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BTW2017

If the colored slices on this graphic would have been arranged differently, not in radial but in orbital order, than one would immediately associate it with the symbol of the LBGT community. But in fact it shows in a graphical manner (so called “pie chart”) the results of todays general elections in Germany.

I would usually not cover something as regular and predictable as the German general election in my blog, since the political changes were always rather slow here, and despite the frequent changes in names, faces, or coalitions who build the government, in my view they always managed to run the country quite well. But the results of the 2017 general election received much more attention, not only domestically. From 6 pm on BBC had a 4 hours life program with inteviews, reports, analysis covering what was going on in the country of their highly respected and most honoured enemy. And as in many other political media as well did the little blue segment on the rainbow above attracted most of their attention. I don’t know why the color blue has been chosen for the logo of a party that is euphemistically called “Alternative for Germany (AfD)”, considering that the old nazi brown would have been more appropriate for their nationalistic and xenophobic agenda. But I guess that brown would really spoil the nice look on the rainbow scheme. The guys of the AfD (woman are vastly underrepresented) are really sort of newcomers in the German political spectrum, at least in terms of their names and their agenda. The people behind the party, however, and the voters who gave them a comfortable 12.6% of parlament seats, are always around since decades. A good estimation is that half of them are protest voters, who are anxious of any change in the universe and society and who used to vote conservative, socialdemocratic or even socialist in the past, hoping that any of the traditional parties will guarantee them a quiet, financially safe future in a sort of “all-inclusive-no-risk” fenced community.

The recent developments of global changes, in particular the arrival of about 1 millions refugees from Asian and African countries caused so much distress to them that they massively left the traditional parties and looked for a new comfort niche in the ultra-nationalistic AfD.

The second fraction of AfD voters (and active members) were always around, albeit invisible, and many of them had a former career in the West German bred right wings (Republicaner, NPD, DVU and other political lunatics). The difference was that in the past these all were quite fragmented, and because of this the votes were essentially lost by failing to reach the 5% lower limit for the entrance to the parlament assembly. This time it was different, since most of the right wing voters supported the AfD, and hence could sum up their percentages to build up a countable number. So eventually the AfD with the ultra-nationalistic, anti-European and “blood and homeland” agenda attracted 13% and caused a real big debate of how soon Germany will fall under a new fascist dicatorship.

I think this is all pretty much over exaggerated. There are several reason why one should  stay very cool now. The approx. 80 parlamentary or so of seats that will be occupied by the AfD lunatics are anything but the doomsday of the free western world. Of course they will try to satisfy their electoral base by jumping up and down and making a lot of angry appearances in parlamentary sessions and in front of TV cameras. But their obvious missing professionalism in parlamentary rules and mechanisms will sooner or later cause their gradual self-destruction. None of the new AfD representatives has got a clue of modern politics, foreign politics, or economics. Their brains are 120% filled with conspiracy theories a la Trump/Erdogan/Farange, predicting that a modern, pluralistic society will destroy all German values. To verbalize this threat they even introduced the neologism “Leitkultur” (lead culture), which I am sure will soon make it in the hit-list of funnily sounding words of German origin in other languages.

And because they are not just lunatics at home, but they also like to shout out their frustration at every occasion, including during parlamentary debates, they will soon find themself confronted with a consolidated front of pro-democratic, responsible, professional MPs from all other parties, stretching from the conservative CDU/CSU troughout liberals and social-democrats up to the left-wing party Die Linke. They all will close their rows and stand together to defend the values of a modern, liberal, free society. So in the long term, the confrontation of the german democratic system with the AfD challenge will only make the parlamentary mechanisms of responsibilities and options more stronger than it has been before.

A typical example for this is the re-established FDP (liberal democrats). They offer in their party manifesto a detailed, modern, and differentiated strategy of how to deal with the challenges of massive immigration. Whereas this question had almost blown up the traditional partnership between the two conservative sisters CDU (headed by the more liberal chanecellor Angela Merkel and following her slogal “we will manage the flow of immigration”) and the Bavarian CSU (under the more restrictive Horst Seehofer and his demand for a stringent limitation of immigration). These two twin parties were virtually constricted in their political decisions and immobilized like laookons sons by their inability to find a settlement. They were so much fixed on this single word “limit or no limit” that they became blind for any pragmatic solution of the problem. But their new junior partner in the new governmental coalition is about to cure the two elephants from their headache, by showing them a sort of “magical” and for both sides acceptable way of how to differentiate between real political asylum-seekers, refugees from civil war countries and from immigrants which come mainly for economic reasons. They will be treated differently, so that the general right (according to German and to EU law) for getting political asylum can stay in force (with no limit), whereas refugees from war countries will get “subsidary” shelter for a limitted time and immigrants which come for economic reasons have to qualify for job market requirements and for particular skills (a system like in Canada or Australia). When the new government, formed by CDU/CSU, FDP and the Greens manage to solve these and other political, social and economic challenges successfully, than the nationalistic AfD trouble-makers will sooner or later see their agenda fading.

Our 19 year old son was allowed for the first time in live to vote, I mean not to vote for the color of his bed blanket or what to have for lunch, but to vote for the German parlament. This made him so incredible nervous, that he insisted to go to the ballots only together with mom and dad (despite me having voted already at 9 am in the morning and Marina is as a non-German is not entitled). Our son, who always pretends that he is cool, independent, and knows better than me what is Kants categorical imperativ or how to solve a third order partial differential equation, probably thought that the fate of the whole nation depends on his single vote. He was in fact so nervous, that when we arrived together at the ballots, he found out that he had forgotten his ID that is required to vote.

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