The North Rhine-Westphalian State Arbitration Commission of the Left Party has unanimously rejected two motions seeking to expel MP Sahra Wagenknecht, former parliamentary chairperson of the party and ardent critic of political correctness, identity politics, and mass migration.
Following the vote, which took place over the weekend and comes only weeks ahead of the country’s federal elections, state spokespersons Christian Leye and Nina Eumann said, “We are glad that there is a decision in this truly unnecessary procedure. Neither party members nor voters were in support of this,” the left-leaning newspaper Die Zeit reports.
Calls for Wagenknecht’s expulsion from the party began earlier this year and came as a reaction to her book “The Self-Righteous” (Die Selbstgerechten), where she levies sharp criticism against some of her fellow leftists – namely those belonging to what she refers to as the “lifestyle left” – who she insists care only about the politics of identity, gender, climate change, and sexual minorities.
An individual on the “lifestyle left” regards the “nation-state to be an obsolete model and himself a citizen of the world who has little in common with his own country,” Wagenknecht wrote.
“[They] find traditional values such as performance, diligence, and effort uncool.”
“They talk about immigration as a great asset, but at the same time they work hard to ensure that their own children go to schools where they only get to know other cultures through literature or art classes,” she also wrote.
Several of these “lifestyle leftists” in Wagenknecht’s party apparently weren’t especially thrilled about her scathing criticism against them. They called for her expulsion from the Left Party, claiming that through her book she had inflicted “serious damage” upon the party.
In the wake of Wagenknecht’s book release, Left Party MP Klaus Lederer – the Berlin Senator for Culture – told the German press that Wagenknecht had chosen the “wrong construction site” in her book, contending that her criticism should have been directed at Germany’s right – namely the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.
In April, despite facing two challenging candidates from within her own party, Wagenknecht was elected as the top candidate for the Left Party in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Consequently, some members of the party have resigned.
Curtailing immigration to preserve the welfare state is a critical issue for Wagenknecht, and something that she says most Germans stand behind. She claims that the left wing’s failure to address this issue – which disproportionally affects workers – has opened the door for the Alternative for Germany (AfD) to become the preeminent workers’ party.
Concerning the restriction of immigration, the AfD has “the majority of the population behind it,” Wagenknecht said.
“Instead of addressing this majority with a program that is attractive to it, SPD and Die Linke have accepted the Greens in an almost submissive manner as the intellectual and political avant-garde, thereby allowing AfD [Alternative for Germany party] to become the leading workers’ party. They have both strayed away from their own majority,” she added.
At the moment, a few weeks away from Germany’s federal elections, the Left Party is polling at around six percent nationally, just above the five percent electoral threshold. It trails every major party currently sitting in parliament.