"We need the input of your students"

Candidates for the Berlin House of Representatives and the German Bundestag answered the questions, wishes and expectations of young people at KANT.

On September 6th, 2021, students from Stiftung Private Kant-Schulen gGmbH hosted five candidates for the Berlin House of Representatives (Berliner Abgeordnetenhaus). In small groups, the students had the opportunity to convey their wishes and expectations to the visiting candidates.

The candidates, Oliver Friederici, CDU, Andreas Kugler, SPD, Benedict Lux, Die Grünen, Franziska Brychcy, Die Linken and Tobias Bauschke, FDP, were introduced by several well-prepared students: Insights and priorities, political role models, and the musical preferences of the candidates were presented. A favorite song of each candidate was played. These included: Imagine, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, Dreams, This is not America, and Willkommen in Deutschland.

This was followed by three rounds of speed debating, or quick questioning in small groups. Each round lasted 20 minutes. Issues discussed with the students ranged from – but were not limited to – the pandemic, clean energy, mobility, social security, digitization, taxes, rents caps, and climate change.

The students interreacted gracefully with their guests and since the range of topics addressed in the time available was limited, all five politicians agreed to accept invitations to the respective Kant campus for further follow up.

In the same format, candidates for the German Bundestag answered questions from five other class groups on September 15th, 2021. Nina Stahr (Die Grünen), Thomas Heilmann (CDU), Henning Krumrey (FDP), Ruppert Stüwe (SPD) and Marcus Otto (Die Linke) were impressed by the political interest of the young people and the many unbiased questions. In this way, the students touched on an “astonishing range” of important topics for the politicians.

Nina Stahr summed it up for all five politicians. “Thank you for inviting us. We need the input of your students. We need this open exchange and we will gladly come again. Not only before the elections.”

“Democracy needs the exchange of opinions and attitudes and encounters. We want to contribute to this with politics@kant.” The organisers, Dr Richard Eaton and Andreas Wegener, agree and promise to keep at it.

The aim of the Politics@Kant series, which has been running for several years, is to encourage and inspire students by bringing them into contact with those involved in political life, and to make politicians and their positions accessible to young people.