Sunday, September 04, 2016

AfD beats Merkel's CDU in Northern DDR state elections

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is the state (Bundesland) covering the Northernmost 25% strip of former East Germany.

Pomerania itself is a region belonging to Germany and Poland these days; the name "Pomerania" (PL: Pomorze, CZ: Pomořany) approximately means "Area By the Sea" in Slavic languages. The equally named 7th century West Slavic tribe of Pomeranians has modern descendants in Poland, the Kashubians. Most of the Bundesland is Mecklenburg in the West, a historical land speaking Low German (Mecklenburg is a distorted Mikilenburg, a big castle; it was Veligrad in old Slavic languages and it is Megalopolis in modern Latin). Their union is the poorest Bundesland in Germany. It probably harbors the smallest number of Muslims as well – but the Bundesland is among those that understand that a big Muslim community is a problem.

On August 24th, Czech ex-president Václav Klaus visited Schwerin, the capital of this Bundesland, and gave a speech (DE) to support the Alternative für Deutschland. I think it's fortunate that not many Czechs are reading these things because they would probably be easy targets of parodies.

If I add just a little bit of the parody flavor, he said that he had really, really never visited the part of DDR North of Berlin before. Why would I be visiting such a boring flat place without mountains? How could I enjoy right-wing sports such as skiing over here? Or should I swim in your cold Baltic Sea? Funnily enough, as a kid, with my family, I have spent a week in the Rügen Island (CZ: ostrov Rujána). It was fun. Cold hardy right-wing boys such as your humble correspondent don't have a problem to swim in cold water. I've tried an Austrian lake close to 10 °C, too. ;-)

At any rate, today's elections turned AfD to a remarkable "de facto winner". It was surely the party with the greatest improvement from the last elections.

According to the latest extrapolations which hopefully take some "real votes" in many districts into account (in Czechia, we routinely know the final results 2 hours after the polls end!), SPD (the social democrats, now Merkel's partners in the grand coalition) won with 30.4% of votes, 5.2% worse than in 2011.

AfD is second with 21.4% which is 21.4% better than in 2011.

Even though this Bundesland is Merkel's home state, her CDU was only third with 19.1%, a drop by 3.9% from the "already historically worst" 2011 elections.

Die Linke – the Left – which is a renamed and modernized former communist party of the DDR won 12.9% now, 5.5% worse than in 2011, and is the last, fourth party that will sit in the Parliament. SPD, AfD, CDU, Linke should send 26, 18, 16, and 11 lawmakers to the Landtag (state's Parliament), respectively.

The (pro-immigration) Greens only had 4.9%, 3.8% worse than in 2011, which is below the 5% threshold so they will stay out of the Parliament now. So will NPD, a 1980s-style of a nationalist/soft fascist party, which had 3%, 3% less than in 2011, and FDP whose 2.9% result is a tiny 0.1% improvement from 2011 – the only party aside from AfD that achieved a better score than it did in 2011. (Two decades ago, I was considering myself as a potential FDP voter if I were German but I think that many things have changed about the parties and the political topics they are addressing.) Other parties have received 5.4% as a combo, 0.2% less than in 2011.

This great result for AfD follows similarly promising results in three Bundesland elections in April. With AfD above CDU, even in the CDU's leader's home state, I think that it becomes obvious that attempts to marginalize AfD across Germany are silly.

There can't be any doubt that the former Bundesländer of West Germany will bring worse results for AfD. But I think that Bavaria could display similar anti-mass-migration moods as the lands of the DDR. However, in Bavaria, CSU – the Bavarian-only branch of CDU – is much less pro-mass-migration than Merkel which is why CSU naturally devours some votes that would go to AfD if CSU were just an uncritical branch or small clone of CDU.

Congratulations to AfD, its federal chairman Ms Frauke Petry, its Bundesland leader Mr Leif-Erik Holm, and those who support the party. The mindless march towards a new totalitarianism and/or the destruction of Europe as we have known it does have an alternative and this alternative becomes impossible to hide or credibly mock.

Some left-wing media may have seemingly annoying headlines – for example, the BBC asks Is AfD racist? – but I think that when any person with IQ above 70 listens to the video interview etc., he or she will conclude that the AfD candidates and supporters are fine and sensible people who are doing the right thing and it's their detractors who are mostly malicious and dishonest scum.

Tim Worstall of Forbes urges everyone not to label AfD an anti-immigration nationalist party. He says that it's more subtle and AfD is actually close to the Czech Libertarian Party of the Free Citizens (SSO) which he knows (and I know) very well.

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