In Germany, a controversial idea on marriage from a conservative politician is causing a stir. Gabriele Pauli, who is contesting the leadership of Bavaria’s governing party, the ultra-conservative Christian Social Union, has released a novel manifesto. “I propose that marriages lapse after seven years,” she said in Munich, the capital of the largely Catholic southern state. “People would only commit for a fixed period, and will actively have to renew their vows if they want to continue.”
The CSU is the sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats. The leadership is being vacated by a strategic ally of the chancellor, Edmund Stoiber, who has been premier of Bavaria for more than a decade. Stoiber, who agreed to step down at the end of September after a party rebellion led by Pauli, has dismissed her ideas on marriage. Pauli, who has been divorced twice, is facing stiff competition next week for the leadership from the likes of Agriculture Minister Horst Seehofer.
She certainly knows how to make the headlines though: she caused a stir earlier this year by posing for magazine pictures as a dominatrix wearing long latex gloves. It remains to be seen if Bavaria is ready for her kind of leadership.