The top three candidates conducted the discussion, moderated by Andreas Siswig-Holstein, editor-in-chief of NDR and Julia Stein, head of policy and research at NDR Schleswig-Holstein, without sharp attacks. The more forcefully Thomas Los Mueller attacked, the more Daniel Gunther reacted calmly. Monica Heinold was aggressive in the middle, but remained mostly realistic. The 75-minute debate on NDR TV focused on important regional political issues such as transportation, education, climate protection, economics and social affairs.
The tour opened with a discussion of the war against Ukraine and the question of what Schleswig-Holstein could do as a country so that people would not have to fear the use of nuclear weapons. “The most important thing we can do at all levels is to show unity. Europe must stand together, NATO must stand together. In Schleswig-Holstein we can help become independent of supplies from Russia. This is one of Schleswig-Holstein’s strengths – for example , when building the LNG terminal,” answers Daniel Gunther.
SPD candidate Thomas Los Mueller emphasized that peace politics always matter. “We are providing weapons. The chancellor is on the right track. We support Ukraine. But it has limits, and we don’t want to become a party to the war,” he said. Monica Heinold has made it clear that she wants to strengthen the Green Party’s foreign minister, Annalena Barbock. “It is on a very good track,” said the finance minister. “We can continue to work hard in Schleswig-Holstein to become independent of gas and oil so that we are not dependent on Russia.”
Will prosperity decline?
Does the war in Ukraine mean that the people of Schleswig-Holstein have to give up their usual prosperity? Monica Heinold had a clear answer. “We will not have the situation we had before the war. We will have to make sacrifices,” she said – linking the topic to the energy transition. You have to take countermeasures now and build a future without fossil fuels, but using renewable energies.
“Our goal as a politician should be to preserve the prosperity we enjoy in Germany,” said Daniel Gunther. However, it is not possible in these times to assure people that “this crisis will pass by all without a trace.” It is the job of politics to have this happen in a socially balanced way. He also supports the federal relief package on this point. On the other hand, Thomas Los Muller said he is confident that the level of prosperity can be maintained. That is why it is important that we invest in renewable energies, and make ourselves independent of Russian gas and Russian oil.
Dispute on the topic of budget policy
In the last televised duel before votes were cast on Sunday, the three politicians fought for the votes of wavering voters – and campaigned for their positions. This also applies to the issue of budget policy. Thomas Los Muller emphasized the need to invest heavily in climate protection and exempt parents from daycare fees. In normal years, 500 million euros are left in the budget each year. Monica Heinold pointed out that medium-term financial planning loses 200 million euros annually. She criticized the course of the fiscal policy of her former foreign minister. Daniel Gunther emphasized that it is necessary to strengthen the economic strength of the country. This will also be possible with the planned settlements. Daniel Gunther accused his rival Thomas Los Muller of making promises that could not be kept.
Mobility and Public Transportation – Important Issues for Voters
The Group of Three also discussed the issue of mobility and poor public transportation in rural areas. Monica Heinold of the Greens declared: “We want to have a completely new format for mobility in Schleswig-Holstein in the future – with an on-demand system where you can request a fixed schedule with an app and mobility guarantee.” Daniel Günther emphasized that public transport is not the quick solution to all traffic problems in Schleswig-Holstein. “There are certain traffic routes that will continue to be used individually in the future,” he said. If possible, this should be done with electric mobility and CO2-free motors.
Thomas Los Muller said the supply should be expanded because there is a lack of investment. “The majority of Schleswig-Holsteiner residents will still drive in 2050.” But then it is important to have electrical mobility. “This is why SPD is calling for a government infrastructure company that expands this charging infrastructure across the board so that not only people with a home can afford electric mobility, but really everyone.”
Everything for further construction A20 – just when?
On the topic of additional construction of the A20, Daniel Günther said: “Within the planning rights that we have in Germany, the A20 cannot be built faster than 2030.” Thomas Los Muller said SPD will do everything in its power to ensure that the A20 continues to be built. In this context, Monica Heinold asserted that one is also responsible for the environment. She’s not a fan of big, new road construction projects, but she does see the West Coast needs to be navigated.
Alliance preferences – who and with whom?
An interesting question: Will the Jamaican coalition continue to rule, or will a coalition of two take the lead? According to a recent NDR poll, the former Jamaican alliance will be a thing of the past. Because it would already be enough for a two-party alliance between the CDU and the Greens. But the CDU and FDP coalition will have a slim majority.
Gunther had already spoken in advance of the continuation of the Jamaica Alliance. “We want to continue with Jamaica, the alliance has done the good of Schleswig-Holstein,” he said again on the televsion. He is firmly convinced that this alliance will continue to serve the country over the next five years.
Monica Heinold is convinced that “an alliance is stable when all sides are needed”. It is important for her that the Greens are strong in the responsibility of the government. Climate protection, energy transition, species protection, and social justice will be important negotiating points for potential exploratory talks. “The government did a good job because we were the engine in government for modernity and the energy transition,” said the top Green Party candidate.
Mathematically possible according to the NDR survey, but politically unlikely It would also be a great alliance between CDU and SPD. However, for the traffic light from SPD, Greens and FDP, this will not be enough for the time being. “Jamaica has no eye on social issues, and social issues have no voice there. The CDU and FJ have abolished the rent-price brake — with the Greens’ approval. The CDU and FJP no longer want a law on collective loyalty,” Thomas Luce Mueller said: We haven’t made any progress on digitization and climate protection. If we are to move forward, ‘keep going is not an option’, adding: ‘Social issues have to start again.’
Los Muller: Brin left teachers alone when it came to digitization
When it comes to education, Thomas Los Mueller reiterated his election promise to give eighth graders a tray. He said that this is educational justice. Charles Darwin University Education Secretary Karen Brin has left teachers alone with digitization, as the current government has accused. Monica Heinold emphasized that digitization had not progressed as far as one would like, but schools were online and 250 jobs were created for people supporting teachers in digitization. Daniel Gunther retaliated against competitor Thomas Los Muller and said: “When we took charge in Schleswig-Holstein, two schools in Schleswig-Holstein were connected to the fast internet. Today there are 845 schools.”
Talking times are close to each other
Thomas Los Muller acknowledged the coalition’s failure to make progress in expanding wind energy. “Nothing happened there.” There are no more wind turbines than in 2017. Daniel Gunther responded that in 2021 Schleswig-Holstein approved most systems in all federal states and produced 200 megawatts more than the much larger Lower Saxony. “We are making giant strides.” The three candidates agreed that climate protection must be socially responsible.
The three-way race almost ended in a tie in speaking times: Daniel Gunther (15:48 minutes) spoke just 11 seconds longer than Thomas Los Muller (15:37) and 46 seconds than Monica Heinold (15:02) during the show.