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Elections in Germany update:No turn to the right, after all!

 
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Sep, 2006 11:31 pm
Merkel Droops, Extreme Right Blossoms in State Votes]

http://i10.tinypic.com/2h2im1i.jpg
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Sep, 2006 07:22 pm
More bad election news from this weekend... Sad

Here's some more info, complementing the (good) Independent story you posted on the previous page and the graphs above:

http://img165.imageshack.us/img165/2285/germanelections170906qh6.gif

In Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the NPD support was pretty evenly spread. The party was not extraordinarily succesful in the cities, not even in Rostock where a notorious riot erupted against asylum-seekers back in the nineties. Both there and in Wismar, Schwerin, Greifswald, Neubrandenburg and Stralsund, the NPD did either average or below average.

It scored big, on the other hand, in the rural areas in the east of the state, where the skinhead movement is deeply rooted. In the four districts in Ost-Vorpommern and Uecker-Randow on the Polish border, it got 12-15%.

Quote:
Far-Right Enter Fourth German State Legislature

18.09.2006
Deutsche Welle

http://www.dw-world.de/image/0,,2171196_1,00.jpg

Summary:

    German voters dealt a blow to Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) in two regional elections. The Social Democrats came out ahead in Berlin, while the neo-Nazis made a stunning breakthrough in her Merkel's eastern home state, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The CDU scored its worst results in Berlin since 1949, while charismatic mayor Klaus Wowereit led the SPD to over 30%. In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party (NDP) won 7.3%, making the economically depressed state the fourth regional legislature where it is represented, after Bremen, and two other eastern states, Saxony and Brandenburg. Harald Ringstorff, the incumbent Social Democrat state premier, said he would "handle things with the NPD in a democratic way and get rid of the party in the next elections." The NPD has not been able to make inroads in Berlin [relatively; they did win seats in four district councils, see below - Joost], where Wowereit remains enormously popular, despite high unemployment and the city's enormous debt of 58 billion euros. Once asked about the state of Berlin's finances, Wowi, as he is affectionately called by his supporters, memorably declared: 'Berlin may be poor. But it's sexy.' His party's strong showing will now allow the Berlin mayor to form a ruling coalition with either the Greens or the Left Party. The Greens made gains of four percent, whereas voter support for the Left Party dropped dramatically from 22.6% to 13.4%. In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Ringstorff left open the possibility of renewing his coalition with the Left Party or forming an alliance with the Christian Democrats.



Quote:
Far Right Finds Successful Strategy in Northeastern Germany

16.09.2006
Deutsche Welle

http://www.dw-world.de/image/0,,2174991_1,00.jpg

Summary:

    A new, clean-cut image and widespread dissatisfaction appear to be a winning formula for the far-right NPD. The campaign posters along the streets look innocent enough. There are colorful pictures of the German flag, beaming children, and words like "home" and "work". The slogans ¬ "working for the people" or "a future instead of the unemployment office" ¬ could be on any party's campaign materials. "Today, you have a socially engaged face to a racist party," said professor Hajo Funke. It is a strategy that has shown itself quite successful in this largely rural state of isolated villages and large stretches of lake-strewn countryside. Manufacturing, such as traditional industries like shipbuilding, collapsed after reunification and no region in Germany has been left as poor as its northeastern corner. While the region is trying to build up its tourism sector, it hasn't been enough for the 1.8 million residents. The NPD has also taken great pains to present a new face to a public, ready for a message that seems to address their own pocketbook problems and frustration. Instead of the traditional uniform of shaved heads, bomber jackets and high-laced boots, the NPD in Meck-Pomm has changed into suits and ties. They now prefer verbal blows rather than fists. "In the last five years, the far right has shed its image as thugs and worked hard to present itself as an acceptable political partner," according to a March study by the MBT Group for Democratic Culture in Meck-Pomm. The NPD's leading candidate in the state is Udo Pastörs, a 54-year-old jeweler who rails against the left-wing state government and promises to fight for German jobs and a new minimum wage.


Then, in German, in this article it was some stuff on page 2 that struck me (emphases mine):

Quote:
Braune Inseln im kargen Land

Sueddeutsche Zeitung

<snip>

Dennoch: Ein Mann wie Udo Pastörs zählt in Lübtheen durchaus zu den geachteten Bürgern; Thomas Wulff war an der Grundschule, die sein Sohn besucht, zeitweise Elternsprecher. Auch in eine Bürgerinitiative, die ein Braunkohlebergwerk zu verhindern versucht, drängten die Rechtsextremisten. Nachdem bekannt wurde, dass sie mitmischen, spaltete sich die Initiative.

