On the whole, Germans reveal a strong social element in their attitudes to society. Reflected regularly in the tick of the boxes of politicians and parties at the polls, most recent governments in Germany lean left of centre.
The recent election held in 2013 brought with it a fairly predictable result. Two national parties were strafed for perceived incompetence and wandering from their core messages. The green party was shocked. This led to replacement of party leaders and a weak bargaining position in coalition talks. The result for the liberals was worse. Devasted by their loss of mandate, the junior coalition party of the previous government flew into disarray and, faced with rebuilding, lost its heads too.
Long winded negotiations led to the repeat of a massive coalition bought partly with tomorrow’s money and founded on sometimes vague agreements. The conservatives (CDU and CSU) have gone to bed with the socialists (SPD) who buckled under the yearning for power.
Pensioners and retirees have been bought off while tough topics have been avoided on a wave of a well performing export economy. Future generations in Germany will foot the bill.
At the time of writing, federal government and ministers look like this:
- Angela Merckel – Chanceller
- Sigmar Gabriel – Economics and Energy
- Frank-Walter Steinmeier – Foreign Affairs
- Thomas de Maizière – Minister of the Interior
- Heiko Maas – Justice and Consumer Protection
- Wolfgang Schäuble – Minister of Finance
- Andrea Nahles – Minister of Labour and Social Affairs
- Hans-Peter Friedrich – Food and Agriculture
- Ursula von der Leyen – Minister of Defence
- Manuela Schwesig – Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth
- Hermann Gröhe – Health
- Alexander Dobrindt – Transport and Digital Infrastructure
- Barbara Hendricks – Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety
- Johanna Wanka – Education and Research
- Gerd Müller – Economic Cooperation and Development
- Peter Altmaier – Federal Chancellery and Special Tasks
With six women and ten men, the cabinet reveals a high proportional mix of genders compared to German business boardrooms.