Upset in German federal election
September 24, 2017 11:54 AM   Subscribe

Germany's federal election was held today. Latest projections (in English) indicate drastic losses for chancellor Merkel's Christian Democrats and her coalition partner Social Democrats. Far-right Alternative for Germany is to enter federal parliament for the first time.

Who is the AfD?
German far-right leader Gauland says Merkel’s refugee policy enabled his party’s rise
Frauke Petry's AfD: Waking ghosts of the past? An interview by Tim Sebastian (26 min)
Far-Right German Party Is Poised to Break Postwar Taboo


Three more parties are to benefit from the grand coalition losses: Liberal Free Democrats are making their comeback, Green party and Left party are making gains as well. What do these results mean? Martin Schulz's SPD declared they will quit the governing coalition to become the largest opposition party. Angela Merkel can remain chancellor by forming a so-called Jamaica coalition.

More commentary:
Germany’s exit polls point to big losses for the two main parties

Merkel Re-Elected as Right Wing Enters Parliament
posted by blasser duenner Junge (78 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
 
Oh for fuck's sake.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 11:58 AM on September 24, 2017 [30 favorites]


Fuck. No.

13% for those assholes?

My poor country.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 12:04 PM on September 24, 2017 [11 favorites]


Wow. That's shocking.
posted by Bee'sWing at 12:14 PM on September 24, 2017


Shit.
posted by bilabial at 12:20 PM on September 24, 2017


And things get more interesting:

The most obvious new coalition, CDU (conservative) + SPD (social - a repeat of the last government coalition) may not be happening on account of the SPD publicly opting out after the results started coming in. This is possibly in order not to endanger a snap election in Niedersachsen that became necessary after a local CDU member defected losing their coalition their majority).

At the same time, the second most obvious coalition, CDU + FDP (liberals) + Grüne (greens) has the FDP already publicly claiming they do not want to work with Grüne party at any cost.

That leaves exactly no viable majority coalition as far as I can tell since nobody wants to work with the AfD (good!) and the CDU does not want to work with the Linke (left).
posted by flamewise at 12:23 PM on September 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


From the early analysis, compared to the previous election, it looks like the CDU lost about 1 mio voters to the AfD, SPD lost 400,000 to the AfD and about 1 mio non-voters voted AfD now, with the AfD getting about 6 mio votes overall. I dread how the more right-wing parts of the CDU will react; there's a tendency to move further right as a reaction as well. On the other hand, quite a few of the more extreme voices in the CDU have already moved on to the AfD.

In eastern Germany, having the AfD at more than 20% is terrifying. And there, they've been in the state parliaments for quite some time, so people had the opportunity to see up close how racist, extreme and unconstructive the AfD actually is. There's also quite a lot of internal squabbling and intraparty fights about the direction the AfD should take, i.e., either being very openly extreme right or trying to put up a more "traditional conservative disappointed by the movement to the left of Merkel" face, with the latter group eyeing to eventually take part in government. Will be interesting to see how that will play out.
posted by ltl at 12:25 PM on September 24, 2017 [7 favorites]


"Alternative for Germany"?

🎶The dream of the thirties is alive in Deutschland...🎶

Ugh. I wish I could be as surprised by this as everyone else seems to be, but what reason is there to have assumed Germany was immune to this rising tide of crap, particularly as that whole generation that remembers how dangerous -- and how dumb -- these sentiments are is rapidly dying off?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:28 PM on September 24, 2017 [20 favorites]


At the same time, the second most obvious coalition, CDU + FDP (liberals) + Grüne (greens) has the FDP already publicly claiming they do not want to work with Grüne party at any cost.

That's just election day posturing before the negotiations. There should be the possibility of compromises between FDP and Greens, I have a harder time seeing the Bavarian parts of the CDU, which are traditionally more to the right of the whole CDU, in a coalition with the Greens.

