The conclusion is clear for a country sometimes lost in its own metaphysical fog. In the first elections of the Merkel era without Merkel, the German chancellor has ended up winning even though her Christian Democratic party has obtained the worst results since World War II. In the end, the candidate with the most similarity to the woman prevailed who has given the great political lesson of the 21st century: the courage to do the right thing even if it is unpopular.
In this electoral contest of similarities, the Social Democrat Olaf Scholz has ended up prevailing precisely because he has offered the highest degree of continuity with respect to the last 16 years in Germany. He started the campaign in third position and has ended up beating
by 1.5% to his rival from the CDU, Armin Laschet. In this sense, the SPD Finance Minister has recreated Merkel’s archetype better than anyone: stability, moderation, no trace of fuss, boring manager, fiscal conservative but with values.
Scholz has even posed with the characteristic Merkelian ‘diamond’ as a nod of confidence to a country that, like the rest of the world, faces large doses of uncertainty and anxiety. And incidentally, it has managed to reverse the erosion experienced by social democracy throughout Europe. However, the tight result anticipates that for a definitive Auf Wiedersehen we will have to wait months and perhaps the traditional New Year’s speech, Merkel will have to give it again.
The more variable geometry than ever of a new government is going to require for the first time a three-way agreement, which will most likely include the Greens and the liberals of the FPD. The great unknown is whether the new executive will be structured towards the center-left or the center-right, since Laschet insists on forming a coalition “from the center of the Bundestag.” In the particular case of Germany, it should not be forgotten that it is a democracy in permanent search for consensus.