Saturday, September 23, 2017

Germany: AfD could win the bronze medal

Update: And indeed, it did, beating expectations. Congratulations to AfD! CDU, SPD have some of the worst results since 1949. Jamaica coalition – CDU, Greens, FDP – is most likely now.

In the previous Parliamentary elections of 2013, AfD (The Alternative for Germany) was a new party that was mostly opposing the efforts to save the Euro at any cost. They scored 4.7% and stayed out of the Parliament.

A speech by the Czech ex-president at an AfD event last April. The German sounds impressive enough to me – e.g. in comparison with the German of his ex-classmate.

Things have changed, a million of migrants was added to Germany, and AfD has redefined itself as the only party in Germany that respects common sense and the European roots of their country. Aside from the EU and migration issues, AfD is the only party that opposes the Energiewende – which translates as the ecoterrorists' witch hunt against energy from coal and the nuclear power plants.

They seem to reasonably address a wider spectrum of political topics than they did 4 years ago – and, correspondingly and fairly, they're expected to score a much better result tomorrow than they did in 2013.

The most recent estimates say:
  • 37% CDU-CSU
  • 22% SPD
  • 12% AfD
  • 10% FDP
  • 9% Left
  • 8% Greens
The sum of the numbers above is 88%. The smaller parties will stay out of the Parliament so only the 88% pie above corresponds to the 630 Bundestag chairs that will be divided tomorrow.

That should mean that AfD, the third strongest party in the Bundestag, could have some 80 lawmakers. The error margin is plus minus 25, however.

Merkel is going to defend her fourth term. On November 22nd, it will have been 12 years since the day when she replaced Gerhard Schröder. Adolf Hitler was the German chancellor for 12 years and 3 months – the tenure ended by his sudden resignation in his bunker on April 30th, 1945 – so Angela Merkel may surpass her equally famous and equally uncritically accepted predecessor on February 22nd, 2018.

With her 37%, she could be marginally able to create a coalition with a smaller party – and without SPD. She has unsurprisingly vowed to avoid AfD. But 10% of FDP could be enough. Well, she could also pick the loons in the Green Party (who put her welcoming policies on steroids, and she might like it), even that could be enough to get a slight majority of the Bundestag. Note that one-half of the pie above is 44%.

I remember that some 20-30 years ago, I naturally thought that FDP would have been "my party" in Germany. It was sufficiently pro-business, libertarian, if I use the modern jargon, and so on. Even a few years ago, German climate skeptics would often be loosely affiliated with FDP in some way. But as far as I can see, FDP's message and usefulness has completely faded away. They became just another redundant herd of mindless sheep that simply okay everything that the powerful are doing and changing in Germany.

But even if SPD isn't invited to the next government and even if AfD is worse than the third strongest political party in Germany, I think it will be right to call AfD the leader of opposition in the Bundestag because it would be ludicrous for any other party to be described as opposition to Merkel's government.

CDU-CSU and SPD are very close but I still think that Merkel is the lesser evil – in comparison with Schulz. Viktor Orbán has echoed this old sentiment of mine – he even said that he was praying for Merkel's victory in the polls.

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