I guess Merkel is quite happy in hindsight that the SPD forced the vote on the "Ehe für All" (same-sex marriage) right before the election, so that this potential stumbling block betweeen Greens and CDU is already dealt with...
posted by ltl at 12:33 PM on September 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


Not a surprise but still not good.
How can we all turn this tide?
posted by mumimor at 12:34 PM on September 24, 2017


German far right enters parliament for the first time in eighty-four years. I'm glad that Merkel is still in power, the world needs adults as leaders at the moment. But still, I always figured that denazification had worked.
posted by Hactar at 12:35 PM on September 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


Scheiße.
posted by deludingmyself at 12:43 PM on September 24, 2017 [12 favorites]


Russia was trying to pull their same tricks in Germany according to accounts I've seen but Germany tried to put up a more vigorous defense. There's still not much doubt about the real source for this rising right wing tide: Putin and other oil oligarchs and mobsters. Why their tainted product is selling is a different question and this is a disappointing sign, but to me, it's a waste of time to focus too much on the immediate, proximal causes; the root cause is still Russian geopolitical strategy and the old guard oil wealth trying to shore up its power base. It's just old school power mongers throwing a tantrum and using all the wealth and resources still at their disposal (most likely including media ownership where available) to influence and shape public opinion and election outcomes. Stupid broken psychopaths.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:45 PM on September 24, 2017 [29 favorites]


ARD exit poll statistics, based on interviews with about 100,000 voters.
posted by ltl at 12:52 PM on September 24, 2017


But still, I always figured that denazification had worked.

It never did in the literal sense. Hence the student revolts of the 60s and the famous slogan "Unter den Talaren - Muff von tausend Jahren" ("Under the robes - the mustiness of a thousand years", referring to the Nazis' claim that their rule would last a thousand years). After the allied forces decided that Germany would be rebuilt as an industrial nation after all, in order to create a stronghold at the Iron Curtain, they relied on existing expertise and experience to do so. That meant letting a lot of ex-Nazi business leaders, administrators, professors, etc. back into influential positions. This was easy enough given everybody's post-war inclination to pretend all the bad stuff had come and gone and that Nazis had really been nothing more but an invasion and takeover of Germany by little brown-clad men from Mars. It created a continuity of personnel choices that required the unrests of the 60s and 70s to disrupt it.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 12:52 PM on September 24, 2017 [62 favorites]


I'm a bit surprised and extremely disappointed by this result, but look at it this way: in 2015, Merkel and the government let a million refugees into the country. Americans, imagine if Obama had let four million Syrians/Iraqis whatever come to the United States, and what the 2016 election would have looked like. Thanks to deep enduring anti-Fascist norms and a well-designed electoral system, the CDU got 33% of the vote and the AfD got 13%. Meanwhile, in France the equivalent party to the AfD was the second-highest vote-getter in 2017, with 21%, and in America we just had an election where the party whose platform most resembles the CDU got 48% in the presidential election, the party whose platform most resembled AfD got 46%, and the AfD won anyway because of our insane eighteenth-century voting system.
posted by sy at 12:58 PM on September 24, 2017 [64 favorites]




PRI's The World in Words recently had an excellent episode examining the new German right-wing through the lens of etymology:

One simple word defines Germans, but Germans don't agree on what it means


We talk with linguists and historians about how Volk and the related advective, völkisch, were used by 19th century German nationalists as rallying cries for German statehood, how the words came to be associated with theories of race and ethnicity, and how the Nazis exploited that.

posted by roger ackroyd at 1:31 PM on September 24, 2017


Unexpected but not surprising.
posted by polymodus at 1:35 PM on September 24, 2017


How Far Is Europe Swinging to the Right?
Worth pointing out we're having local elections in Portugal next weekend, and PSD (center-right/conservative) has been pivoting to far-right talking points because they've ran out of ideas. One particular candidate seems to be a test for how much they can push racist-baiting rhetoric.
Since the party is at a crossroad at this point (Coelho is absolutely inept as opposition, held on to the place hoping a right wing president would call for elections as soon as an opportunity appeared and he's been supportive of the left-wing coalition, that managed to have less drama than the previous right-wing coalition, and now survives mostly on a diet of planted fake news like the "hundreds killed" in the forest fire two months back because even credit agencies are giving us a passing rating), it's a matter of waiting to see where it goes from here.
Keeping in mind that in my early 20s when I was in a ultra group, when keeping up with the scene I occasionally picked up facha saying they'd better join the youth wings of mainstream center-right parties rather than the openly nationalist party because that's a dead end, so this might be the end result.

