Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Alternative für Deutschland in Electoral Breakthrough.

with 6 comments

They’re Jubilant: Few other People are. (1)

AFD (Alternative für Deutschland) RIDES HIGH reports Reuters.

With a high turnout in all the votes, the AfD, already represented in five of Germany’s 16 regional assemblies, succeeded in entering three more.

Its support was strongest in Saxony-Anhalt, where it grabbed 24.2 percent of the vote behind a diminished CDU showing, surpassing even the Social Democrats (SPD), Merkel’s coalition partner in Berlin, ZDF television projections indicated.

With campaign slogans such as “Secure the borders” and “Stop the asylum chaos”, it was the first time the AfD had come as high as second in any state.

“We have fundamental problems in Germany that led to this election result,” said AfD chief Frauke Petry.

The AfD’s rise, which has coincided with strong gains by other European anti-immigrant parties including the National Front in France, punctures the centrist consensus around which the mainstream parties have formed alliances in Germany, and may embolden more European leaders to challenge Merkel on the migrant issue.

The CDU’s leader in Saxony-Anhalt pointed the finger squarely at Merkel for his party’s losses.

“The issue that has brought the AfD into parliaments across Germany can’t be ignored on a federal level any more. We need solutions,” Reiner Haseloff told ARD television.

Charlotte Knobloch, former head of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, bemoaned a “massive shift to the right”.

“If voters follow the call of right-wing populists and extremists to such an extent, it is a failure of the democratic parties,” she said.

SPD SUFFERS

In Baden-Wuerttemberg in the southwest, the Greens for the first time became the strongest party in a state, with 31.1 percent of the vote, ZDF television projections indicated.

The state was a CDU stronghold for more than 50 years before turning to a Green-led coalition with the SPD in 2011 after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, and CDU support fell by another 12 percentage points on Sunday.

Also damaging for the CDU was the result in Rhineland-Palatinate, the home of former chancellor Helmut Kohl.

There, the CDU’s Julia Kloeckner, who had positioned herself as a future candidate to succeed Merkel, failed to unseat SPD state premier Malu Dreyer.

It was the only bright spot for the SPD, the biggest loser overall. In Saxony-Anhalt, its support almost halved and in Baden-Wuerttemberg it sank by more than 10 percentage points.

Asked if the SPD’s weak showing in those two states would trigger questions about SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel’s future, deputy party chairman Ralf Stegner said: “No, not at all.”

It is still unclear which coalitions will take power in each state, but the splintered vote opens the prospect of deep changes to the political landscape.

Die Welt, presenting a detailed break-down of the vote, notes that the AfD support came above all from former CDU and SDP voters: (Woher die Stimmen für die AfD kamen)

The Süddeutsche Zeitung points out that, the AfD has one central theme: “Es gab ein Thema, das in diesem Wahlkampf, an diesem Wahlsonntag alle anderen überlagert hat: die Flüchtlinge. DieAfD ist gegen “Multikulti”, prangert das “Asylchaos” an, ist stattdessen für “Mut zu Deutschland”, für “kontrollierte Zuwanderung”. That is, refugees. The AFd is against multiculturalism (in their derogatory slang, with echoes of ‘cult’), singles out Asylum-seeker chaos, their “Pride in Germany” and demands for a “control of immigration.”

The paper lists its other appeals as a “protest party”, as a “social-media party” and a party of “donnernden Reden”, thundering speeches, which we would more freely translate as loud-mouthed demagogy, shouting “”Merkel muss weg”, Merkel must go!

Taz reports on the AFD’s jubilation-time, and its satisfaction that it is no longer an East Germany party facing with the “lying-media”:

Jubelzahlen aus der Lügenpresse

Auf der Wahlparty der Rechtspopulisten ist die Stimmung gut. Die AfD sei nicht mehr nur eine Ostpartei, freut sich deren Spitzenpersonal.

