Once upon a time there was a governing coalition that set out to establish a new style of politics: focused on the issue at hand, acting on an equal footing, and acting in unison despite party political differences. But like in the fairy tale of the emperor's new clothes, there's no hiding it: the traffic light is naked.
Even if Olaf Scholz still pretends that his government is wearing the magnificent robe of a common forward-looking policy, his economics minister and finance minister have shed their covers: they openly blame each other for the fact that government crisis policies are contradictory and often seem haphazard .
The most recent example is the gas levy – devised by Robert Habeck's Ministry of Economics, now doubted by Habeck, passed on to Christian Lindner's Ministry of Finance with an inspection order and pushed back to Habeck by Lindner as not requiring inspection.
The dissent between ministers, to put it mildly, is evident. Nevertheless, Scholz stands up and declares: "Both agree" and labels the gas surcharge as a joint government action.
Olaf Scholz started the election campaign with the promise to make "respect" the stipulation of his politics. As chancellor, his respect for the citizens dictates that he not take them for fools. The gas levy is poorly made, it is controversial in the coalition, constitutionally questionable, and the two most important ministers in the traffic light are anything but in agreement.
Resolving this conflict instead of glossing over it – that is what leadership is all about. Scholz had also promised that. Leadership is like respect: you have to show it.