In Deutschland gilt Mecklenburg-Vorpommern als Armenhaus. Das Land im Nordosten kennt noch Abstufungen: Da ist Vorpommern die Region, in der die geringste Wirtschaftskraft die höchste Arbeitslosigkeit nach sich zieht. So gibt es im Uecker-Randow-Kreis an der polnischen Grenze viele Dörfer, in denen jeder Dritte ohne Job ist. Viele der eher Mobilen und Cleveren sind in den vergangenen Jahren bereits in die westlichen Bundesländer abgewandert. Alkoholmissbrauch zerrüttet zahlreiche Familien. In diesem Umfeld ist die NDP präsent, mit großem Einsatz: Vielerorts waren im Wahlkampf sogar nur NPD-Plakate zu sehen.

Im Gegensatz zur NPD sind die Neonazi-Kameradschaften viel lichtscheuer. Sie haben in Vorpommern zahlreiche Treffpunkte und Kneipen, in denen einschlägig bekannte Bands auftreten. Sie haben Bürgerinitiativen gegründet, die unter ihrer Flagge segeln - wenn auch nicht für jeden sofort erkenntlich. [..] In manchen Regionen Vorpommerns sind die Neonazis so stark geworden, dass sie im öffentliche Leben viele Fäden ziehen.

Lange Zeit gab es in dem zum Teil äußerst brutalen Umfeld der Kameradschaften starke Vorbehalte gegenüber der betulicheren NPD. Rechtsextremisten aber wie Thomas Wulff, die in beiden Lagern Anhänger haben, brachten das Bündnis in trockene Tücher. Wulff selber fiel allerdings bei der Ausstellung der Landesliste durch. Und es bleibt fraglich, ob der rechtsextreme Pakt hält. Die kulturellen Unterschiede zwischen der NPD-Mannschaft und den Neonazi-Bünden sind auch nach Einschätzung der Beteiligten weiterhin sehr groß. [..]

(Who knew that there were contriversies between "moderates" and "radicals" among the Neo-Nazis??)
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Sep, 2006 07:30 pm
Meanwhile it wasnt all good in Berlin either - the neo-Nazis still got 4% in East-Berlin as well, rising up to 5-6% in individual areas.

There's a lot more, non-Nazi related, stuff to remark on here as well - notably re the spectacular implosion of the post-communists in East-Berlin - but that'll have to wait till some other time.

http://img146.imageshack.us/img146/3190/berlinelections170906ll6.gif

Sorry, only German-language press:

Quote:
Rechtsextreme in vier Bezirksparlamenten

17.09.2006
Tagesspiegel

Die NPD ist künftig in vier Berliner Bezirksparlamenten vertreten.

Der Bundesvorsitzende der rechtsextremen NPD, Udo Voigt, wird Parlamentarier in einem Berliner Bezirk. Er stand auf Listenplatz eins seiner Partei für die Bezirksverordnetenversammlung in Treptow-Köpenick. In dem Ost-Bezirk erreichte die NPD 5,3 Prozent der Stimmen und überwand damit die Drei-Prozent-Grenze. Voigt ist seit 1996 Chef der Partei, die im Stadtteil Köpenick auch ihre Bundeszentrale unterhält.

Nach Angaben des Landeswahlleiters zieht die NPD ebenfalls in die Bezirksversammlungen der östlichen Bezirke Marzahn-Hellersdorf und Lichtenberg sowie des Westbezirks Neukölln. Sitze im Landesparlament konnten die Rechtsextremen nicht erringen.

Zuletzt war den Republikanern bei den Wahlen 1999 der Einzug in fünf hauptstädtische Bezirksparlamente gelungen. Rechtsextremisten hatten den Wahlkampf in Berlin mehrmals massiv gestört. Es gab Pöbeleien, verbale Beleidigungen und Körperverletzungen. Die fünf im Abgeordnetenhaus vertretenen Fraktionen hatten sich parteiübergreifend auf Initiativen gegen Rechtsextremismus und Gewalt verständigt.


