Politics in times of corona: harmony instead of opposition

There is seldom unity between the government and the opposition in Corona times. The government makes – large parts of the opposition praise. The question remains – how long?

By Janina Luckoff, ARD capital studio

What is opposition? In the Duden dictionary it says: "Opposition: party [s], group [s] whose members reject the politics of the ruling party [s], group [s]."

So the opposition is usually not good at talking to the federal government – and vice versa. However, since the corona pandemic has spread, there has been an unprecedented agreement between the parties.

Control task still in view?

The other day in the Bundestag, during question time with the Federal Minister of Health, this scene occurred: The Green MP Kirsten Kappert-Gonther introduced her question with praise: "Well, I think that you and the RKI (Robert Koch Institute) in Proceed very well and prudently to the entire corona situation. " The CDU Minister Jens Spahn replied: "Ms. colleague, first of all thank you – and I would also like to give a thank you back to the whole house …"

So much harmony was rare – and that should give the opposition pause for thought. Because their job is to control the governing parties.

Solidarity instead of criticism

But with some opposition parties that plays in the face of Corona crisis currently a subordinate role. The FDP chairman Christian Lindner said it was the wrong time for criticism. "Now the country has to cope with this crisis first – and in a way that we can still recognize it afterwards. That is why we do not distribute censorships, but make suggestions as to how the government may not have seen things in crisis management or where there are alternatives Could give suggestions ", so Lindner.

That sounded even more euphoric with Greens boss Robert Habeck. After Chancellor Angela Merkel’s televised address, Habeck was full of praise: "That was good and right and important." He liked Merkel’s calm and precise tone and said: "She has shown responsibility, has taken responsibility and has taken responsibility."

Habeck also made it clear: The Greens are not opposition everywhere: "If we are opposition, for example in the Bundestag, we already see ourselves as part of the national responsibility structure that we currently have. But we have a health minister, finance minister, we have economics minister , We have a prime minister, we have all the local politicians – we are part of the implementation of the fight against the corona crisis. "

Green parliamentary group leader Anton Hofreiter did not put it quite so philosophically, but said the same: "The question is: Are we doing the right thing now? How can we provide constructive support? It now depends on overcoming this crisis in solidarity."

Disagreement in the AfD

While the Greens speak with one voice, the AfD is divided on how much or little opposition is needed these days: Deputy AfD spokesman Stephan Brandtner emphasized in a press release how constructive and creative the cooperation in the Bundestag and many state and local parliaments works . Literally he wrote: "For the good of the country, we at the AfD are postponing political arguments in this hitherto unique crisis. Everyone should pull together."

His colleague Beatrix von Storch, on the other hand, is still in attack mode. She accused Chancellor Merkel of inaction: "It’s like 2015. The Chancellor is at first inactive, which increases the crisis enormously. Then she appeals to the citizens’ willingness to make sacrifices, and she has no plan for the time after that."

No praise from the left

So far, few conciliatory words have come from the left either. Party leader Bernd Riexinger said: "We will experience major economic turmoil in the next few weeks and months – action must be taken. Appeals alone are not enough."

These are exceptional times, also and especially in political Berlin. The fact that the opposition does not always speak well to the federal government – that should and should be the case again after the Corona crisis at the latest.