As for Germany, I really can't be surprised, other than I expected the AfD to stay under 10%.
posted by lmfsilva at 1:45 PM on September 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Canada is beginning to look very, very lonely.
posted by Yowser at 1:53 PM on September 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


None of this is going to end well.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:11 PM on September 24, 2017 [6 favorites]


An interesting segment of the German political spectrum are the Kleinparteien (who collectively captured just under 5% of this vote), and among them two in particular: Demokratie in Bewegung (here are their policy proposals in translation; taz article in German), which is attempting to establish a Posemos-like force on the left, and the singularly competent thorn in the establishment's side for the last decade, Die PARTEI (previously), born from a satirical bent that seems to be gathering steam in the current climate.

Here's more about the latter's recent, poignant hijinx:

- Grauniad: Satirical German party gains ground on social media

- Welt.de article & video report (in German): Man muss „Die PARTEI“ nicht wählen, aber aushalten

- Deutsche Welle article (in German): Die PARTEI: nicht nur Satire

- Vice interview (in German) with Nico Semsrott, their depressive parliamentary candidate for the Berlin - here’s his campaign video.

- Vice also went to their shadow-cabinet press conference, where, amongst others, they announced their candidate for “Kançler” (German-Turkish author & cabarettist Serdar Somuncu).

- They stood to lose their electoral funding, due to their “Buy some money” fundraising initiative (in answer to AfD’s gold-sale promotion) - but prevailed, as per one of their classic slogans: “Die PARTEI hat immer Recht.”

- They recently hijacked a bunch of AfD’s private Facebook groups, as announced here; video with ENG subs here.

- Their campaign posters are notorious (and, of course, controversial), for example "Hier könnte ein Nazi hängen" (Could have hung a Nazi here), while their final campaign video for this election was recently released on HuffPo and YouPorn: "sexy-mini-super-porno" (actually an homage to a seminal German commercial from 1968: "Die Afri-Kola Lust").

No word yet on whether they managed over 0,5% of votes this time - in which case they'd stand to receive a more substantial share of electoral funds, so as to keep up the Spaß.
posted by progosk at 2:18 PM on September 24, 2017 [15 favorites]


The fact that the former East Germany seems to be more fascist than the former West Germany must mean something, mustn't it?
posted by clawsoon at 2:23 PM on September 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


If it's the Jamaica coalition it prevents AfD becoming the official opposition, as I understand it.
posted by Segundus at 2:50 PM on September 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


Yes, which also seems to be why the SPD was so quick to declare its opposition role - a Große Koalition (Groko) would have left the part to the AfD.
posted by progosk at 3:04 PM on September 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Looks like AfD got 18 percent here in Leipzig. It's sickening to think 1 in 5 people you see voted for them. We had an anti-AfD demo to the Rathaus tonight to show that they aren't in charge. Police were very nice and closed off the streets for the protest. AfD, Rassistenpack, wir haben euch zum Kotzen satt.
posted by starfishprime at 3:07 PM on September 24, 2017 [11 favorites]


The fact that the former East Germany seems to be more fascist than the former West Germany must mean something, mustn't it?

Well, I mean, I can think of a couple historical reasons why the East -- and around Dresden in particular, where the AfD seems to have performed strongest -- might be more succeptible to fascist creep than the West. Being an unwilling subject to Soviet rule probably doesn't especially enamour one to Leftist ideals, and that whole "Hey, let's melt an entire city from above" campaign might not have won over the region to the Allied cause quite as much as hoped.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:16 PM on September 24, 2017 [8 favorites]


There is no such thing as the official opposition in German parliament. I.e., the largest opposition party is usually called the leader of the opposition, but apart from some logistics such as order of speeches in debates, it's largely symbolic. So, the Left was leader of the opposition in the last Bundestag, but that didn't mean that much in relation to the other opposition party, the Greens.

Leaving government for the SPD is more about having to regenerate, with all the success being attributed to Merkel and no way to draw a real contrast. Being in government with Merkel was not good for the electoral prospects of the SPD in the first Große Koalition and neither for the FDP, as well.
posted by ltl at 3:16 PM on September 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


Being an unwilling subject to Soviet rule probably doesn't especially enamour one to Leftist ideals, and that whole "Hey, let's melt an entire city from above" campaign might not have won over the region to the Allied cause quite as much as hoped.

