Five minutes can be important in the life of a CDU president. Armin Laschet, Friedrich Merz and Norbert Röttgen will each have five minutes on Saturday to present themselves to the Junge Union (CDU), followed by a question and answer session for each. Normally, the three would have come to JU Germany Day. Only digital transmission is possible in Corona times.
Attention is also part of the competition. It is not just an audition of the candidates at one of the major party associations. The CDU youth want to vote.
At least a bit of democracy at the bottom
The GO has been playing with democracy at the base for a long time. At the last party conference in 2019, she wanted to force a pre-election for future presidents. That was a clear attack on the weakened boss Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. The party congress refused.
Then at least the small solution in your own association. The vote is not binding. But JU boss Tilman Kuban has already announced that he wants to at least stick to what the majority of his members want. Even though the JU is not the largest group among 1,001 delegates at the CDU party congress, which is still scheduled for early December in Stuttgart – with 110,000 members, it is not a small association, even if you consider the approximately 27,000 CSU Bavaria withdrawing .
Merz fans felt a conspiracy
In any case, some Merz supporters are still convinced that the JU votes at the Hamburg party conference in 2018 would have tipped the balance. Almost all of the votes JU darling Jens Spahn had sent to Kramp-Karrenbauer earlier in the second election. When the winner immediately recruited JU boss Paul Ziemiak as general secretary, the conspiracy theory was spot on.
[Wenn Sie aktuelle Nachrichten aus Berlin, Deutschland und der Welt live auf Ihr Handy haben wollen, empfehlen wir Ihnen unsere App, die Sie hier für Apple- und Android-Geräte herunterladen können.]
However, it never seemed particularly logical, as Merz is much loved in the GO. Party youth has been acting conservatively for quite some time. Anyone who wants her applause should go against the Greens and don’t think about women’s quotas.
Still, the sympathy is more complicated this time. The candidates have already personally taken note of the JU state conferences, most recently in North Rhine-Westphalia. The applause for Merz was warm and benevolent for Röttgen. But Laschet also received applause when he argued for a continuation of a middle course.
The mood can have an impact
The CDU youth has two weeks to vote. Since almost no one else makes organized election recommendations, it can develop its own momentum. Whether in the desired direction is still an open question. Especially if the result turns out as some are now afraid: ambiguous, even among the young friends of unambiguity.