This article was pitched to the Luxembourg Times in early December and rejected.
CSV (Christian-Social People’s Party) parliament group leader Claude Wiseler went on Radio 100,7 and gave an interview following lost opportunity of his party to participate in a government coalition. As DP, LSAP and “déi Gréng” are kick-starting the sequel to the previous coalition, the CSV has been the cast-out child on the playground.
The party must have looked very odd to its own supporters in the past weeks: following the election result, the party communicated that personnel changes needed to be made, then backtracked when it believed that there might be a way of negotiating with one of the other three parties. Then, soon after it became clear that the three parties were not considering the CSV, Wiseler’s team went on the offensive, quizzing the foreign minister on Brexit and Economy minister Etienne Schneider on the U.S company Planetary Resources. Within a short amount of time, the CSV looked like it was simultaneously begging for participation in government, passive-aggressive about its election result, and a hard-core opposition party. Coherent leadership is clearly missing.
Martine Hansen is counted as the likely successor of Claude Wiseler as group leader in parliament. Frank Engel MEP is rumoured as one of the potential successors of Marc Spautz as party chairman. Both of those appointments would radicalise the party, at least in tone. Both politicians are known for their radical tones, and would change the way the CSV communicates. Claude Wiseler himself admitted in his radio interview that he acted conciliatory during the election, and is not someone who wants to go on the attack. “That is the way I want to lead a campaign”, he told public radio.
Radicalising the party is what is likely to boost the popularity of the CSV. It can do that particularly by becoming more fiscally conservative and challenging the economic track record of the coalition. Many of the parties inside the European People’s Party (EPP), the CSV’s European political party, are showing that fiscal conservatism is a key to success in a post-recession environment, where are people likely to be (rightfully) sceptical of government over-spending and over-taxing. With both socialists and environmentalists in government, pushing for more welfare spending and labour regulations, the CSV could become the voice of reasonable pro-marketeers.
Or it could of course continue on the track of the past five years, by remaining the “nice guys” in opposition. You could say it’s a matter of faith.
Pictures are Creative Commons.
Thanks for liking and sharing!