Nah, it's more complex than that. From my experience, for the older generation, those that yearn for the DDR, think that reunification was a mistake, etc are most susceptible to the AfD, having previously often voted for the Left.

For the younger generation, many of the well-educated and mobile ones have left the rural areas. There, the extreme right has managed to become part of the youth culture and disturbingly normalized, and the CDU government had turned a blind eye towards that.

In addition, you have a very low number of foreigners/immigrants in the east, which leads to fear of the unknown and xenophobia. Paired with some authocratic and conservative tendencies, that became fertile ground for Pegida in Dresden, multiplied by the media attention.

And those are just a few aspects, I guess we'll get quite a bit of 'Trump voter' style think pieces... I hope we get some coverage of the 87% who didn't vote AfD as well.
posted by ltl at 3:55 PM on September 24, 2017 [28 favorites]


Arschlöcher für Deutschland (AfD)
posted by misterpatrick at 4:24 PM on September 24, 2017 [11 favorites]


People say we gotta get rid of the two-party system in the US, but AFAICT the problem isn’t with the parties, it’s with the voting (and non-voting...) public.

GIGO
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 8:25 PM on September 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


> Nah, it's more complex than that. From my experience, for the older generation, those that yearn for the DDR, think that reunification was a mistake, etc are most susceptible to the AfD, having previously often voted for the Left.

This was as great comment--very insightful.

My very non-expert perspective, as a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed young American student who spent some time traveling in various central & eastern European countries back in the 1980s, and talking to a few different people who had lived under various regimes, is that people who had actually lived through it absolutely did not line up the regimes on the proper scale from "good" to "evil" that we as properly propagandized Americans had been brought up to believe.

For example, one person could easily have lived under the Weimar Republic (democracy, of a sort), Nazi Germany, a communist regime (East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, etc), and a post-WWII European Democracy.

So as a "pro-democracy" American one would probably expect people to line these up as:
  • Best: Post WWII Democracy
  • Good: Weimer Republic
  • Terrible, Awful, and Repressive in Every Way and Very Evil: Nazi Germany
  • Just as Terribly Awful and Repressive and Just As Evil but in Slightly Different Ways: Communist Dictatorship
Now, people would often say straight up that they were not judging things on some grand philosophical scale, or even on a national level at all, but on their own lived experience: Were they hungry, could they find a job, a place to live, did they have access to medical care, would they be provided for in their old age--those types of things.

And above all, did they feel a sense of security or insecurity in their daily lives.

On this scale the Nazi period and the communist period often came out ahead of both of the democratic periods--and almost always both the Nazi & communist periods were seen as preferable to the tumultuous Weimar Republic.

So it really doesn't surprise me at all that the far right is appealing to a lot of the people who also long for the "good old days" of the DDR. The far right is pushing a lot of those same buttons, and appealing to the same people for the same reasons.

Things don't always fall out on a simple Right/Left line, in the way we usually envision politics.
posted by flug at 8:27 PM on September 24, 2017 [16 favorites]


The lamps are going out all over the globe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:31 PM on September 24, 2017 [8 favorites]


Rage, RAGE against the dying of the light!
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:32 PM on September 24, 2017 [7 favorites]


Serdar Somuncu of Die PARTEI has also been a regular on the "Heute Show", a very deliberate (albeit weekly) imitation of America's "The Daily Show". I watch it religiously to help stay sane. One of their lines on Facebook today is "Sieg Heul".
posted by Slothrup at 9:01 PM on September 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


I think generally speaking the global left needs to offer some kind of alternative vision, because what we're seeing is a rebellion against the social democratic vision it's historically offered. Maybe it's reaping the bitter fruits of giving into the neoliberal/Third Way crowd, but the right is offering to make your life better/great again, and the best the left is able to do in terms of a cohesive global visions is "Communism but not the bad kind we already had, the good kind of communism."

