Yesterday’s state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) were billed in the international MSM as a resounding victory for Angela Merkel’s party, the Christian Democrats (CDU). Which they were, but there was more to the results than that.
For example, in percentage terms, the AfD (Alternative für Deutschland, Alternative for Germany) gained more than any other party:
See these two articles from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung for detailed information on the elections (in German):
Our German translator Egri Nök has compiled a summary of the NRW election results for Gates of Vienna readers.
The Elections in North Rhine-Westphalia
by Egri Nök
North Rhine-Westphalia is that heavily enriched German state we have been talking about so often lately.
These are my observations:
First, I knew that Martin Schulz (SPD) was a complete air bubble blown by the MSM. I did not buy the hype for a second. It is not even worth discussing.
Why did they vote CDU (Christian Democrats; the local Bavarian party is the CSU) and FDP (Freie Demokratische Partei, Free Democratic Party*), and why did the AfD score only 7%?
I think there are different factors:
|1.||NRW has been red continuously since the 1960s, so even being a bit less red is a big step for them.|
|2.||That 13% for the FDP represented people who wanted to “show Merkel”, but could not bring themselves to vote for “Nazis”. The FDP is an irrelevant “economic-liberal” party who do not even comprehend what Islam or Western culture are and who have been at 8.6% in the last elections. They are famous (and ridiculed) for forming a coalition with anyone and changing their opinion with each coalition partner.
I realize that people may be offended by my negative characterization of the FDP. But I had one (of many) wake-up calls about them in March of last year when they mocked the CDU, when the CDU spoke about how there is no pork served anymore at all in schools, kindergartens and in most work canteens. The FDP argued, “So what? Everyone is free to eat what they like,” and mocked the pro-pork politicians as peasants and idiots. As if they didn’t understand that eliminating pork was narrowing the choice, not making it greater.
|3.||The AfD itself:
|4.||The CDU base are doing something brilliant currently: they have formed a conservative opposition, and in NRW made Wolfgang Bosbach their leader. He has an excellent reputation. He has always been a staunch conservative, and the icing on the cake was that he stepped down from his offices last year to protest Angela Merkel.
So people who voted CDU in NRW were in fact voting Bosbach.
When the CDU leadership makes it into a pro-Merkel statement, of course they are right, because she is the party leader [of the CDU-CSU “union”] — but I think the more nuanced way to see this is: by opposing Merkel at the state level, the CDU was able to hold — even gain — ground.
What also scared a lot of people away from voting AfD — and the CDU base used this argument aggressively — was that currently NO ONE will form a coalition with the AfD, so they voted CDU instead, hoping that a strong CDU would prevent another Red-Green coalition. A strong AfD could not have prevented that, because no one would have formed a coalition with them.
A final note: I wonder how many could not even find the AfD on the voting form:
|*||The FDP also call themselves “Die Liberalen” (“The Liberals”) but that is misleading when you know what “liberal” has come to mean in the USA. The FDP mean: as opposed to socialism, regulating markets, etc.