Germany held its first and only televised debate leading up to the general elections.
Current Chancellor Angela Merkel and her opponent Martin Schulz discussed matters ranging from the economy to immigration during the debate.
Angela Merkel is currently campaigning for a historic fourth term as German chancellor. She is however faced with stiff competition from Martin Schulz. He is a German politician and the chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). He was the President of the European Parliament from 2012 to 2017. In November 2016, he announced he would not seek a third term, but instead would stand in 2017 as the SPD candidate for the German Chancellorship.
Angela Merkel is a German politician and the Chancellor of Germany since 2005. She is also the leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). Merkel has been described as the de-facto leader of the European Union, the most powerful woman in the world, and the leader of the free world.
Some amount of Merkel’s popularity has been affected by her controversial decision to open Germany’s borders to immigrants and refugees. However, she has remained staunch in her belief that it was the right thing to do.
During the televised debate, the matter was once again brought up by her opponent, Schulz. He said that she should have worked with other European leaders to come up with a universal solution. However, Merkel defended herself by noting that she acted as a Chancellor should adding, “That is what being chancellor is about. You have to decide.”
The German debate proved that the two candidates had a lot in common in terms of policies. Unlike Presidential debates in the US, where the tone can often turn acrimonious, Merkel and Schulz struck a cordial note. Schulz and Merkel both marked their outrage at German car manufacturing companies currently embroiled in scandal regarding diesel emissions. They also agreed that Germany should become aggressive about Turkey. Recently, German citizens have been arrested in Turkey. Merkel and Schulz believe that it was politically motivated. Merkel said that she would urge EU leaders to suspend membership talks with Turkey.
According to a poll for the ARD television, the majority of the German public believed that Merkel had won the debate. About 55% of the respondents said that her performance was more convincing. Majority also believed that she was more competent and credible.
As we said before great leaders are those who are conscientious about doing the right thing and never succumbing to populous pressures. Our assessment is that Merkel is likely win a historic fourth term as the German Chancellor. She is seen as a reliable leader who is unafraid of making the tough decisions required to lead a nation. This will certainly work in her favor as the nation heads to the polls on September 24th, 2017.