Sunday, 24 September 2017

stimmzettel

It’s federal elections in Germany and every suffragan is given two votes—one to choose their local representative to send to Berlin for the Bundestag (the legislative and constitutional body) and the other to select a political party affiliation that determines the mandate each political group carries. Though voting may translate to a cult-of-personality, Germans know that they are not electing a chancellor in any direct sense, just operating under the assumption that a party will want to retain their present leadership and form a government with the assent and cooperation with those garnered a share of seats in Federal Diet. Though it’s not beyond reproach to argue that forming the same coalition among senior and junior partners is not ideal for democratic institutions but it is certainly preferable to chaos and antithetical compromise, and while there are two major groups, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) that usually have to work towards solutions that both can live with, the landscape is wholly other the binary natures of many other national constituencies. There’s the pro-environmentalist Greens plus the Ecological Democrats and the Animal Rights Party, two sorts of independent-voter movements plus those seeking secession for various states, the Pirate party, the further left-leaning, the Marxists and the Communists as a robust counter-balance to the hard right elements Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) and the Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschland—die NDP which considers itself a successor to the NSDP.
I was also happy to see that among the contenders on the ballot was die PARTEI—an intentional mockery and miscarriage of politics, whose satirical rotation of representatives (listed candidates take turns at the EU and retire after a month) in Brussels won on the slogan “for Europe—against Europe” in 2014, just like Frontfrau Alix Schwarz advocating for both peace and war. The group’s political activities this election-cycle has been infiltrating the social media circles dedicated to AfD adherents and lampooning their message with rather destabilising consequences. Refreshingly, unlike many other joke campaigns, die PARTEI actually had a plan for what it would do if elected to high office.