The German political parties fighting for Berlin
The German Local just ran a story, Anti-migrant AfD eyes big gains even in hip Berlin. Since the Local is generally a left wing rag, it is of course a bit of a hit piece, but it does offer some insight.
To get you revved up for Sunday's elections, here’s a quick visual + analysis on what the parties stand for, a preview of the polls, and whether they need better advertising.
Die Partei (Polling below 3%)
Die Partei (the Party) may not have the most votes, but they do have representation in the European Parliament––and flat out the best elections placards.
The first one needs no explanation. This one here simply says, “Probleme? Abschaffen”, which translates loosely as, “Problems? Get rid of them.” The fact that he has a baseball bat might crystallize things.
Here is Die PARTEI: 1st Campaign Commercial for European Elections. Remember that comedian Jon Gnarr became the mayor of Reykjavik on a similar platform, and did a great job. At one point he was even considered the frontrunner for the presidency.
AfD (Polling 14–15%, up to 19% in East Berlin)
AfD is now the only major conservative party in Germany. Last week they beat the ruling (erstwhile conservative) CDU into third place in another Eastern state legislature, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, with 21% of the vote. In nearby Sachsen-Anhalt they pulled over 24% of the vote.
They are patriotic and quite sensibly want to put Germany first. Like Trump, if he were German. Oh, he is German, half German anyway. The only thing is Trump, is funnier. At least he hosts SNL from time to time, while the AfD is still getting used to winning and haven’t quite worked up to SNL.
Do they need better advertising? Maybe. The one placard shown is the best, but all it says is Berlin needs Schnauze, which is something like a local Berlin way of saying, “attitude.” Other than that, their ads are a bit on the boring side. Although they might argue that they are doing great — why change anything when they are winning?
Here their slogan is Unbequem. Echt. Mutig. This loosely translates as pushing the boundaries, real and courageous. All of which is true, except in advertising.
CDU (a death spiral at 17–19%, as low as 13% in East Berlin)
The CDU sometimes still gets called a conservative or right-leaning party. You might hear about them in terms of sharing power in a left/right grand coalition. The Guardian calls them left-of-center.
At this point it is no secret that the German Chancellor Merkel has a huge share of the blame for the migrant crisis. Even the Republican presidential candidate Trump has said on the campaign trail that all of Europe is turning into “a total disaster” because of unwise immigration policies, and has even gone so far as to say, “You know, what Merkel has done is incredible, it’s actually mind boggling. Everyone thought she was a really great leader and now she’s turned out to be this catastrophic leader.”
Why are they doing so badly? Until they change leadership they are probably screwed. The only difference between Merkel and Hillary might be that Merkel seems healthier.
Advertising from the CDU has always tended towards the boring. But the placard for Onur Bayar in the Berlin’s Neukölln (New Cologne) district might give you a sense of what the new CDU stands for. Neukölln has become a bit of a Turkish district, and Onur says, “Your Candidate for Neukölln — One of Us”.
What do you think he means by “one of us”?
SPD (22–24%, as low as 19% in East Berlin)
The SPD has been on and off in a grand coalition with the CDU to maintain power. These days, now that Merkel has veered sharply to the left, the policies of the SPD and CDU are virtually indistinguishable. Similar to what is going on in France and Austria, they formed a coalition to keep out the anti-globalist/anti-establishment parties. With similar results.
From the standpoint of advertising, they did a pretty good job. Visually pleasing photographs with the names of their candidates in colored boxes. Clean and pleasing to the eye.
In the first one the SPD mayor of Berlin is passing a women with a headscarf on an elevator.
The hashtag reads “#BerlinBleibtWeltoffen”, which loosely translates as either Berlin will remain cosmopolitan, or Berlin will remain open to the world.
The message of Berlin remaining open to the world with a picture of a woman in a headscarf? I think the Germans might have a question about the direction of the SPD, even if their ads are visually pleasing. For comparison, this GERMAN TV AD ENCOURAGES GERMAN WOMEN TO WEAR HIJABS. Is that really what the Germans want?