Quote:
Alles, was rechts ist
BERLIN HAT GEWÄHLT - Der Tag im Wahllokal

Tagesspiegel
18.09.2006

Die NPD sitzt jetzt in vier BVV. In der Lichtenberger Weitlingstraße geben Neonazis längst den Ton an

Haben Sie Angst? Manuela Meinreich versteht die Frage nicht. „Warum sollte ich Angst haben, ich bin doch Deutsche", sagt die 28-Jährige auf dem Hof der Robinson-Grundschule am Bahnhof Lichtenberg. Hier in der Wönnichstraße 7, im ersten Stock der Schule, befindet sich das Wahllokal 507. Die rechtsextreme NPD hat in diesem Wahllokal zur Bundestagswahl im September 2005 neun Prozent der Stimmen bekommen. Auch Meinreich bekennt, damals NPD gewählt zu haben. Diesmal hat es die rechtsextreme Partei in die Lichtenberger Bezirksverordnetenversammlung (BVV) geschafft - ebenso in Neukölln, Treptow-Köpenick und Marzahn-Hellersdorf.

Viel wurde geschrieben über Lichtenberg, insbesondere die Situation in der Weitlingstraße, deren Bewohner unter anderem im Wahllokal 507 wählen gehen. Die rechte Szene ist hier unbestritten stark. Nicht weit von der Schule entfernt steht das Clubhaus der Neonazi-Kameradschaft Spreewacht. Kenner der Szene gehen davon aus, dass deren Anhänger regelmäßig an Überfällen auf Linke und vermeintliche Ausländer beteiligt sind.

Unmittelbar nach Meinreich verlässt ein junger Vater mit Kinderwagen und auffallend kurzen Haaren das Wahllokal. Ja, auch er habe NPD gewählt, befürchtet aber, dass die Rechten den Einzug in die Bezirksverordnetenversammlung verpassen könnten. „Zu viel PDS hier", murrt er. Die Linkspartei bekam in Lichtenberg zuletzt jede zweite Stimme. Genützt hat das wenig. Schon gar nicht Giyasettin Sayan. Der PDS-Politiker wurde im Mai dieses Jahres in der Weitlingstraße von Rechtsextremisten niedergeschlagen.

Der Überfall war blutiger Auftakt für einen aggressiven Wahlkampf, Übergriffe von Neonazis auf Unterstützer anderer Parteien gab es in fast allen Bezirken. Die NPD hofft aber wegen der geltenden Drei-Prozent-Hürde insbesondere in Lichtenberg in die BVV einziehen zu können.

Beunruhigend findet ein älterer Familienvater diese Situation. Dennoch dürfe der Weitlingkiez nicht als Nazihochburg abgestempelt werden, sagt er. Das nütze niemandem außer den Rechten. Seine Tochter ist vor allem von den anderen Parteien enttäuscht. „In Friedrichshain haben die Grünen eine große Wahlkampagne gemacht - hier nicht", sagt sie. Auch die Müllers, ein Rentnerpärchen aus der nahen Margaretenstraße, hoffen, dass es die NPD nicht in die BVV schafft. Es könnte aber knapp werden mit dem Einzug der Rechten, sagen beide nach einer Weile. Schließlich wüssten sie, was einige ihrer Nachbarn so denken.

Weniger auskunftsfreudig ist ein kräftiger Mann mit Glatze, der zügigen Schrittes die Robinson-Grundschule verlässt. „Heil" ist sein einzig klar verständlicher Kommentar, später zischt er noch was von „linkem Pack". Nichts sagen will ein junger Mann, der ein schwarzes T-Shirt trägt, auf dem in altdeutscher Schrift „Weitlingstraße" zu lesen ist. Solche Leute machen Marianne Peter, die seit 20 Jahren hier wohnt, Angst. Sie fordert die Politik auf, die Rechten aus Lichtenberg zu drängen.

Den Weitlingkiez der rechten Szene entreißen wollen auch die Organisatoren des linken Bündnisses „Hol dir den Kiez zurück". Am Sonnabend haben sie an der Weitlingstraße ein Konzert mit fast 2000 Besuchern veranstaltet. Die Polizei hat schon einige Nazis festnehmen müssen, die versuchten, das Fest zu stören. „Das war zu erwarten - die wohnen schließlich hier", sagt Marianne Peter resigniert.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Sep, 2006 07:36 pm
This, meanwhile, may explain a lot:

Quote:
Pessimistic Germans Losing Faith in Democracy, Study Shows

17.09.2006
Deutsche Welle

Short version (emphasis mine):

