First Brexit, then Trump, now the AfD (Alternative for Deutschland). Sunday’s German election was the third electoral upheaval in a western country since June last year when the Brexit vote showed a majority of Brits wanted to leave the EU.
Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union received 33% of the vote, which still puts her ahead to form a coalition government with two smaller parties. Her party received one million votes less than last time. The Social Democrats got half a million less votes. These have been the two dominant parties through Germany’s postwar history. The CDU’s more conservative sister party in Bavaria, the Christian Social Union, saw a drop of over 10% in support since the 2013 election.
The third biggest party, with 13.2% of the vote, was the AfD, giving them seats in the Bundestag for the first time. The party is considered extreme right-wing and has even been described as a “neo-Nazi” party. It’s anti-Islam, anti-immigrant and anti-euro. It could grow in power and influence as Germany is increasingly threatened by Islamic extremists, let in by Mrs. Merkel two years ago. She will be blamed for terrorist attacks and every other problem created by the Muslims. Mrs. Merkel stands by her decision, yet also says the CDU will win back the voters they lost to the AfD.
The CSU’s late leader, Franz Josef Strauss, once warned that Germany must never have a party to the right of his. It’s now happened. The CSU is expected to quickly move to the right politically before the state election a year from now.
If she can put together a coalition with the Free Democrats (liberals) and the Greens (left-of-center), she will command a majority of seats in parliament. If she is able to continue the coalition with the Social Democrats (socialists), the AfD will be the opposition party in parliament, giving them greater public exposure, enabling them to pose a greater threat next time there’s a general election.
Mrs. Merkel is the world’s most powerful woman and the leader of Europe’s most powerful country. This election is going to have a ripple effect throughout the EU and even the rest of the world, as the EU is the world’s biggest trading bloc.
It’s certainly going to impact Brexit negotiations with the United Kingdom, partly because the British lack the self-confidence to truly go-it-alone. Mrs. May addressed EU leaders in Florence a few days ago and was bending over backwards to accommodate their demands. One of her proposals was for a two year transition period, which would mean that the UK would not fully leave the EU until 2021. That’s not what voters had in mind when they voted on Brexit.
The pro-Brexit leader Nigel Farage described Mrs. May’s proposal as a victory for Goldman Sachs and other international corporations – certainly not one for the British people.
Monday’s Daily Express warned: “FEARS of a new Franco-German plot to sabotage Brexit and keep Britain tied to Brussels for ever have emerged.” President Macron of France has proposed some revisions to the EU treaties to keep Britain in and stop others from leaving.
Just as the people in the UK are not going to get what they want, Americans find themselves in a similar situation. President Trump seems unable to deliver on his promises – to end Muslim immigration, to build a wall on the southern border, to abolish Obamacare, to withdraw from Afghanistan.
The people voted in support of these, just as the British people voted for Brexit.
If they cannot get their countries back through the ballot box, they may take more desperate measures.
Mrs. Merkel has promised to address the concerns of the German people, including those who voted AfD, whom she wants back in the CDU by the next election. But again, it’s doubtful anything will be done about immigration. It seems to be an issue western leaders cannot handle.
Bible prophecy shows that the Middle East and Europe will be central to the fulfillment of the final end-time events. Right now, Europe is at the forefront, with developments that will lead to a continental upheaval resulting in the revived Roman Empire, a new arrangement that will up-end the Treaty of Rome, which was itself an attempt at a European revival based on the Roman Empire.