An upcoming interesting four months

We’re actually going to delay the publication of the next issue of Green Horizon Magazine in order to be able to include commentary on the results of the September 26 German federal elections. The issue was scheduled to appear in late October, but we’ll reserve room for an article to be finalized earlier that month, so the issue will arrive in mailboxes sometime during November.

The magazine is intended to cover the international Green politics movement, and September 26 looms as potentially highly significant in that regard.

It will be notable if the Greens, for the first time, come in second in the polling and then, on that basis, become a part of the governing coalition. It will be very notable if they get over 20% of the vote and just about match or even exceed the total of the long-dominant CDU (though lacking enough of a mandate to have Annalena Baerbock become chancellor).

It will be an enormous breakthrough for our movement if Baerbock wins by a margin that enables her to become the first Green head of government in a major industrial country. Such a result would spur the Green surge in Europe. It’s likely that the Greens then would become viewed as permanent significant players in many countries where they haven’t yet emerged from the margins but their prospects have been incrementally advancing. My guess is that, then, by 2030 or so, the longstanding potential of Green politics that was projected from its inception back in the 1970s will have fully actualized. Someone will write a book about the historical process.

So I’ll be watching the unfolding of the campaign with great interest. Will Baerbock recruit Joschka Fischer to campaign with her? Fischer led the Greens and was the most popular politician in Germany during the 1990s. He motivated vote totals for the Greens such that they were able to enter the governing coalition under the SPD for the whole period 1998–2005. Is Joschka still an electoral asset, or might he be viewed as too “old guard”?

I’d actually be shocked if the relatively stolid German electorate gave a plurality to a newcomer like Annalena Baerbock. Yet the pro-Green youth vote might carry the day. We shall see . . .

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Steven Welzer

The editor of Green Horizon Magazine, Steve has been a movement activist for many years (he was an original co-editor of DSA’s “Ecosocialist Review”).