Likewise, there's the real problem of the death of (very conservative) rural areas as more brain and capital collects in cities, and there's no leftist vision of what to do about it save "Maybe they should move to the cities, I dunno." These areas may not be sustainable! But there's got to be a way to work with the people there rather than write them off as idiot yokels or shrug because the time of that area has passed and what can you do about it.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 9:37 PM on September 24, 2017 [6 favorites]


The left offers an alternative vision, but neoliberal centrists do a lot more to oppose the left than the fascists. Centrists would rather work with right wingers and all stripes of conservatives than give one inch to actual leftists. Can't let things like human rights get in the way of corporate friendly policies. Most mainstream media venues are centrist in this respect, so leftist policies stay out of sight to the public.
posted by clockworkjoe at 10:09 PM on September 24, 2017 [18 favorites]


Alternativ zu Deutschland
posted by wallawallasweet at 10:21 PM on September 24, 2017


There's still not much doubt about the real source for this rising right wing tide: Putin and other oil oligarchs and mobsters.

I think there is a vast amount of doubt about that, and in fact the presumption should probably go the other way absent specific evidence of causation. There's not much evidence that the Russians are that good, not to say they haven't tried, and though they pretty clearly would if they could.

That's not to say that hardening electoral processes against tampering isn't worthwhile, but blaming political losses wholly on "the Russians did it", particularly when they involve double-digit gains by an opposition party and not merely a fractional scale-tipping, is probably counterproductive, since it effectively absolves the losing parties of any need to reflect upon or change in response to the loss. That seems like a dangerous course of action, because if that's wrong, and there actually is a problem reaching or messaging to voters, it's not going to get fixed if everyone is just looking for Boris and Natasha skulking around the voting machines.

Safer is to bet that the problem was in the message or messaging, because this doesn't rely wholly on the assumption that the Russians are suddenly ten feet tall when it comes to election manipulation. If it turns out, as seems likely, that they are just opportunistically taking advantage of (and, possibly, credit for) populist discontent that existed independently, it puts you in a better position than the alternative.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:31 PM on September 24, 2017 [13 favorites]


Since Saint Maggie and Saint Ronnie the role of politics is not longer to generate and work through thought, but to censor it. Languages and their use are modified so that alternatives become inexpressible and by extension unthinkable (not as in gross or tasteless, but as in impossible to appear in what is acceptable/passable as "human thought").

On an individual scale this kind of manipulation leads to illness. It's not surprising that on a larger scale this seems to be the case. When you outlaw alternatives from the rational, polite, ordered, and profitable society, the outlaws will bring forth the "alt"s.
posted by runcifex at 10:36 PM on September 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Hit submit too soon.

And when this canonical order (beyond which lies the unthinkable) has built the propaganda-surveillance machine to perpetrate its history-terminating rule, it shouldn't be too surprising that the ones who end up running this machine may not be whom the architects originally envisioned.
posted by runcifex at 10:41 PM on September 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


"Sieg Heul".

Having reached over 7% in some districts (and nationally likely close to 1%), that's millions of Germans in wry hysterics.
posted by progosk at 10:57 PM on September 24, 2017


Based on my (perhaps flawed) understanding of how runoff voting is implemented in Germany, that 6-7% number is not nearly equivalent to a 7% share of a single-round, first-past-the-post vote (i.e., US-style election). There are two rounds with the highest (two?) vote-getters moving onto the second round if there's no majority winner, so there's no real downside to voting for a wacky candidate in the first round as a way of showing disapproval for the entire slate. A person could do that to deny a major party a strong mandate and force a second round, and then still vote for the least-worst party candidate there. From what I can tell that seems to be the case -- Die Partei got a bunch of votes in the first round but far fewer in the second. The Pirate Party and some others seem to have had similar patterns.

I'm a little surprised they got any votes at all in the second round, because I thought the second round was a runoff vote between the two highest winners in round one, but perhaps someone can clarify how the mechanics work.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:50 PM on September 24, 2017


Yeah, that's completely off. We do have two votes at the same time: one for a local candidate, one for a party. These results are being used to calculate who's in and who isn't. The whole two-round system sounds rather french to me.
posted by dominik at 11:59 PM on September 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


In federal parliamentary (Bundestag) elections, Germans get two votes: the first is for a candidate standing in your district, and whoever comes top in the district gets a direct seat; the second vote is for a party list, and the national percentages (provided they clear the 5% cutoff hurdle) for each party get them that proportion of the remaining seats.

