All Enemies to the Right

We should appreciate German Chancellor Angela Merkel's honesty: she's willing to say explicitly that she'll tolerate no rightward drift of the CDU/CSU and is more eager to work with her left-wing coalition partners than build a conservative party.

From the Deutsche Welle:  

Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected calls for a political change of course to right for her Christian Democrat Party (CDU) on Sunday.

Angela Merkel, left, and Erika Steinbach

The chancellor told a meeting of the CDU's steering committee that such a move would go against the broad political tradition of the party.

"I will once again stress that we are a party with three roots. Liberal, Conservative and influenced by Christian ethics."

"None of these roots can be neglected," said Merkel.

Merkel was reacting to misgivings about the direction that the CDU is taking, with concerns that the party is not positioned sufficiently to the right on the political spectrum.

Disgruntled CDU member Erika Steinbach, who stood down from the national executive of the party on Thursday, has said there is room for a "new, really conservative party."

No room for radicalism

Merkel added that she saw herself in the tradition of never allowing a "party with a radical character" to exist to the right of the CDU and its Bavarian sister party the CSU.

Steinbach is head of Germany's Federation of Expellees, which represents ethnic Germans who fled eastern Europe at the end of the Second World War.

She resigned after a comment about Polish mobilization of troops ahead of the German invasion of the country, prompting accusations that she was trying to rewrite history.

Merkel's office defended her on Friday, saying that the statement had been distorted.

However, Steinbach called the present direction of the CDU into question on Saturday and threatened to leave. She also claimed a new right-wing protest party would easily exceed the 5 percent percentage of votes needed to enter parliament.

Horst Seehofer, leader of the CSU, has also expressed concern that conservative values are being abandoned.

It makes one wonder whether the primary function of the Christian Democratic Party was always to prevent the rise of a real traditionalist, right-wing alterantive. It makes one wonder...