We’ve spent a fair amount of time analyzing the rise of Norbert Hofer and the collapse of the traditional political parties in his neck of the woods, but that’s Austria. How about Germany itself? The latest round of regional elections in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania just concluded and Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union Party (CDU) has taken a beating which is unprecedented in the modern era. So who was the winner? Similar to the results we saw in Austria, the barely three year old Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD) party, founded in opposition to German adoption of the Euro, mass immigration and the swelling influence of Islam in their country, has carried a significant portion of the vote. They shared the prize with their opponents in the Social Democratic Party (SPD), leaving the CDU in a distant third place finish. (BBC)
The Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD) party took just under 21% of the vote behind the centre-left SPD’s 30%.
The German chancellor’s CDU was backed by only 19% of voters, its worst ever result in the state.
The vote was seen as a key test before German parliamentary elections in 2017.
Before the vote in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, in the former East Germany, all of Germany’s other parties ruled out forming a governing coalition with the AfD. But the party, formed only three years ago, is already represented in nine of Germany’s 16 state parliaments.
This was not an out and out win for the AfD, obviously, so why is this particular region so critical? Located on the shores of the Baltic, roughly 100 miles north of Berlin and to the east of Hamburg, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania is Merkel’s home turf and is considered one of her strongholds in political influence. The influence of the CDU is obviously waning after being the bedrock of German political control for generations. CDU Secretary General Peter Tauber is quoted in the article as saying, “a sizeable number of people wanted to voice their displeasure and to protest. And we saw that particularly in discussions about refugees.”
While Peter could probably win some sort of award for stating the obvious, it’s hard to overstate the importance of the backlash against Merkel’s immigration policies. As the battle in this particular election played out, a constant theme was the concern over what the locals are referring to as the “Rapefugee problem.” (Emphasis added)
In the tranquil, late summer warmth of Germany’s north-eastern corner, election billboards scream alarming messages.
The far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) poster is certainly eye-catching – sinister, black-clad “rapefugees” juxtaposed with the rear view of a shapely, nearly naked white woman.
But nearby, in plain black and blue, there is a less visual but equally arresting message.
To those interested in mass immigration, criminality and pension security, it declares, vote AfD on Sunday “so that Germany is not destroyed”.
Here’s the billboard which the article references.
The short hand translation of the slogan under the picture is, “Tourists welcome! Deport bogus asylum seekers and Islamists!”
Can you really blame the Germans? Between the seemingly endless incidents of sexual assault and other crimes being committed by the new arrivals and the terror attacks being carried out by Islamic invaders around the continent, Merkel’s policies are an easy target. The Social Democrats are portraying the positions of the AfD as racist, xenophobic, anti-Islam and pretty much every other buzzword imaginable (gee… does that sound familiar to any of you Americans?), but such protests don’t seem to be influencing too many of the natives.
The general elections aren’t going to be held until next year, but Merkel is clearly in trouble. If the tide of immigrants, refugees and potential terrorists isn’t at least slowed down, her time in charge of the EU’s most powerful member state may be coming to an end.