So Die PARTEI's 7,2% of first votes in Prenzlauer-Kreuzberg is indicative (it's where their Kançler-candidate was standing), but not representative (they got 3,5% of second votes in the same district); it's their national Zweitstimmen proportion (apparently closing on 1%, though I'm having difficulty finding official Kleinparteien details) that will be a gauge of the overall phenomenon. (Still millions, though.)
posted by progosk at 12:12 AM on September 25, 2017


For number nerds with a solid grasp of German: Ergebnisse - Der Bundeswahlleiter
posted by dominik at 12:23 AM on September 25, 2017


(Thanks for the link, dominik: so nationally they're at 0,5% of first votes and 1% of second votes - which is, of course, about half a million, sorrymybadmaths. Significantly, that's five times their 0,2% share in 2013...)
posted by progosk at 12:51 AM on September 25, 2017


So how many seats will AfD have in the Bundestag then? I have searched and cannot find the answer.
Is it one? A few? Several? What do these percentages of overall votes entail? Is there a progression / allocation between the % and the number of seats?
But even one is one too many.
posted by seawallrunner at 1:30 AM on September 25, 2017


...surprisingly (?) Frauke Petry will not be leading the party in the Bundestag... I don't really know the ramifications of this.

Hanging out with a guy from Dresden recently (a successful, smarter guy who writes for a popular (if dumb) TV show) he held totally typical Sachsisch political ideas - namely that the country simply can't support all of these foreigners streaming in. For a while it seemed as though Petry was the driving impetus of the AfD, that her 'charisma' (ability to say what people think they wanted to hear) was carrying the day. Really I think the AfD is merely a remora on this passel of emotions and feelings and hunches that 'other' is coming and it is going to fuck up our lives. Similar to Trump's base.

It is this that needs to be addressed.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:34 AM on September 25, 2017 [8 favorites]


So how many seats will AfD have in the Bundestag then?

They're currently officially projected to get 94 (of the 709 total).
posted by progosk at 1:43 AM on September 25, 2017


Deutsche Welle has a couple of interesting articles: Uncharted political waters for Angela Merkel and Far-right AfD enters German parliament: What it means for German politics
As things stood on the evening of September 24, initial exit polls indicated that the AfD stood to win around 87 Bundestag seats...

Thus Germans can expect words, phrases and concepts which haven't been in currency since the Third Reich to be used in the Bundestag...

New parties in parliament, as both the Greens and the Left Party experienced, usually have a difficult early time of it. And the particularly controversial AfD will hardly be an exception.

"They won't have any real effect at all on German politics," said Niedermayer. "No one will form a coalition with them. They'll be excluded. Their motions will be shot down. If they put forward reasonable motions that other parties might agree with, they will be voted down, and the other parties will put forward slightly modified motions."

...What the AfD will have is a soapbox beyond the considerable speaking time the party will enjoy in the next Bundestag. Political talk shows and other institutions of German political culture will now have no choice but to give spokespeople for the far-right party a platform. That will make the tone of German politics far less measured, far more coarse and cutting, than it is now.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 1:46 AM on September 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


An analysis from C Mudde, Guardian: What the stunning success of AfD means for Germany and Europe

"At this moment commentators are arguing that German politics has experienced a “seismic shock”. This is true, but the current election result mainly shows de-alignment from the mainstream parties, rather than re-alignment to AfD. For that to happen, AfD will have to build a coherent and cohesive parliamentary faction that has few internal struggles and personal scandals. Based on German history, as well as European precedent, that is highly unlikely."
posted by progosk at 1:52 AM on September 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


For those in the UK, this recent episode of Panorama is useful background on the social context, looking at a far right group in a town near Leipzig and how they have been received in the wider community there. Grim.
posted by rory at 2:23 AM on September 25, 2017


surprisingly (?) Frauke Petry will not be leading the party in the Bundestag

Petry has just quit the AfD.
posted by Slothrup at 4:58 AM on September 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Ah, great, in my district the AfD came in second -- a distant one, I'm so far into the Bavarian heartlands, the mosquitos here wear Lederhosen and are CSU party members.