The advertisement above shows a women named Derya Çağlar, also a candidate for Neukölln with the slogan, “For you, for Neukölln.” While I’m not terribly reassured, compared to the CDU’s poster above, maybe the native Germans won’t feel flat out excluded.
On the left is a poster for an SPD candidate from another part of Berlin. Nice. Still, it is clear that the SPD is happy to pander to the left wing/globalist vote. I’m a little sorry for them, though, because it’s getting pretty crowded on the globalist left in Germany. And with everyone pandering to the minority votes, and no one besides the AfD pandering to the votes from ethnic Germans, it is clear the left wing parties risk losing a little market share.
Die Linke (14–17%, up to 27% in East Berlin)
Here’s a great example of the extreme left wing Linke and what they stand for. If you had any doubts about what that raised fist means, this pic shows a poster for the Linke with a poster for the communist party below it.
Any more questions?
Isn’t it great when the extreme left gets so arrogant that they just start advertising their honest views?
Die Linke means literally “the left” in German, so you can’t accuse them too much of deceptive advertising. Now they’re letting it all hang out.
Currently polling in Berlin at around 16%, and 9% nationally, they seem to be in a bit of a rut, always in the background, but never really increasing their share of the vote. Guess they’re trying to change that. This poster from the district of Neukölln appears to show two Turks giving the Communist or Antifa salute. Nice one. Very patriotic.
Here’s another one with Ferat Kocak wearing what looks like a Palestinian or Hamas scarf of some type. His slogan: “Stop war and weapons exports, people before profits!”
Seems like he’s a nice enough guy if he’s on your side. The Germans need to decide if they really think that he’s on their side.
None of this is very surprising. Die Linke is a direct offshoot of Erich Honecker’s East German ruling Socialist Unity Party (SED). They say they are no longer officially a Marxist-Leninist party, so they prefer not to be judged as extremists, although looking at their immigration policies, one might be inclined to differ.
Quality of the ads? They suck, which is depending on how you look at it, is a pity. Politics aside, they used to have some of the best advertising.
Greens (14 -17% throughout Berlin)
The Greens in Germany are terrible and basically indistinguishable from the Linke. Any semblance of being any more interested in the environment than other German parties is gone.
Germans do care about the environment, and all the parties have some version of an environmental policy. One reason the Greens survive is that some Germans, mistakenly, think that a vote for the German Greens is a vote for the environment.
I will say they score points for this one placard that says, “Berlin’s most important start-ups: children.”
Otherwise, they seem to have some less catchy ones and a lot of candidates with weird names. I don’t know if it is clever or serious. Here’s one with Aferdita Suka. Which would seem to be Latin for Aphrodite Sucks. Maybe it’s just a hippy name and the Suka is coincidental.
Otherwise, beyond pandering to the same dwindling pool of left-wing globalists voters as the Linke, SPD and CDU, they don’t offer much. They both pander to minorities and pretend to be serious environmentalists by supporting the EU, UN and all the other globalist organizations.
They also push an extreme left agenda of open borders and wealth redistribution. Yawn!
Though they do have Aferdita Suka.
They used to have great advertising along with some meaningful and edgy opinions. You didn’t know if they were left or right leaning, and they certainly didn’t seem friendly with the globalists.
Now after getting some power, they blew it, and have been in panic mode ever since. And for German parties, that seems to mean going left and avoiding charges of racism or sexism at all costs.
Now their opinions are lackluster and the adverts have lost a little punch. This one declares, “No education is too expensive.”
Just more tired ideas of wealth redistribution from the left, and for that they are faced with oblivion.
Last but not least, there is the FDP. A long established free market party, they were kicked out of power nation-wide after being in power and providing nothing but empty globalist rhetoric.
Unlike the Libertarian statesman Ron Paul they barely spoke about liberty and never about personal liberty. That stupidity cost them dearly. One reason the Pirates did well is that they filled the gap on the personal liberty front. Which is now being filled, in my opinion, by the AfD as much as any party.
Now they are clambering their way back, and might just get enough votes to return to the Berlin State Parliament. Partially, I might add, due to these catchy posters that suggest they are forward looking.
Whether their time in the wilderness has changed their globalist ways remains to be seen. Germans are getting tired of the open borders crowd.