Der Spiegel is one of the few lefty organs for which I have a genuine regard. It has high journalistic principles and is strictly honest in a way that the Guardian, for instance, is not. Der Spiegel prints stories that often conflict with overt leftish interests, on the basis that if the German left loses honesty (as the British left has done) then it is finished. And thus it must have agonised a little about bringing into the light of day a fundamental debate that is being held amongst the German left. The question is whether the threat of German electors voting for AfD is great enough to justify suspending elections or contravening the 'eternal and cast iron' provisions of the post-war German constitution.
I urge you to read a good piece by Dirk Kurbjuweit. He uses the jargon 'populist' to mean anyone getting more votes than Europe's old dying parties, and is open to the reality that the change in democratic opinion is not confined to Germany; France, Austria, Poland and Hungary are all moving in the same direction. But who decides when the people's democratic choice is undemocratic? Do the parties that occupy the centre-ground rejected by the voters have that right?
He is also frank that the insurgent parties are not members of the cosy and sclerotic political club that has run Europe into the ground over recent years - the new parties cannot be relied upon to join the cross-party institutional democratic corruption that has so befouled European democracy. And that is the real fear of Europe's entrenched establishment - and the stakes are high enough for them to subvert democracy, overturn constitutions and ride roughshod over democracy.
To Der Spiegel, we must be thankful for the warning and hopeful that the malign powers will allow democracy to prevail - whatever the result.