    A recent report confirms the stereotype of Germany as a nation of pessimists. Increasingly, citizens are discontent with their living standards, and their form of government as well. According to a new report put out by the German Statistics Office, Germans have the most pessimistic view of the future among all Europeans. The latest census shows that Germans -- especially young people and eastern Germans -- believe living conditions are much worse than they actually are. [..] Jürgen Kocka, head of the Social Science Research Center in Berlin, said there is a discrepancy between Germans' subjective view of living conditions and the actual conditions themselves, because Germans tend to set their standards higher than other Europeans. [..] The report shows that only 29 percent of Germans feel that their income allows them to live comfortably, Wirtschaftswoche reported. In Denmark, that number is 64 percent; in Sweden, it is 54 percent and in Ireland, it is 50 percent. [..] And more and more, the report concludes, Germans are disappointed with democracy within the country. This is especially true for those living in eastern Germany. [b]Last year, only 38 percent of eastern Germans thought democracy was a good form of government, the study said. In 2000, it was 49 percent. That percentage for Germans in the western part of the country was higher, with 80 percent in 2000 and 71 percent in 2005 believing it was a positive form of government. The study found three-quarters of eastern Germans find socialism to be a good idea, but acknowledge it was poorly executed in the past.[/b] Only 46 percent of western Germans hold this view. [..] The Data Report was compiled by German Stastistics Office, the Social Science Research Center (WZB) in Berlin, the Federal Agency for Civic Education in Bonn and the Center for Survey Research and Methodology (ZUMA) in Mannheim. The study combines statistical data and social research.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Sep, 2006 11:30 pm
Regarding what could have happened, I'm rather pleased how it finally went out (thought, the NPD might end up in two ciffer percentage!).

Which doesn't mean at all that I'm pleased with the NPD (or any other right wing party) being in any parliament - but it's just how things are, unfortunately.

We must really do much more to avoid such.
0 Replies
 
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Sep, 2006 06:33 am
Walter Hinteler wrote:
Regarding what could have happened, I'm rather pleased how it finally went out (thought, the NPD might end up in two ciffer percentage!).

Which doesn't mean at all that I'm pleased with the NPD (or any other right wing party) being in any parliament - but it's just how things are, unfortunately.

We must really do much more to avoid such.
There is all sorts of things you could do Walter. The US had a certain policy towards the SPD in event of war with the Soviet Union.

Reading Clive Pontings book Armageddon page 292

Quote:
The US occupation authorities even went so far in 1950 as to set up and fund the BDJ - the League of Young Germans - recruited mainly from former members of the Waffen SS whose task in the event of a soviet invasion was to assassinate leading members of the German Social Democratic party


Question are/were they the same as the SPD?
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Sep, 2006 07:30 am
Shocked
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Sep, 2006 07:44 am
Regarding BDJ/CIC/CIA:

there's a book extract here.

Famous SPD-members to be murdered were Erich Ollenhauer (leader of the SPD), Heinrich Zinnkann (Hessian Interior Minister) and the Lord Mayores (Prime Ministers) of Hamburg and Bremen.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Sep, 2006 01:37 pm
New opinion poll out for the first time has Merkel's Christian-Democrats (CDU/CSU) behind the Socialdemocratic SPD... but both losing votes to the parties to their right and left, respectively.

Merkel Drops to Second Place in Germany

http://www.angus-reid.com/admin/collateral/images/uploads/polls/germany_0928.jpg
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Sep, 2006 01:50 pm
Such was expected by most, I think.

Here's a list with the results of the so-called Sunday Question ("Which party would you vote for, if there were elections on next Sunday") by various polling groups/institutes from the past few weeks:

http://i10.tinypic.com/48g6q00.jpg
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Mar, 2007 03:44 pm
The WASG - the mostly West-German and largely trade union-based leftist split-off from the Socialdemocratic SPD - and the Linkspartei (formerly PDS) - the reformist successor party to East-Germany's communists - have formally decided on a proper merger of the two parties.

At parallel party congresses in neighbouring halls, delegates from the two parties voted for the merger with 97% (Linkspartei) and 88% (WASG).

The two parties already ran a joint campaign in the 2005 parliamentary elections, under the double leadership of former SPD leader Oskar Lafontaine and former PDS leader Georg Gysi, and got 8,7% of the vote. The PDS had actually changed its name into Linkspartei in expectation of the merger. The actual formalities have just all taken some more time.

In current polls the group hovers at about 10%.

The merger decision does still need to be approved in a countrywide vote of all the members of the two parties.

There is an amusing enough moment-by-moment report of the proceedings here, in German:

Der lange Weg zur Fusion von Linkspartei und WASG
Wie PE 113-018 fast zum Stolperstein wurde


Interesting to see again that the former Socialdemocratic dissidents of the WASG are in fact, by any political standard, to the left of the ever-pragmatic former communists. The merger only took place after the WASG swallowed the fact that the Linkspartei had rejected one or two of its proposed changes to the party's founding text as too radical.

