Fighting for the Right

In German politics, the role of Bavaria's Christian Social Union has always been hard to define. It is frequently called the junior sister of the opposition Christian Democratic Union, but it has been considered too conservative, too Catholic and, well, too Bavarian to take on a prominent national role.

That view changed dramatically last week when Edmund Stoiber, the premier of Bavaria and the CSU's chairman, announced he was a candidate to oppose Chancellor Gerhard Schröder in national elections this September. Within five days, Stoiber's main opponent for the job, CDU chairwoman Angela Merkel, announced she was...

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