Since a few people asked me how Baerbock and the Greens lost this much support so quickly: It's a chain of small mistakes in quick succession that started to add up. A short thread:
Baerbock showed some weakness as a candidate. Most importantly, she failed to tell the Bundestag administration about a corona bonus she received. That was especially unfortunate because the Greens had a great opening to hammer CDU/CSU on corruption
Baerbock's CV contained a number of small inaccuracies. Instead of saying she had taken part in a GMF Fellowship, she said she's a member of GMF. That sort of thing. Not really a big deal but it looks bad and probably made a few people lose trust in her
The Greens also made the mistake of telling voters what their policies would actually cost them. Greens want to increase petrol prices by up to 16 cents per litre - which is a lot. This somehow became a scandal even though everyone wants to increase petrol prices
A poll from the beginning of the month showed that 72% of Germans oppose the Greens on that policy even if they are told that prices would increase to fight climate change. If I had to guess, this was the first time that the cost of Green proposals became apparent to many voters
There was also some dissent within the Green Party and voters rarely reward that sort of thing. Robert Habeck, the co-leader of the Greens, proposed sending arms to Ukraine to help Ukraine defend itself. That's a big red flag for plenty of Greens and the backlash was swift
Much of this was avoidable but it's not entirely the fault of the Greens and Baerbock. Media outlets spent a few weeks hyping up Green invincibility to such an extent that every bad poll or mistake risks being blown way out of proportion
Thread became significantly longer than anticipated. Hope it's useful for those of you trying to understand German politics from afar. /end

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More from @marceldirsus

10 Jun
A month ago some journalists and commentators made it seem as if Germany's next Chancellor would almost inevitably be Annalena Baerbock, the candidate for the Greens. After multiple unforced errors, the Greens have lost ground in the polls and Baerbock's ratings have plummeted
Plenty can happen between now and September but the most likely scenario remains this: Greens keep making mistakes and Armin Laschet avoids offending anyone. As Germany opens up again and people become less angry, they become less likely to vote for change
CDU/CSU win the election and Laschet becomes Chancellor after forming a "Black-Green" coalition with the Greens. Everyone is kind of unhappy because neither Christian Democrats nor Greens get the kind of policies they really want but they get to be in government
Read 4 tweets
7 May
I'm going to use a purely hypothetical example to illustrate my point. Let's say an apocalyptic death cult is trying to conquer the Middle East and you're calling Berlin for some help to push back. Here's what you can expect
Christian Democrats: "This sounds bad. We'd like to help and we don't want to be shouted at by our allies again so we can probably do a bit of reconnaissance or like refuelling maybe? Sorry we can't really do more than that."
Social Democrats: "You want us to make an actual contribution here? That's going to put us in a really awkward spot because we like shouting peace over and over again but we also want to be seen as responsible. We'll drag it out and agree to the least meaningful option possible."
Read 7 tweets
23 Mar
The Suez Canal, one of the most important shipping lanes in the world, is reportedly blocked because someone accidentally got stuck with their giant container ship. The photo is unreal. Image
📷: @fallenhearts17 on Instagram
I can't stop looking at this Image
Read 5 tweets
23 Mar
For what it's worth, I'm convinced things in Germany would be much worse without Merkel. As Chancellor she has overall responsibility for government policy but if she hadn't pushed state leaders as hard as she did the pandemic would be totally out of control
In Germany's federal system, the Chancellor has little real power in the states so Merkel has consistently tried to convince state leaders to take the pandemic more seriously. That's been a real struggle for months
State leaders are more concerned with local interests (like opening holiday homes in coastal states) than presenting unified policies that would help the country as a whole. In addition, Merkel's word carries less weight because everyone knows she's on her way out
Read 6 tweets

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