German Election Conspiracy Theories

Something very much in the air among right-of-center German political elites that I haven’t seen much represented in the (scant) American coverage of the German election campaign is the idea that Angela Merkel is only pretending to want to ditch the Grand Coalition in favor of a center-right coalition with the Free Democrats:


This line of thought has it that basically a grand coalition is the best possible outcome for her, since it lets her avoid the pressure to enact controversial economic reforms that could prove unpopular. But it’s not tenable for a CDU leader to say that she prefers a grand coalition, lest she wind up ousted by true believing colleagues.