People and Politics Forum 12. 09. 2008 | Forum | DW | 18.09.2008
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People and Politics Forum 12. 09. 2008

"Will the SPD´s new leaders pull the party out of the doldrums?"


More information:

The New SPD Leadership – Where Is the Party Headed Now?

Last weekend was a dramatic one for Germany's Social Democrats. A meeting in the countryside outside Berlin turned into a showdown within the crisis-ridden party. The result of the conference German foreign secretary Frank-Walter Steinmeier emerged as the candidate set to face Angela Merkel in the next elections. Franz-Müntefering is Party Chairman again, replacing Kurt Beck, who stepped down. Will the new duo at the top of the SPD be able to unite the left and right wings of the party? And how will the Social Democrats deal with the Left party in the future?

Our Question is:

"Will the SPD´s new leaders pull the party out of the doldrums?"

Hannelore Krause from Germany, writes:

"I think the SPD made a good choice in nominating Frank-Walter Steinmeier as chancellor candidate. With all due respect, they wouldn’t have been able to win a flower pot with Kurt Beck. And Franz Müntefering’s comeback certainly isn’t doing them any harm. If the party leader and party chairman are pulling together and manage to get others on board, then the SPD has a pretty good chance. But they still cannot count on winning."

René Junghans, Brazil

"I think the all infighting in the SPD has nearly destroyed the party. I don’t think there’s much of a chance that the leading social democratic politicians right now can get a grip on the party. They are simply too divided. These gentlemen would be much better off if they could agree on a common direction instead of each one making his own selfish power play. What Germany needs are solutions and not quarrelling politicians. "

Erich Prinz, Thailand

"I think the SPD is better off now. Kurt Beck may be a good regional politician, but in my opinion he wasn’t up to the job of being party leader. Frank Walter Steinmeier and Franz Müntefering have a better chance of doing well in the 2009 general election ... assuming the current coalition lasts that long."

Martin Burmeister, Venezuela

"The new leadership tandem can only do well if it gives the SPD a clear policy direction and sticks to it unconditionally in order to win back voter trust."

The People and Politics desk reserves the right to edit and abbreviate texts.