Regional elections are always important in Germany. But when the state elections are also leading up to the federal election, they become even more symbolically and politically important.
This year, therefore, will be what’s called a super election year.
In Stuttgart, the German Greens are doing a last pandemic-safe push ahead of the local state election in Baden-Württemberg And things are looking good for them as opinion polls show they are ahead by of 10 percent.
Petra Olschowski, a Greens' state parliament candidate in Germany's second most populous state says that opinion polls are positive, “the opinion polls look good but at the end of the day, you never know. We have to wait until the election day and see.”
Patrick Bernhagen is a professor of politics at the University of Stuttgart and reckons state elections are a barometer for the next ballot:
“They are a test of the mood of the country ahead of the even more important federal elections.” Bernhagen adds that in general, the Christian Democratic parties are not as conservative as they were before:
"Not as much [leaning to the] right as they were in the past. At the same time, the Greens are not as ecologically radical as they were. That means these two parties have moved closer to each other in the last few years.”
And the upcoming election in Baden-Württemberg taking place on Sunday is perhaps even more symbolic than others. That’s because the Green party has ruled it in a so-called 'green-black coalition' with the Christian Democratic party for the last four years. And the same coalition might just be the one taking over the government in Berlin after the federal election, happening in September.
The two parties, that for a long time stood on the polar opposite sides of the political spectrum, have grown so close that they can govern together.
Candidate Petra Olschowski agrees with the new outlook the Green party has adopted:
“It has changed. But I have also changed from when I was 18 and now. And I think that the positions that the Greens have today are important, but they are different from the positions from 30 or 35 years ago. But for me, the change that the Greens has done is credible and correct.”
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