On the Results of the Federal Election in Germany in 2021
1. This election was a dramatic defeat for DIE LINKE. We are aware that primarily we are carrying the responsibility for that. Even though some factors were beyond our control, we need to ask ourselves basic questions. Questions about our mistakes, questions about our social function and profile, questions about our idea of a free, democratic, socialist society.
2. We would like to thank the many thousands of activists who carried our election campaign. Our thanks also go to Gesine Lötzsch, Gregor Gysi and Sören Pellmann, who with their direct mandates ensured that we were able to re-enter the parliament (Bundestag) despite the disastrous result. Over the next few months, we will examine the causes of the defeat together with the party’s base in order to learn from the mistakes, but also to learn from good examples. We are happy about the 2,800 new members we won during the election campaign and afterwards.
3. A deeper cause lies in the structural problems of our party in both parts of Germany - the East (region of former GDR) and the West. We have significantly lost our roots in the past few years and were not able to win enough new members. The election has shown that we have lost everywhere – with only a few exceptions. For this reason, building up the party and anchoring it in local politics must be a high priority in the near future. We need to pay special attention to engaging new members.
4. Even though the reasons of the results are diverse, the defeat is also the result of the fact that internal conflicts of the party were discussed in public in the recent years. This was accompanied by a contradictory communication on key issues of our time, despite clear programs and resolutions by the party executive and party congresses. This must change. A fresh start must therefore aim to ensure better coordination between party and parliamentary group as well as within the parliamentary group. The new parliamentary group and its executive have a great responsibility to act as one, based on the electoral program.
5. The new government bears a great responsibility for the future of the people in this country, in Europe and in the world. Our yardstick for a different, forward-looking policy is clear: affordable rents, protection against poverty in old age, fair distribution of wealth, decisive steps against the care crisis, for disarmament and a peaceful foreign policy, socially just and consistent climate protection, anti-fascism and anti-racism as well as gender equality. No matter who will form the next government - we as opposition will put pressure to ensure that the costs of the corona crisis, the climate catastrophe and the restructuring of industry are not passed on to the employees and the majority of the population. We will struggle for all this in cooperation with social and climate movements and trade unions. In the interests of the millions of people who are left behind by the new government. We will pursue a consistent opposition policy and point out left alternatives.
6. We will immediately take the following steps:
- A prompt meeting of the Party Executive Committee with the parliamentary group, where the consequences of the result for the joint work and the work of the group will be discussed and joint action will be derived. This must lead to a permanent and closer link between the Party Executive Committee and the parliamentary group.
- We seek dialogue within the party and with allies, as well as with actors from civil society, NGOs and trade unions. We also want to listen to the voters. We do not only want to ask, “Why did you vote for us?” but also “Why didn`t you vote for us (anymore)?” We want to continue our door-to-door conversations. Within the party, we seek dialogue, e.g. through regional conferences, telephone campaigns with our members and visits by members of the Party Executive Committee to district associations.
- Taking into view a new federal government, the upheaval in the party system and the erosion of the popular parties, the Party Executive Committee will present a proposal for a strategic orientation for DIE LINKE.
- In coordination with the Land associations, a concept to strengthen the party locally and to integrate the many new members who joined the party, especially after the federal election, will be developed.
- The Party Executive Committee initiates a process of dialogue to further develop content, like a new departure in Eastern-Germany, the socio-ecological restructuring of the economy and infrastructure, peaceful foreign policy and internationalism based on solidarity.
- The engagement for climate justice is one of our central policy fields. We do not assume that the measures taken by the coming federal government will be suitable for dealing with the climate catastrophe appropriately. That is why we will immediately set up a working group “Social-ecological restructuring and climate justice”, which consists of members of the Party Executive Committee and the parliamentary group. We will put pressure at an early stage on the coalition negotiations and further expand our expertise in the area of climate (e.g. plan to meet the Paris climate targets).