She stands there in bright white and says, “Don’t be afraid.” She could also have said “Have no fear,” but that’s apparently meant to be a quote from the Bible when Annalena Baerbock wants to draw conservative voters to the Greens, and reassures her: “This climate revolution is about as much crazy that a loan deal for a construction company. ” Robert Habeck solicits with a serious face of understanding for the automobile manufacturer, the coalman, the peasant family.
The two green bosses set the tone in their weekend speeches – not just for the Federal Party’s digital convention and the new grassroots program, but for the year ahead. In the fall of 2021, the former protest party wants to return to government after 16 long years in opposition to the federal government, preferably also to the chancellery.
For this to work, CDU supporters must also be eligible for the federal government, and not just in certain countries. Even left-wing green Anton Hofreiter assures us by video message: “We are not demonizing the car, we are modernizing it.” The party congress also shows that the balance between the vision of a “socio-ecological turnaround” and the support of bourgeois voters is not easy. Shortly before the end, delegates vote against the will of the board of directors for “the orientation on the central idea of an unconditional basic income” – which shivers the backs of the Tories. Brief reality check: 18-20%, 17-19 percentage points behind the Union – it’s not as if the Greens already have one foot in the door of the Chancellery. But they want to look like this and next year they will attack the leading wolves of CDU and CSU like an underdog.
You’ve been talking about leadership and design for a long time. Now party leader Robert Habeck also talks about power. It’s a “yuck term” in the party, but it comes from “doing”, he says. “We are optimistically working on solutions. And for those solutions, we are fighting for power.” Something would have happened 40 years ago, when the Greens were founded in 1980. But Habeck and Baerbock gave the whole process the title: “New Times, New Answers”.
Almost nothing looks like this conference of federal delegates, as it is called in green jargon. No applause, cheers, or angry whispers, no delegates knitting in long rows of tables, no family reunion atmosphere. Rather than on a party conference stage, Baerbock and Habeck move into a sort of TV studio with a backdrop. In a retro seating area with a sofa, floor lamp, plant, and photos on the wall, two moderators fill in the pauses that arise during online voting – and presidents tell jokes shortly before midnight when technology goes on strike. If you want to cheer, send hearts and sunflowers in the live stream – it’s missing a symbol of displeasure. All the others are only connected via videos. The party convention gives a glimpse of living rooms, kitchens and office niches, in the picture are rainbow flags, children’s drawings and woodchip wallpaper. Sometimes the sound is missing, sometimes the image flickers, Jürgen Trittin has a mini fit of anger because he hears himself speaking late.
But at least the principle works: speech, counter-speech, vote, for three days. Parties that still have this to do with the corona pandemic will have a closer look this weekend. Although delegates do not have to travel, the party congress with its sophisticated technology costs more than the usual 500,000 to 600,000 euros, reports Federal Director General Michael Kellner. Intensive behind-the-scenes negotiation is also part of it, as at normal party congresses – on Saturday Baerbock still manages to avoid an open dispute, including the threat of defeat over climate protection ambition. The controversial NATO issue is resolved by compromise, as is a demand from green youth to the police. Otherwise, the party leadership can be generally satisfied. He wins most of the votes, including the triple farewell to the no-general to modern genetic engineering in agriculture.
At least when it comes to climate protection, however, it is evident that the conflict will continue. The Fridays for Future climate activist washes the head of the party and says: “You know what we are saying is right and of vital importance.” And then the Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann, said that not only good ideas are needed, but above all majorities, and that you can get them not only by referring to climate research.
It is no longer new that traditionally belligerent Greens prefer to resolve their conflicts internally and demonstrate unity with the outside world. Or deliberately organize conflicts – like when many celebrities clash on the subject of referendums at the federal level, Habeck with veteran Jürgen Trittin on the other hand, federal manager Michael Kellner and young Bavarian star Katharina Schulze for it. By the way, the Habeck / Trittin tandem wins, albeit to a limited extent, so the grassroots program now calls for citizens’ councils, but not referendums. (Dpa)