The big fight for the government seat of the FDP

Anyone nominated by the FDP for the government elections in October has the best chance of making the step to executive power. The delegates of the Gold Coast could be the king-makers.

Jan Hudec

Jörg Kündig, Martin Farner and Thomas Vogel (from left to right) fight for the favor of their party. (Photo: Goran Basic / NZZ)

Jörg Kündig, Martin Farner and Thomas Vogel (from left to right) fight for the favor of their party. (Photo: Goran Basic / NZZ)

It should go very wrong for the FDP that the party next March, the board of directors of the departing health director Thomas Heiniger can not defend. The canton agrees civil, the liberals rose in the last election – and the smaller parties refrain from sending their resounding names in the race. A Bastien Girod (gp.) Could best challenge a bourgeois candidate with his reputation, he participated in the election campaign of the state four years ago. Martin Neukom, who was nominated by the Greens on Thursday, will probably not be present at all political talents. The same applies to the other parties that are not represented today in the government council.

If the election campaign of the government council is unlikely to cause any surprise, the internal fight for the nomination is all the more exciting. Because who is posted by the delegates of the FDP on 4 October is already a foothold.

The tour through the candidates

As one hears from FDP circles, the eloquent canton counselor Thomas Vogel has been trading in the party director for some time as a favorite for the Heiniger successor. The good starting position, however, has two hard competitors on the spot: Jörg Kündig and Martin Farner, both are also in the canton and are also community president, Kündig in Gossau and Farner in Oberstammheim.

Which of them will do the race? On Thursday evening, the three candidates had the opportunity to present themselves for the FDP of City of Zurich. It was the first of nine performances in various districts that Vogel, Farner and Kündig completed before they decided in October. The seasoned politicians were on Thursday to see the tension when they came to the plenary meeting after the rather heated slogan version of the stadium project in Zurich.

City or country?

At a bistro table in a corner of the hall they were asked by cantonal councilor Sonja Rueff-Frenkel, especially on urban issues. Zurich is suffering from commuter flows, she said and asked Thomas Vogel what the canton could do about it. "The city makes enough that it does not attract motorists to the city," said Vogel, laughing beside him. He then suggested that it would be impossible to expand the traffic axes, but at the same time it needed a mobility price to use rails and roads more evenly. Jörg Kündig wanted the moderator to know what it takes to rehabilitate hospitals with a shortage in the city. He argued for an autonomy that would give hospital leadership more room for maneuver and would make economic work possible. "Moreover, cooperation is central, between the hospitals of the city and beyond." Asked by Rueff-Frenkel what the city must do to remain economically attractive, Martin Farner said that it needed low taxes and levies. "Zurich is the engine of the economy, and if things do not go well with Zurich, the whole canton suffers."

After a question from the audience, whether it is really logical that the urban areas should carry 80 percent of the future growth in the canton, as defined in the roadmap, the differences between the candidates became clear. While the two mayors Kündig and Farner wanted to oppose rigid regulation, so that the rural communities still had development potential, Vogel was inclined to rule. A city must also look like a city, densification is part of it.

Mobilization is central

This point is an example of the starting position of the FDP. Or she chooses one of the two representatives of the community (Kündig and Farner), or she nominates the urban candidate (Vogel). When you talk about the party, most people assume that this will lead to a duel between Kündig and Vogel. Farner has too small a base with the Andelfingen district, which has very few deputies. The city is likely to beat mainly on the side of the bird, he must also enjoy on the left bank of the lake and the young free-thinking many sympathies. For example, he was worse than the nomination just four years ago, just against the later alderman Carmen Walker Späh.

By contrast, communities want a government council that supports their cause. Kündig has gained a lot of respect as chairman of the municipal chair association, so support from the more rural areas must be ensured. In addition, he could also score with some liberals that he is an independent entrepreneur, in contrast to Vogel, who is employed as a member of the judiciary of the court of Zurich in the state.

Apart from the city of Zurich, Winterthur and the Meilen district also have many delegates. Here the fight between Kündig and bird could decide. But it will also be important who can mobilize better. But with good performance during meetings it is not enough. The candidates will have to do a lot of self-promotion in the background until October.

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