Germany’s First Green State Governor

Slowly but surely, Green politicians are making their way into power. I remember back in 1998 when Joschka Fischer became the first Green minister in the German federal government after his party joined forces with the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in a coalition government.

Now, the Greens in Germany have made a huge stride forward with a win in the state elections in Baden-Württemberg. According to an article in Der Spiegel, “the Greens doubled their share of the vote to 24.2 percent.” While the Christian Democratic Union (the conservative party) had the highest proportion of votes (39%), the Green Party was able to band together with the SPD (which had 23.1% of the vote), to form the government. This gives Germany its first ever Green state governor.

Winifried Kretschmann, a 62-year-old Catholic married father of three children, is set to become Germany’s first Green state governor. According to an article in Deutsche Welle, he claims that his interest in being involved with the Green party came from his love of nature.

Some say the Green’s success in this election was a direct result of heightened concerns about the safety of nuclear power following the earthquake in Japan. Others, however, say that the Green Party’s success in this election is the result of an ongoing shift in the political landscape in Germany that has directly benefitted the Greens.

Can this green trend catch on in other countries too?

Related posts:

Germany Closes 7 Aging Nuclear Plants as EU Calls for Nuclear Plant Stress Tests

123 Tons of Nuclear Waste Enter Germany

Germany Set to End Mandatory Army or Civil Service

Annie blogs about the art and science of parenting at the PhD in Parenting blog.

Photo credit: GRÜNE Baden-Württemberg on flickr


W. C
W. C3 months ago


William C
William C3 months ago

Thank you.

Hartson Doak
Hartson Doak6 years ago

When the moribund political system in the US finally collapses. It will be groups like the Green party that will have to replaced the corporation partys that exist today.

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L6 years ago

Unfortunately in the USA a vote for the Green Party or any other party other than Democrats is a vote give to Republicans. I wish it wasn't so but it is. I am not thrilled with the Democrats but I will keep voting Democratic until it won't be a wasted vote otherwise.

Lynn C.
Lynn C6 years ago

They have such a penchant for doing things right. Hope it spreads!

Rainer L.
Rainer L.6 years ago

Now part 2:

4. The Stuttgart21 railroad project that will bring no real advantages against the terminal of today. It is expensive and the rail network urgently needs the resources wasted for Stuttgart21. All these urgent tasks just to keep a lot of regional lines running are postponed.

5. The undecided SPD
Really nobody knows what the SPD is for.

So, I do not think the Green party will repeat this great result. in 2016. But from last Sunday on, the Green party is finally a part of "the establishment".

Nancy R.
Nancy R6 years ago

I lived in Germany when the Greens were starting out in the 80s. Apart from their supporters they weren't taken very seriously, by German standards (they take just about everything seriously). Their partnership with the SPD in the 90s brought about the policy of gradually closing down the nuclear industry in Germany. Now they have the leadership role in another coalition with the SPD, and in a major German state. In political time their progress has been quite fast.

The Greens have based their platform on environmental issues. This puts them in a different category than parties in other countries that do not separate environmental activism from a range of progressive issues. Never the less...

Whether as a political party or an activist group or network, green politics has gained credibility since the 80s, and continues to do so.

Power to the Greens!

Rita Flynn
Rita Odessa6 years ago

Unfortunately in Canada the way votes are counted I basically throw away my vote when I vote for Green, however I will continue. I am glad they are being recognized I think this world needs a shake up and maybe someday this will come to pass. Unfortunately like many above not too soon because this world is too corrupt.

Rainer L.
Rainer L.6 years ago

I'm a resident of Stuttgart, the Capital of Baden- Württemberg, where Winfried Kretschmann will be the governor for the next 5 years. Baden- Württemberg is the conservative homeland of Germany. There are at least five reasons for this amazing success.

1st What is Conservative?
For more than 50 years, the conservative party was able to connect being "structural and valuable" conservative. The last two governors were unable to do that. They neglected the conservative values by at least two big scandalous cases of corruption. Stefan Mappus, the last Conservative governor, even changed a law to make this legal. This scared especially the older people- but there is no other place for Conservative people. A lot of them did not vote, and the rest voted green - to conserve nature. And Winfried Kretschmann is one of the few Conservative greens. He would NEVER work together with the "Linke", the successor of the communist party of the GDR.

2nd: The nuclear desaster in Japan
the greens were born by the "Anti-Nukes", and irreveribly associated with the "no nuke" movements.

3rd: The person of the last governor.
He is the mostly disliked governors of all 15 German states. Even some members in his own party did not want him. He was never elected for Governor, he herited the job from Öttinger, who left the state for European Union. Some peole say Öttinger just found the right time to run away from the desaster of his party :-) .

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Kent Magner
Kent Magner6 years ago

Alan B - I totally agree. The Demo - Publicans are the left and right wings of the same party: The Big Business Party. A Parliamentary system makes so much sense because a small party can form a coalition with another party to form a government. Here in the USA a third party tends to take away from the major party closest to them.