Why is the Malaysian government so incompetent

240 days grand coalition
Merkel's government is incapable of political change

This article first appeared on t-online.

Education, digitization, unaffordable rents - the problems facing the grand coalition are many and varied. But the government lacks political will. Your record is devastating.

The Duden explains "turning point" quite simply as "the end of an epoch or era and the beginning of a new time". After more than four months of a grand coalition, there is little sign of the beginning of a new era. On the other hand, it is all the more clear how the grand coalition has changed the country. Who could have imagined that a year ago when the new Bundestag met.

When Angela Merkel won the Bundestag election with the CDU over a year ago, a dull election campaign was behind her. Not even the dramatic national challenges of demographic change, housing shortages, social cohesion, economic modernization and integration policy played a major role in the 2017 election campaign. Shaping Europe and assuming European responsibility in the world, in times of Trump and Brexit: Even that was hardly debated or arguing.

Today one can only take stock: Political passion only arises in political sabotage. Like the tinkerers, the Union fights with each other or the Union and the SPD with each other.

Blind to real problems

While the country is doing excellently economically at the moment, the next economic dip threatens to fly out of the curve. The digitization of education and administration: nonexistent. Education policy that creates opportunities and ends exclusion: lost in the thicket of interests and countries. A security policy that revises the security architecture and strengthens civil rights: is dismissed as supposedly left-liberal chatter. Affordable rents and home ownership, even the question of how the state can create incentives for property creation? If the citizens are burning on the nails, this should be answered with a rent brake and of course without a tax cut. The state is swimming in money, but does not even create the right incentives for investment. In general, the future of transport, it seems to revolve solely around the question of diesel.

Europe must set the tone

But the world keeps turning. The last few weeks and days show that international politics is moving more and more into crisis. The US announcement that it will terminate the all-important INF nuclear disarmament treaty threatens to set in motion an armament spiral after more than 30 years. In the end, the chaotic Brexit negotiations can also damage the Europeans on the continent, as relations in the European Union are so closely knitted. And the Saudi Arabian scandal surrounding the murder of Jamal Khashoggi shows that a value-based foreign policy must emanate from Europe.

Confidence in the two major popular parties may be irrevocably lost because they do not take these worries and needs seriously enough.

Sure, the situation for the Union is comfortable in relation to the situation of the SPD. But it was always both large popular parties that managed to moderate social conflicts and organize dialogue well in advance of government action.

So if you now take stock of the government's actions by the grand coalition, you cannot ignore the analysis that the political landscape is changing. And this change did not fall from the sky, as CSU Prime Minister Söder hypocritically declared after the election. It is the result of political action and a lack of political responsibility.

Without answers to questions about the turning point

Change in and of itself doesn't have to be bad. Only the strengthening of the right-wing populist AfD shows that the change in politics, economy and society leaves large parts of the citizenry on the sidelines in frustration. But that is exactly what it will be about in the next few years: How do we strengthen our democracy? How does what can be described as good governance come about again? And how do we manage to reduce the division and polarization of society below and above, left and right?

The Merkel government offers no answers to any of this. Because she doesn't even ask those questions.