The WASG had wanted to include a sentence that "the personnel reductions in public service have to be stopped". But the former communists, more ready to envisage the compromises that would have to be made in possible government coalitions, weren't having it.

Last year, the merger had come into some trouble when the Linkspartei of the city state of Berlin clashed with the local WASG during state elections, with the oppositional WASG campaigning from the left against the local government coalition of Socialdemocrats and Linkspartei. Partly as a result, the former communists lost about half of their support, but thanks to a good SPD result the two parties continued their government coalition anyway.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Mar, 2007 03:52 pm
Well, the WSAG isn't - in my opinion - mainly influenced by former SPD-members but mainly ny unionists who were DKP (and other extreme left mini parties) members. At least here in my state (Northrhine-Westphalia).
(I'm friendly with the regional head .... who was formerly one of the few SED members .... and is a civil servant with the county's youth office.)
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Mar, 2007 04:38 pm
Walter Hinteler wrote:
Well, the WSAG isn't - in my opinion - mainly influenced by former SPD-members but mainly ny unionists who were DKP (and other extreme left mini parties) members.

Hhhhmmmmm...

Klaus Ernst seems to have been the most important WASG-leader until Lafontaine came on to the scene.. and he's ex-SPD.

Lafontaine joined the WASG once it became clear that it would join with the PDS in a common list, and of course instantaneously became its most influential member - it was he who gave a last rousing speech exhorting the WASG delegates to vote for merger. And he, obviously, is a former national SPD-leader.

Ulrich Maurer stood as the WASG's #1 in Baden-Wurtemburg in 2005, and was the first ever WASGler in a state parliament - when he switched over from the SPD. And he'd actually been the leader of the SPD in that state for nine years.

Next to Ernst, Axel Troost appears to be one of the two most important WASG-leaders aside from Lafontaine. He's not ex-SPD, but he's not ex-DKP either. Just a union activist. And formerly with the alternative youth movement Attac. Hardly the same cup of tea as the DKP's Leninists.

And obviously, the mass of West-German voters for the WASG/Linkspartei list in 2005 were not DKPlers or Trotskyites either - I mean, they got 5% of the vote in the West.

So - hum. I'm sure there's a fair sprinkling of West-communists and Trots especially on local level, but "the WSAG is mainly influenced by unionists who were DKP (and other extreme left mini parties)" - seems a big overstatement.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Mar, 2007 11:22 pm
Thinking about that: you're right.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Mar, 2007 05:31 pm
Thanks, man. <nods>
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Mon 9 Jun, 2008 05:30 am
Reviving this thread with a spiegel-online report about yesterday's local elections:
Quote:

The neo-Nazi party NPD now has representatives in every county council in the eastern German state of Saxony. In one town, the party even managed to win over a quarter of the vote
...
With the state's 2.9 million voters choosing new county and municipal councils, the neo-Nazi NPD pulled in some 5.1 percent of the vote across the state and looked set for representation in every county council in the state. In two counties, the NPD even came in ahead of the Social Democrats. In terms of total votes, the NPD managed to quadruple its total from 2004, moving from 41,000 votes to 160,000.
Ramafuchs
 
  2  
Reply Sun 24 Aug, 2008 10:57 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
I live in Köln and I am an active left party member. The last post in this thread dated
1 ReplyreportMon 9 Jun, 2008 04:30 am
Let me know the actual state of affairs please.
Thanks
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Sep, 2013 12:09 pm
General elections today

Quote:
http://i1334.photobucket.com/albums/w641/Walter_Hinteler/a_zpsf840fa38.jpg
http://i1334.photobucket.com/albums/w641/Walter_Hinteler/a_zps09d87a33.jpg
http://i1334.photobucket.com/albums/w641/Walter_Hinteler/b_zps2645c08f.jpg

Source: Guardian live-blog


CDU chanting like a football crowd, SPD scratching heads, FDP wondering where it all went wrong, the Greens wondering as well, the AfD (anti-Euro-party) still hoping to get more than 5% ...
realjohnboy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Sep, 2013 12:17 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Thanks, Walter, for the updates.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Sep, 2013 12:28 pm
@realjohnboy,
The most likely scenario is that of a grand coalition between the CDU/CSU and the Social Democrats.

It (as of now) might be possible, though, that the CDU/CSU gets a majority of seats.
 

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