Political ash wednesday 2018: the governing parties

Andreas Scheuer. Image: CSU. Screenshot: TP

Scheuer and Soder go easy on the SPD, whose beer tent visitors are GroKo skeptical

Political Ash Wednesday is a tradition started by the Bavarian Farmers’ League – a party skeptical of both the Catholic Center and the Social Democrats – after World War I. They used the fact that many farmers were meeting that day for the cattle market in Vilshofen, Lower Bavaria, for political speeches. The content and form of these speeches to peasants and horse-servants had to be different from those to urban elites, because the audience was often drunk and did not like to be bored with pathos.

After the Second World War, first the Bavarian Party took up this tradition. It was followed in 1953 by the CSU, which made the event a nationally registered media event, above all through the entertaining speeches of Franz Josef Straub. The other parties gradually jumped on the bandwagon from 1965 onwards, imitating the event in various cities.

Seehofer reports sick

The CSU is now holding Ash Wednesday in Passau because of the large crowds. The outgoing Bavarian Minister President Horst Seehofer was supposed to speak there today, but he cancelled yesterday. Officially, the reason given was the flu – but social media are speculating whether the cancellation could also have something to do with a Civey poll published yesterday for the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper, according to which 62.6 percent of Bavarian voters would like to see him leave politics altogether. That he should become the new Federal Minister of the Interior, buried only 24.3 percent of respondents.

Seehofer was replaced by his designated successor Markus Soder and CSU Secretary General Andreas Scheuer, who had a home game in Passau, in which he also used old sayings like "the socialist is not stupid – he just has a lot of bad luck with his thinking" SUBMITTED. Overall, however, he treated the Social Democrats, whose members still have to agree to the grand coalition, rather cautiously and, on the other hand, divided against the opposition parties FDP ("flag-waving party of Germany") and Grune from ("Tofu preach, but then come fast to the fodder and meat pots").

Markus Soder, who was the keynote speaker after Seehofer’s sick leave, also treated the Social Democrats rather gently ("I am annoyed that in Germany we only talk about the SPD") and rather focused on the competition from the AfD: Who "conservative politics" Nurnberger says that if he wants to vote for the CSU, he has to vote for the AfD "In the end, only a weak SPD in the government". In addition, he advertised with slogans like "Political correctness has a break in Passau" and "Burkas are not a fashion accessory, but a rejection of our society" to the voters of the alternatives, who had done better in the federal election in September in Lower Bavaria than anywhere else in western Germany.

Markus Soder. Picture: CSU. Screenshot: TP

Scholz in the SPD beer tent

At its Ash Wednesday event in a not quite full beer tent in Vilshofen, the SPD loved to hear its top Bavarian candidate Natascha Kohnen speak, along with Olaf Scholz, who has been acting chairman since yesterday. Kohnen focused on Soder’s credibility problem and her election program. Scholz buried the audience with "Good morning" and said that things are actually going "well for our country". Then he warned against Donald Trump and the Brexit and promoted all-day schools, Emmanuel Macron’s European plans, more police officers and a renewed grand coalition.

The SPD speakers. Picture: SPD. Screenshot: TP

The viewers, who will be interviewed by reporters from the television station Phoenix were questioned in the SPD beer tent, both GroKo and Nahles were predominantly skeptical ("too shrill"). Several times it was expressed that the entire leadership team should be replaced because it is no longer trusted to enforce the promises in the coalition agreement.

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