A great moment for inner-party democracy? Thoughts on the “Open” Election of the Next CDU Party Chairwoman
[Sternstunde innerparteilicher Demokratie? Gedanken zur „offenen“ Wahl der nächsten CDU-Parteivorsitzenden]
by Jan Keesen, Emanuel V. Towfigh and Jacob Ulrich
At its national party conference at the end of the week, the CDU will elect a new chairman or chairwoman. At least five candidates will be running. This is a first in the party’s history. So far, there have only been two contested ballots. At the first CDU party convention in Goslar in 1951, Mr. Kaiser, Mr. Holzapfel and Mr. Arnold competed against Konrad Adenauer, who was clearly elected as the first federal chairman of the CDU with 97.4% of the delegates’ votes. In Saarbrücken in 1971, Rainer Barzel won against Helmut Kohl with 66.4% of the vote. Beyond these exceptions, the delegates regularly gave the sole candidates for the federal chairmanship of the CDU dream results of over 90%; Adenauer even managed to win all the delegates’ votes three times in a row. Thus, the 88.4% that Angela Merkel achieved at the federal party conference in Düsseldorf in 2004 was considered a “disappointing result” by many observers. This also earned the CDU the nickname “chancellor’s electoral club.
Now, at least five members are vying for the presidency of the CDU, and at the party convention in Hamburg on December 7-8, 2018, there could be even more. In any case, these five are publicly known: Jan-Philipp Knoop, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Friedrich Merz, Andreas Ritzenhoff and Jens Spahn. Three of these candidates were allowed to present themselves to the party base at regional conferences, the others were not. So how should we assess this newfound joy of selection? Is the CDU, and we with it, experiencing a great moment of democracy?
Souce: Sternstunde innerparteilicher Demokratie? Gedanken zur „offenen“ Wahl der nächsten CDU-Parteivorsitzenden, VerfBlog, 2018/12/05, https://verfassungsblog.de/sternstunde-innerparteilicher-demokratie-gedanken-zur-offenen-wahl-der-naechsten-cdu-parteivorsitzenden/