I'm surprisingly un-alarmed, though. Them eejits were united by their opposition to something, even if that "something" was rather vague. By which I mean, it wasn't united at all. Same thing with the Pirate Party, so their internal balkanization will be reflected on the outside more and more. There's no Orban or Erdogan (or, y'know, that other guy) to ride the wave.
posted by pseudocode at 5:20 AM on September 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Petry has just quit the AfD.

Petry won a direct mandate, so her calculation is that she'll wield more power as an independent than bridled/quarantined as 1/94th of Gauland-Weidel's motley crew. Seems a post-hoc mini-equivalent of stateside never-Trumpism, so of no particular consequence.
posted by progosk at 5:35 AM on September 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Petry has just quit the AfD.

Petry won a direct mandate, so her calculation is that she'll wield more power as an independent than bridled/quarantined as 1/94th of Gauland-Weidel's motley crew. Seems a post-hoc mini-equivalent of stateside never-Trumpism, so of no particular consequence.
posted by progosk Almost an hour ago [+] [!]


Give her credit for being thoroughly cold-blooded; she was the face of the AfD in a lot of its advertisements. No doubt some people will feel betrayed, they thought they were getting Petry, and instead they got these cranky old white guys. I kind of wonder if the AfD didn't get played by Petry's ambition.
posted by From Bklyn at 6:49 AM on September 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Give her credit for being thoroughly cold-blooded; she was the face of the AfD in a lot of its advertisements. No doubt some people will feel betrayed, they thought they were getting Petry, and instead they got these cranky old white guys. I kind of wonder if the AfD didn't get played by Petry's ambition.

This all reminds me of how the Danish People's Party was created. First there was a crazy libertarian racist party, then the (female) leader jumped out and created a slightly less overtly racist and much less libertarian party of her own and now they are the de facto rulers of Denmark, hiding behind different coalitions that are dependent on their votes. Petry may well have studied that history.
posted by mumimor at 7:02 AM on September 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


Them eejits were united by their opposition to something, even if that "something" was rather vague. By which I mean, it wasn't united at all.

Nooo, it is not vague, they dislike and hate foreigners, refugees, Muslims, and people descended from immigrants. It is not subtle. I see racism here constantly.
posted by starfishprime at 7:16 AM on September 25, 2017


they thought they were getting Petry, and instead they got these cranky old white guys.

Erm, not, strictly speaking: party n° 2 Alice Weidel is in a same-sex relationship, briging up two adopted kids with her Sri-Lankan origin partner, in Switzerland. (Former colleagues and their circle of friends are still unsure what to make of her recent political career.) It seems she justifies the AfD as the only safeguard against looming Muslim homophobia; she recently admitted to illegal employment of a Syrian refugee as their house-cleaner.
posted by progosk at 7:26 AM on September 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Petry has just quit the AfD.

Do you have a link for that? Afaik she just left the Fraktion (faction). If she wants to form a new faction, she needs 35 other parlamentarians, which the rest of the AfD faction believe she will try to gather behind her, but that is highly unlikely.

Generally, when extreme right parties made it into a parliament (it has happenend in state elections), very quickly the infighting begins. So kudos to Frau Petry for not waiting even 18 hours...

And her political career might be shortened soon, as she is facing trial for perjury, her immunity in Saxony parliament has been revoked, so she saved herself with the Bundestags seat for the moment, but she will lose that immunity, too. She might face prison time.

So, that's a lot of drama, it'll be fun to watch. As it has been explained before in this thread, there is no way the AfD will have any political power. So I'm not that worried (about them being in Bundestag - I'm worried about their voters, though).
posted by ojemine at 8:06 AM on September 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


And it might be worth keeping in mind, too, that 12,9% voted AfD.
87,1% didn't.
posted by ojemine at 8:13 AM on September 25, 2017


Erm, not, strictly speaking: party n° 2 Alice Weidel is in a same-sex relationship, briging up two adopted kids with her Sri-Lankan origin partner, in Switzerland.

