Dhe new chairman of the Hessian FDP is blowing the horn of freedom. The fact that economist Bettina Stark-Watzinger is praising property, entrepreneurial spirit and private companies six months before the federal election is based on a strategic decision. The liberals believe that financial and economic policy will move into the center of German politics by the end of the pandemic at the latest. This is also the reason why the Rhineland-Palatinate Minister of Economics, Volker Wissing, was recently elected Secretary General of the federal party. The CDU has chosen not the entrepreneur friend Friedrich Merz, but the Merkel ally Armin Laschet at its head. This increases the chances for the Liberals to score points as an economic party. With the demand for “maximum freedom” there could still be something to be gained from the Union.
The key proposal to strengthen the financial center of Frankfurt was also on this line. It was said in all frankness that the new state chairman wanted to “connect with one content”. But does this particular topic really help her? One can doubt that many people are interested in the third corona wave. In addition, the multi-page paper can only be understood with relevant prior knowledge. For example, the FDP refrained from addressing broad layers of society from the outset. Instead, it focuses on a small economic elite. After all: this is a strategy.
Rock and early childhood education
However, the convention also made it clear at the weekend that there is still a second line of thought in the Hessian FDP. René Rock, the chairman of the parliamentary group, is more cautious when it comes to classic economically liberal issues. Early childhood education has long been close to his heart. In the pandemic, he repeatedly complains about the many deaths in old people’s and nursing homes.
If the FDP had the claim to be a people’s party, one would consider Stark-Watzinger and Rock as representatives of different wings that complement each other in terms of breadth. But the Liberals only target between five and ten percent of the electorate in elections. On this scale, clear and unambiguous positions promise greater success. At least that applies until the FDP proves the opposite.