Life Without Merkel

By Ben Wynd

Angela Merkel has been Chancellor of Germany since 2005, making a whole generation of Germans unable to imagine a world where she is not their leader. She generates sky-high approval numbers, which is why she has won reelection, even as society has changed so rapidly. On October 19th, 2018, Merkel chose not to run for leader of her party(the Christian Democratic Union), and announced that she would remain Chancellor until the 2021 federal election. In January, the Christian Democratic Union held a leadership election to determine who would succeed as leader of the party. The election was messy, with the three candidates all having starkly different ideologies within the party. Armin Laschet won the leadership election, however, the drama involved speaks to Merkel’s abilities. She was able to remain a popular leader, solve the problems of the day, and didn’t face any serious opposition within her party during her time in office. Laschet is seen as most likely to become the next Chancellor of Germany, but he has gigantic shoes to fill. Merkel is seen as the leader of the free world, and whoever replaces her has a large legacy to uphold.