 Taz also reports on the results in  BadenWürttemberg

Daniel Cohn-Bendit über Kretschmann

„Es bleibt nur Schwarz-Grün“

Also bleibt nur Schwarz-Grün, die neue Große Koalition.

That is, Cohn-Bendit foresees a Green-‘black’ (CDU) coalition running the state.

The Guardian states,

The German government will stick by its existing refugees policy, a spokesman has said, after the anti-immigrant Alternative für Deutschland made strong gainsin regional elections on Sunday.

Asked if the results in three German states, where support for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives dwindled, would lead to a change in policy, Steffen Seibert said: “The German government will continue to pursue its refugee policy with all its might both at home and abroad.”

AfD entered state parliaments in all three regions that voted, winning 24% of the vote in Saxony-Anhalt and over 10% in Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate.

The results suggested that German politicians increasingly appear to have two options: rally behind their chancellor, or rail against her.

Although AfD enjoyed considerable momentum, the majority of votes still went to parties who support Merkel’s pro-refugee stance. In all three states, incumbent premiers held on to their seat. In Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate, the Green and Social Democratic (SPD) candidates managed to increase their vote after resolutely backing the chancellor’s open-border position.

(1) Except perhaps this man: Wie Putin die rechten Parteien in Deutschland hofiert.

Written by Andrew Coates

March 14, 2016 at 1:46 pm

6 Responses

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  1. The BBC and the Graun are suggesting that this result isn’t, in fact, so bad for Merkel as the Greens and the Social Democrats, who support her relatively liberal policy on immigration, won, whereas the anti-immigrant candidates in her own party, the CDU, lost: is this the case – and if so, what conclusions do we draw?

    Jim Denham

    March 14, 2016 at 9:18 pm

  2. Comrades in Germany make the point that the German far-right has a history of tearing itself apart whenever it reaches any semblance of political power.

    “destroyed themselves fairly quickly: incompetence, splits, infighting, dodgy (mis)use of funds. The question is whether the AfD will go down this route. I’d put money on it happening in Sachsen-Anhalt.

    Let’s hope this happens sooner rather than later.

    Andrew Coates

    March 15, 2016 at 1:25 pm

  3. Russia will be happy

  4. Then there is this: US election 2016: Russian state TV backs ‘anti-establishment’ Trump.

    “A top presenter on Russian state TV has come out firmly in favour of Donald Trump in his bid to become US president, hailing him as an “anti-establishment” candidate who is ready to co-operate with Moscow.

    Russian state TV has regularly shown sympathy towards Mr Trump, especially after his apparently complimentary remarks about President Vladimir Putin. But it is only in the last week or so that it has started to unequivocally praise him.

    Fronting his two-and-half hour news review on official channel Rossiya 1 on 13 March, Dmitri Kiselyov hit out strongly at what he saw as a conspiracy by the US political elite to stymie Mr Trump’s White House ambitions.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-35811495

    Andrew Coates

    March 16, 2016 at 2:08 pm

  5. What Kiselyov was saying, as the piece notes, is pretty much word-for-word what the fascist Dugin says. BTW Dugin’s commentary is in really hilariously bad English.

    A Russia watcher I know called Christo Grosev has noticed the recent appearance of dozens of troll websites promoting Trump in ‘Krenglish’. This follows the model from some Eastern European countries of creating such disinformation sites.

    The reason they might like Trump may have something to do with Trump hiring as his foreign policy advisor an ex-General who was at (paid to attend) the Russia Today big bash in Moscow in December – along with Ken Livingstone.

  6. And another Western liberal conspiracy theory about the fiendish manipulations of the demonic Russian bear bites the dust?

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/mar/17/kremlin-complains-demonisation-of-russia-in-donald-trump-ad

    Meanwhile, the main understudy for the coveted role of global villain has a different take on the Trump phenomenon:

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/mar/17/democracy-is-a-joke-says-china-just-look-at-donald-trump

    Francis

    March 17, 2016 at 2:57 pm


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