Germany's New Beginning
Although Germany's fragmented federal election result has left a cloud of uncertainty about the next government, it also left the old consensus in favor of muddling through in tatters. A new generation recognizes the need for a carefully managed fresh start to confront the challenges of the twenty-first century.
BERLIN – Germany has voted, and its seemingly eternal chancellor, Angela Merkel, is finally stepping down after 16 years. In fact, that is the only certainty that the election has offered. Everything else remains ambiguous.
Unlike their neighbors on the left bank of the Rhine, the Germans are no revolutionaries. The latest federal election has proven that once again. Far-left and far-right parties have been further weakened.
Political stability and continuity are a near-essential constant for Germany, owing to its history, size, and location in the heart of Europe, and they are values that a majority of German citizens obviously hold dear. Had Merkel decided to run again, she almost certainly would have been re-elected.