vor a week ago, the television session “Fastnacht in Franconia” took place – an indicator of the situation in Bavarian politics. Hubert Aiwanger, head of the Free Voters and deputy prime minister, did not fare well at all. The music cabaret artist Matthias Waltz asked in a song why Prime Minister Markus Söder didn't throw Aiwanger out despite the affair surrounding the “dirty leaflet” and immediately gave the answer instead of Söder: “I look really good next to you, mine is next to you “All the beauty comes out… I’m a real star next to you, I almost seem likeable.”

The CSU leader, who had previously found it difficult to show emotion under his disguise as Reich Chancellor Bismarck, was now having a great time, two meters away from Aiwanger.

The scene well reflects the mood in the self-proclaimed “Bayern Coalition”. The CSU and the Free Voters agreed quickly and quite quietly on a coalition agreement in the fall – but no one cares about that anymore. This was recently demonstrated by a farce about an exceptional driving license for minors in the countryside: the CSU state parliamentary group included the project in a “resolution,” which prompted Florian Streibl, the Free Voters faction leader, to point out snidely that this was already in the coalition agreement .

“Existential concern”

The CSU is currently trying a lot to contain the free voters. There is an “existential concern” behind this, as Streibl says. If the new traffic light voting law lasts until the next federal election, then it could be that the CSU will no longer be in the Bundestag if it remains below five percent across Germany. The danger threatens not least from the Free Voters. Their declared goal is to gain a foothold in Berlin. That only works if they steal massive amounts of votes from the CSU.

From the CSU's point of view, the Free Voters have sent uncomfortable people into the cabinet: Digital Minister Fabian Mehring, who learned from Wüstenfuchs Rommel or, even more likely, from Markus Söder how to make a lot of noise with just a few troops. Added to this is the new Minister of Education, Anna Stolz, who recently indicated that she sees herself as more than just an executor of Söder's ideas.

Among party friends: Hubert Aiwanger, Fabian Mehring and Thorsten Glauber at the inaugural meeting of the Bavarian state parliament

Among party friends: Hubert Aiwanger, Fabian Mehring and Thorsten Glauber at the inaugural meeting of the Bavarian state parliament

Image: dpa

At the CSU we are watching this like a hawk. But the mood shouldn't get too bad. Therefore, the focus is on by far the most important free voter: Hubert Aiwanger. It offers a lot of attack surface. He likes to pretend that he doesn't belong to the political class at all, and he does so sometimes in a conspiratorial tone that makes a mockery of his claim to be a tool of common sense.

Last weekend in Regensburg, at one of the numerous farmers' and middle-class demonstrations he recently attended, he claimed that there were “people in the system” who “want the small village inns to close because they say, I don't want to do it anymore.” “It's not that there's a group of regulars sitting together who are politicizing with each other, but I want to tell them what they have to think through other channels.” What he recently said about cycle paths in Peru, for which “hundreds of millions from Germany” would be paid, was at a similar level. In fact, the subsidy is 44 million.

The CSU is indignant, but just enough so that it doesn't immediately accept the objection: Why are you actually in a coalition with him? Because you're not much different than him? Or even: because you would like to be like him?

Streibl, after all the son of a former CSU Prime Minister, says: “If the CSU had someone like Hubert, then he would be at every farmer's demonstration, that's as certain as Amen in church.” CSU General Secretary Martin Huber is Although he's not an Aiwanger, he didn't miss the Peruvian cycle paths either.