition contract.
- Here is a lot more info on that. Here’s more info in English.
There are basically two choices for who should become chancellor this year - Angela Merkel (CDU) or Martin Schulz (SPD). If Angela Merkel is chosen, this would be her fourth time being elected chancellor.
- I don’t want to make any assumptions or promote anything here - but according to the latest polls, the CDU/CSU would have 40% of all votes, the SPD around 23%, Green/FDP/AfD/Left all at 7 or 8%. This, of course, doesn’t guarantee that Angela Merkel will get an absolute majority, should she be suggested by Steinmeier, since her party (CDU) doesn’t have an absolute majority in the parliament.
- There are 631 seats in the Bundestag, if the polls are correct, the CDU/CSU would have 252 of them. The new chancellor would need 316 votes to be elected.
- It is not clear what kind of coalition there will be. Another big coalition would be possible, but it has been indicated that that won’t be the case. The CDU could also join forces with one or two smaller parties, for example the Jamaica-constellation of CDU/Green/FDP.
To the rest of your question:
- As you can see, Merkel has a very realistic chance of being re-elected. She is a member of a conservative party (CDU), which I think many people outside of Germany/Europe don’t realise.
- The alternative to her, Martin Schulz, is a member of a more left-wing party (SPD).
- Both have a similar refugee policy - both stand against a refugee limit. Schulz has said that such a limit is “not the answer” (source).
- There are certainly people who are not happy with this policy.
- However, I don’t think one can generalise that “Germans aren’t happy with it”. In the end, it is almost certain that we’ll elect a parliament that will continue to follow this policy.
I really hope this was objective and somewhat informative! I tried my best.