Speaking to a conference of the Bavarian branch of the Junge Union (the CDU and CSU's youth organization), Horst Seehofer said Germany's traditional conservative parties need to win back their core voters. The CSU chairman said his party must remain "the party of justice and order."
"We won't let ourselves be unsettled by false liberalism," Seehofer said, adding that the CDU and the CSU should not "chase after the zeitgeist," but should represent its core basic values.
Seehofer said that despite a recent ruling by the European Court of Human Rights, the CSU would continue to demand retroactive preventive detention for criminals that present a danger to the public.
Seehofer also joined in his conservative colleagues Stanislaw Tillich and Economy Minister Rainer Brüderle in calling for an end to the pension guarantee, which was recently described by Tillich as an "excessive burden on the younger generation."
But Seehofer faced tough questions from many of the delegates, and the head of the Bavarian Junge Union Stefan Müller called the government's poor results a "warning signal." Many of the delegates at Saturday's conference criticised Seehofer and the federal government for the disunity and policy mistakes that have led to the recent slump.
Müller also criticised Seehofer's position on the pension guarantee, and said that merely stopping it would not solve Germany's problems. He called for a wholesale reform of the pension system.