The year is still young, but there are already some insights, some frightening ones. For example, there is the traditionally complicated relationship between politics and trust. It has been reliably in the “difficult” status for years, but now surveys show a new peak of resignation.
Only just over 30 percent of Germans trust the chancellor and the government. In the Germany trend, not a single politician achieves 50 percent popularity, most significantly less. And one in five said they had doubts about the political system, about democracy as such.
It's not new: Democracy is exhausting. In theory noble and liberal, in practice endless discussions, compromises, official procedures. And maybe it's true after decades of being so spoiled by freedom and security that many citizens are no longer aware of the fact that in a democratic society it also depends on the contribution of each individual that it works. But when more and more people turn away in frustration, it's more than a red flag.
Does it have to surprise you? In any case, the past year was not confidence-inspiring. After the announcement of a turning point in defense policy, nothing happened for a very long time, except: excuses. A defense minister with a series of breakdowns (popularity: 13 percent), the chancellor remained satisfied. An eternal back and forth in energy policy.
Violence and fireworks escalate on New Year's Eve. Which was predictable, it's not the first time it's happened. Which perpetrators, which quarters, everything as usual. The reaction also: responsible politicians announce that they want to hold a debate. However, this has been going on for decades.
Action sometimes takes time in democracies. What works immediately: take responsibility, face the mistakes. Ideally honest and transparent. This strengthens trust in politics. And in democracy.