The Daily Bork

July 13, 2005

Blowing in the wind

Seems that global warming will wilt your veges...

The Greens Are Wilting

Ouch. As if overnight, the Greens have turned from the darlings of the German establishment to emblems of what ails the country. goodbye eco-freaks, the Financial Times Deutschland headlined last week, predicting the advent of a long conservative era. With their neglect of hard-hitting economic issues, the Greens have turned themselves into "the feel-good party of the urban academic milieu," sneered even Berlin's Tageszeitung, a historically leftist paper. Critics see Fischer's visa scandal as the embodiment of what's wrong with the Greens: do-good policies—in this case, opening Germany's borders in the name of "multiculturalism"—paired with an arrogant disregard for the cost to the country. A similarly high-minded policy to subsidize wind power has drawn protests from citizens angry about thousands of giant wind turbines that now sully once pristine landscapes. Even Schröder has lashed out at his erstwhile political allies, suggesting in a recent interview in the weekly Die Zeit that sharing power might have been a mistake.

Young Germans who grew up in the economically insecure 1990s, he says, worry about jobs and education, not the second-tier issues with which the Greens are identified. Already, says Klein, Green voters are concentrated in the 40-to-49 age bracket, while young voters are increasingly flocking to conservative and liberal-democratic parties. "The Greens are a one-generation project," says Klein. "Their core voters will just die out."


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