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Parties to Voters In melee with the doubt

The SPD group in the Bundestag goes on a bus tour. Since this week we visit the market places in many cities of the Republic. We want to listen to and about our policy. Also the fatal impression which has many solidified: that the Federal policy takes place in a bubble and the problems on the spot.

agree with this impression at all? To say it clear: I think it is wrong. Berlin is not Paris or London, where the political class is recruited mainly from the graduates of the Elite universities. The vast majority of the Bundestag members to make a dedicated constituency work, operating, in part, to several public offices.

And who look at the agendas of the Bundestag, will find that the Parliament is not only legislative texts to be negotiated, but also burn many people acute under the nails: the threat of driving bans, the return of the wolf, the questions of rent explosion or migration. This is not lifted, this is a realistic and down-to-earth.

And yet, many people feel that the policy is no longer guided by principles, and public benefit oriented. The loss of credibility concerns first and foremost the politicians themselves. In polls on trust in different professional groups, they regularly end up in last place – even behind insurance representatives. Only 14 percent say that have confidence in politicians.

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even More: Many people no longer believe that democracy is the best form of government. The Institute "Pew Research", according to 44 percent of Germans, it would be good, if not elected members, but experts would decide. And the Federal Statistical office has determined that 41 percent are dissatisfied with the Functioning of our democracy.

example Upload-Filter: period of dispute, instead of searching for a solution

In the fragmented "society of singularities" (Andreas Reckwitz) has the willingness to follow the arguments of the political side and to accept compromises, noticeably decreased. The most recent example is the dispute about the so-called Upload-Filter: Two camps have dug deep in their trenches and denigrate each other, instead of looking for ways that can all go together. This is not a fire hazard. Trust, compromise and Dialogue are the lubricating oil of a functioning democracy.

What happens when a rational political discussion is no longer possible, we can observe these days in the UK. The ideological hardening between "Remainern" and "Brexiteers" are so strong that at the end of the No-deal-Brexit could, although only a minority prefers. We still have no British or French relationships, but there is a tendency in this country.

Carsten Schneider, the Parliamentary Manager of the SPD.Photo: Kay Nietfeld/dpa

The discomfort of the democracy is strengthened by a development that the Europe-wide: the rise of right-wing populism. Like all populist parties, the AfD is an Anti-Establishment movement. Recently, party leader Alexander Gauland, in the FAZ has made it clear where for him the enemy is A "globalized class". These seats in international companies, in addition, "in organizations such as the UN, the media, universities, NGOs, in the parties... and because you control the information, are they culturally and politically the clock". The AfD wants to get rid of this supposed Elite, and a different political System. Therefore, she speaks of the "roll-over", of "state radio", and the "abolish the party system".

opinion formation in a post-factual society is impossible

This Propaganda has also, therefore, on resonance, because the AfD takes advantage of the massive structural transformation of the Public sphere ice cold. The times, in which all of the same Newspapers have read, are over. Nowhere to spread news faster than social media, often unfiltered and without any journalistic review. More and more people seem to be ready to facts to hide and even to accept lies.

The Problem: Without a shared factual information a rational opinion-forming process is impossible. In a post-factual democracy, citizens are no longer able to assess the achievements and mistakes of policy lens. The easier it is to have a populist faction, with their false information to penetrate and democratic discourse to undermine it.

If our parliamentary democracy is to exist, then we all have to fight – citizens and representatives – for the preservation of a discourse-enabled community. To adopt sensible policies, is a necessary, but not sufficient.

There is also a new style of politics. The times, in which parties and politicians have explained to the people of the world are over. Visions for tomorrow can only be together with the citizens to develop: How do we cope with the structural change? How do we create well-paid jobs? How do we remain a country with a high quality of life and less poverty? On such questions, we need to talk urgently!

dispute over the sovereignty of interpretation in the network

Such discussions succeed by politicians, political groups and parties use social media better. Nowhere else can be quickly provided information and suggestions taken up. Also, there is a need for immediacy, the need to support the policy in the digital world. In addition, it is our task to uncover the Fake News and lies of the right-wing populists and right. The SPD establishes the requirement of a "Newsdesk". The dispute over the sovereignty of interpretation in the network has started.

However, invites the Internet to a stylish self-presentation, the proximity suggests, but creates distance. Therefore, and this is important: The digital world can add to the analogue world, but never replace. In a complex world, direct conversation is still the best way to get people on Board and to integrate and to strengthen the democracy.

Dei SPD bus tour is, in this context, perhaps only a small contribution. But it represents a further opportunity for democratic exchange of eye-to-eye. We need more of it. Therefore, the Chancellor's office should consider organising Cabinet retreats, or Associations of a conversation in the guest house of the Federal government to Schloss Meseberg, but also in a more generation house in Bottrop, Germany, or Weimar-West.

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fried hard Teuffel

Carsten Schneider is the first Parliamentary Secretary of the SPD group in the Bundestag.

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