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Gesine Schwan, presidential candidate of the SPD: "The SPD is kept away from sensitive issues" – Politics

Ms. Schwan, do you really want to form a dual SPD leader with the director of Juso, Kevin Kühnert – or do you intend to use your candidacy to persuade others to apply?
Neither one nor the other. But I would find it humiliating if, for weeks, no one was going to compete for this leading position. I could have imagined that Malu Dreyer, as presidential president, would bring our party back for a few years. But she absolutely does not want to. That's why I decided to run for a job. I do not have enemies in the SPD today.
But you said you could imagine forming a double summit with Kevin Kühnert …
I appreciate it for his work. I also know that some people find it very bad: a 76-year-old scientist and a 29-year-old Juso boss. But I also said that I suspect that he will not postulate.
You go in public without talking to him?
I talked to him. But what he said, you have to ask him yourself. I do not think Kevin Kühnert and I formed a duo of candidates.
Then you want to compete alone or with another co-applicant?
I would like to run if there is enough support. Incidentally, I think it would be good that, beside the two party leaders, a larger team be formed. For Andrea Nahles, Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz did not seem to have many familiar interlocutors. One person can not handle this task at all.
What do you want to accomplish as president?
In any case, integration does not succeed through a mixture of positions. This is a more effective understanding of the content in the party. In internal party communications, it is not enough to respond quickly to current challenges. We need to work together on our longer-term goals to get closer and communicate more with different groups more externally. This will allow us to make a recovery.
Do you want a more intellectual SPD?
Be that as it may, a much more analytical party is finally concerned about long-term prospects. From me, you can also call it "visions". It is a matter of knowing if we can imagine a better society than the one we live in – a society with more joy and democracy, where we feel more at home.
They deplore the treatment of the SPD by Andrea Nahles before their resignation. Did not the party leaders always live in tension with the base and with each other?
Herbert Wehner, Willy Brandt and Helmut Schmidt also experienced many tensions. But it combined a sense of common duty and a common idea of ​​the tasks of the SPD, so that the public dispute was limited. It was different with Andrea Nahles. There were snipers inside and out who had no limits.
The Greens have far exceeded the SPD in investigations. Should social democracy be ready to work under a green chancellor or a green chancellor in a government?
Yes, but it would be very difficult for many veteran comrades. Once, Gerhard Schröder once wanted to annoy the Greens with the saying of the cook and the waiter. Many greens still remember it very well. As a party leader, I would fight to make us stronger, but I think the Greens are important. I am concerned about a change in European, climate, economic and refugee policies.
What should change in climate policy, why does it need a policy change?
Social democracy must take the equity aspect of climate change seriously and concretely define it. It is also cultural and psychological factors. I am currently working with the Federal Ministry of the Environment on a project in Lusatia where we wish to address the cultural dimension of the transformation with the inhabitants of the region, especially the artists.
Why this?
The people of Lusatia were very proud to have provided energy to large parts of the GDR. What happens to this pride when they are now considered only as an aviator? It is difficult for the inhabitants of the region. The SPD must try to make a new start possible through democratic participation. It is not only about costs, it is also about giving participants in the transformation opportunities to decide and conceive themselves.
And why does policy change in refugee policy need it?
From the beginning, the SPD should have systematically declared in its refugee policy that justice should be done. I can not send refugees to a society in which 20% of the population feels materially or culturally detached without asking the question of justice. It is quite normal for such people to be afraid of new competition in the housing market, even if there is already a shortage.
What does your solution look like?
I propose to regulate the reception of refugees at the level of the municipalities and to make the co-decision of the people. The same expenses incurred by refugees will also be spent on other residents of these communities. It creates justice.
Why has the SPD not resumed their suggestion?
The head of the SPD has always been reluctant to tackle sensitive issues. That was part of the problem. I think we have to do it again.
Would you also be in touch with the voters of the AfD?
I would like to talk to AfD voters at any time. Since I have no problem. In my belief, they are all children of God – I have to face that.
Was it wrong when the Protestant Kirchentag unloaded the AfD?
I would not have dumped the AfD Kirchentag. I would have immediately discussed with their representatives and explained what I thought was dangerous. However, with the exception of Alexander Gauland. I've too often experienced that you can not trade arguments with him.
Will the grand coalition survive the SPD convention in December?
These are speculations that I find completely unimportant.
Does the SPD still need a candidate for chancellor with twelve percent?
There is no reason to ask this question yet.