A Glimpse into Germany’s Political Future
BERLIN — The outcome of state elections in Berlin on Sunday — in which both the Social Democrats and Christian Democrats, the German capital’s traditional ruling parties, suffered heavy losses and the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) was propelled into the state assembly — has triggered yet another round of debate over Angela Merkel’s political future.
Yes, Berlin’s voters have dealt the embattled chancellor another heavy blow. But what is most remarkable is the fundamental shift in the country’s party landscape and political process that this election heralds. Berlin is Germany’s political and social laboratory par excellence. It is a microcosm where the country’s major challenges play out as if under a microscope. So the stability and consensus that have long been Germany’s political trademark may soon be a thing of the past.