Germany’s election campaign is drifting quietly to a close. Unless events intervene — always a possibility — Chancellor Angela Merkel looks set to coast to a fourth term on September 24. The only real question looks to be the composition of her next coalition.
The big problem for Martin Schulz’s center-left Social Democratic Party, or SPD, has been differentiating itself from a chancellor who excels at stealing her opponents’ policies and their thunder.
One area where the Social Democrats could still carve out an identity is on tax policy, where there are genuine differences across the party spectrum. So far, the reluctance of some parties — above all, Ms. Merkel’s Christian Democrats, or CDU — to provide detailed figures has made teasing out those differences difficult.