First I learned about the organic vegan apple farmer German fascists. Now I'm learning about the lesbian German fascists. My political categories are getting more complicated.
posted by clawsoon at 8:28 AM on September 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


Wait til you meet AfD's Achille Demagbo...
posted by progosk at 8:51 AM on September 25, 2017


This is an extremely surreal time to be an American planning her first visit to Germany.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:17 AM on September 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


MeFi favourite Jan Böhmermann's proposal of a new official Schunkellied for the AfD caucus: "Deutschland ist wieder im Reichstag zurück..."
posted by progosk at 9:44 AM on September 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


I'm an American living in Berlin for a few weeks. It's a lovely city, very optimistic and international. It also has little patience for AfD bullshit; I saw no AfD signs anywhere until two days before the election, and those only way up high out of reach on poles. There was a big demonstration last night in Alexanderplatz after the election; the AfD were having their party there so a few thousand Berliners turned up to, um, help them celebrate.

Some extra links that may be of interest Now for the coalition negotiations. Is the SPD saying they won't join one with the CDU a negotiating tactic or do they mean it?
posted by Nelson at 10:22 AM on September 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Now for the coalition negotiations. Is the SPD saying they won't join one with the CDU a negotiating tactic or do they mean it?

They mean it. They cannibalise themselves in the Big Coalition, Merkel getting the credit for essentially social democratic politics.

The FDP said they don't want to form a coalition, too, although I don't believe them. They always go for the loot, and they, contrary to what they say, need to have a say in government to protect the interests of their voters (many of them dentists and pharmacists, two professional groups who earn very well. Failing to protect the interests of pharmacists did cost them their seats in parliament in the last election).

Now for something more positive: The best election poster, imo. It calls for stricter laws of nature.
posted by ojemine at 10:47 AM on September 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


Damnit, progosk... political satire, Jan Böhermann, and he's riffing on Max Raabe? I love it.

... why couldn't this have been for something positive...
posted by Seeba at 11:34 AM on September 25, 2017 [1 favorite]




The maps of this election speak volumes; taz charted AfD percentages in progressively darker brown, making the areas where they topped 35% (!) the nation's colostomy bag.
posted by progosk at 2:42 AM on September 26, 2017


Three AfD candidates (all of them in the south-eastern border region of Saxony) managed to win direct mandates to the Bundesrat: the above-mentioned Petry (37,4&/35,5%) who'll be going it alone (she's now confirmed she's leaving the party); Karsten Hilse (33,2%/32,9%), a policeman who fears Eastern European cow-thieves; and painting contractor Tino Chrupalla (32,4%/32,9%), who promises to repeal "the absurd and harmful" sanctions against Russia.
posted by progosk at 7:00 AM on September 26, 2017


rory: Map of the late East Germany almost exactly coincides with map showing areas of support for AfD.

Interesting. Further down the Twitter thread, there's a map showing that support for the Nazis - pre-East Germany, obviously - was stronger in the east, too. My instinct would've been to blame a reaction against communism for the current strong right-wing support, but the Nazi support map undermines that idea.
posted by clawsoon at 5:54 PM on September 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


The map further down the thread of areas of immigrant population is also revealing: the places with the fewest immigrants registered the strongest support for AfD. Parallels with the Brexit vote in the UK.
posted by rory at 1:25 AM on September 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


Another parallel with the Brexit vote: evidence of Russian interference (as mentioned by saulgoodman above):

AfD targeting Russian Germans (13 Sep)

"They gave us a platform...We love them." Time article.
posted by rory at 1:30 AM on September 27, 2017


What is little known is the role that David Cameron played in propitiating the fledgling AfD after its foundation in 2013, by inviting its MEPs to sit with a group he created in the European parliament. The decision conferred respectability on a party which was already controversial through its links with the anti-Islamic Pegida movement. It was part of a strategy which ultimately led to Cameron's failure to achieve enough significant reforms of the EU to put before the electorate in the UK's EU referendum.

Britain's worst PM since Chamberlain, part XVII.
posted by rory at 1:45 AM on September 27, 2017 [3 favorites]


There's now some evidence that Ms. Petry's "spontaneous" decision to quit the AfD and form a new party is not quite so spontaneous; she registered the domain dieblauen.de back in July.
posted by Slothrup at 7:11 AM on September 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


“blau” = drunk; not exactly the sobriety you’d expect from her... though some think it’s to do with the Austrian populist right FPÖ.
posted by progosk at 8:42 AM on September 27, 2017


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