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Andreas Kluth

I Expected More From German Democracy Than This Lame Election

Something’s wrong when an open race for a big election with huge issues produces only mediocrities.

Laschet, Baerbock, Scholz: And the winner is … mediocrity.

Laschet, Baerbock, Scholz: And the winner is … mediocrity.

Photographer: Christian Mang/Getty Images

The election is billed as epochal. The country in question is large, rich and important. The issues are huge. With these ingredients, you’d expect a high-minded clash of big ideas, wouldn’t you? A stark choice between competing answers to historic problems. A debate about the right direction for the coming generation.

Alas, Germany is instead snoozing toward its federal election on Sep. 26. So far, the campaign is not only underwhelming, banal and disappointing, it’s a disgrace for a self-respecting democracy.