AfD mobilized irrational fears of future, especially in the east, say pollsters | In Depth | DW | 25.09.2017

Here’s a first-rate article from Germany’s DW. In their post-election analysis, researchers say that the Alternative for Germany‘s success cannot be reduced to any one particular group. Nonetheless, as a community, AfD supporters are unlike other German voters.

Source: AfD mobilized irrational fears of future, especially in the east, say pollsters | In Depth | DW | 25.09.2017

This article puts the AfD election success in context. There are six core threads emerging. Here are the main threads:

  1. The AfD is strong not just in the east, but also among younger eastern voters
  2. The AfD recruits significant support from former non-voters on the Internet
  3. The AfD’s success does not represent a massive lurch to the right
  4. The AfD is a protest party but not only that
  5. The AfD depends on fear of foreigners that is actually a fear of the modern world
  6. The AfD is fundamentally different from other German parties

Time will tell whether these are the only factors. For sure, Germany must face radical change in the workplace, like other advanced countries, and we must hope that those people most affected, especially the young, do not turn to the Far Right.

Since 1945, modern Germany has emerged as a beacon of democracy, with a balance of power between political classes, workers, business and the law, especially the Constitutional Court. Unfortunately, Germany’s post-war success is probably not sustainable for all. Whilst business and the wider economy will continue to grow and compete, Germany’s labour force will potentially become more hostile.



Behind the ‘boring’ German election are four deeply disturbing trends – The Washington Post

Here’s a perceptive article from the Washington Post. It argues that the big winner in the German election is a far right party which is reviving some of the language of Nazi Germany.

Source: Behind the ‘boring’ German election are four deeply disturbing trends – The Washington Post

The four key tends identified include:

  1. The CDU won but it still did really poorly
  2. But at least the CDU did better than the SDP
  3. The extreme right did very well
  4. The rise of the extreme right has far-reaching consequences

In terms of the neo-Nazi AfD’s historical win of 13% of the vote, propelling it to the status of Germany‘s third largest political party, the Post warns:

The AfD is a Far Right party, whose leaders regularly make openly racist and Islamophobic statements and minimize Nazi crimes and who continually claim they will “take their country back” from its purported enemies.

As for the consequences, Angela Merkel has won a fourth term but she’s likely to see the AfD as the real opposition party, with widespread public support for greater immigration controls and concerns over security. The other issue cited by the Post is that Merkel has no obvious successor, triggering an eventual fight between supporters of the Right vs. the Center.

Angela Merkel has shrewdly offered to listen to the concerns of those who voted for the AfD.

For many German and international observers, the relative success of the AfD will bring back memories of Hitler‘s Nazi Party. Sadly, Brexit supporters will argue, ‘See, we’re better off out of an EU, where the Far Right has increasing political leverage’. For now, the AfD is a small minority part but tied to an engine of populism that could change quickly, especially as German industry is slow to adjust to technology trends like electric cars.