The denial of the establishment: how in Germany are gaining popularity alternative political forces

The right nonconformist party "Alternative for Germany" (AdG) became the most popular political force in the lands of the former GDR. This is evidenced by the results of a survey published by the publication Bild am Sonntag. According to another analysis of public opinion, AdG is the second most popular party in the country. A peculiar reaction to the phenomenon of "Alternatives" was the emergence of a new movement on the left flank of the political spectrum - the organization "Get up" already supported more than 30% of Germans. One of its main tasks is to attract those who are disappointed in the traditional parties of Germany. Will young right-wing and left-wing politicians challenge the political mainstream, RT explained.

The party "Alternative for Germany" became the first in popularity in the eastern lands of Germany. About it attests published by Bild am Sonntag public opinion poll conducted for publication by the sociological service Kantar Emnid. On the territory of the former German Democratic Republic, "Alternative" is supported by 25% of respondents.

In turn, the alliance of the Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union (CDU-CSU) headed by Angela Merkel is supported only by 24% of voters. In the third place - “Left” with 18% of votes, in the fourth - the Social Democrats with 14%, on the fifth - Free Democratic Party with 7% of votes. Close the list of "Green", scored 6%.

Previously, a survey conducted by the INSA sociological service for the Bild publication showed that, throughout Germany, AdG ranked second in the rating of parties with 17% support, whereas the CDU-CSU rating dropped to 28,5% of votes of likely voters. A year ago, in the elections to the Bundestag 24 in September 2017, the alliance under the leadership of Merkel received 32,9% of the votes, and the Alternative for Germany was the third most popular party, with 12,6% of the votes cast.

Two Germany

The Kantar Emnid poll demonstrates a curious sociological trend: the West and East of Germany are supported by different political forces. Positions are so different that, for example, the "Green" with their left-liberal program, which in the former GDR occupy the last line of the rating, in the western lands is in third place with 14% of votes, and AdG only in the fourth - with 13% of votes.

The Merkel Alliance is supported by 31% of residents of West Germany, who, together with the CDU-CSU, are in the ruling coalition of social democrats - 19%. The position of liberals from the Free Democratic Party in the West is 3% higher than in the east. And finally, the most "red" party from the parliamentary, "Left", in the west of the country enjoys the least popularity, gaining only 8%.

"Eastern Germany is different in mentality from West Germany, and it is only natural that there are high ratings both for Eurosceptics and for the left. After all, it was a country of the socialist camp, and it brings much closer to the post-Soviet space than with West Germany, "Oleg Bondarenko, director of the Progressive Policy Foundation, said in an interview with RT.

Protest opponents "Alternatives for Germany" in Munich. © Robert B. Fishman

Experts note that, despite the fact that almost 30 years have passed since the reunification of Germany, there are persistent differences between the western and eastern parts of the country, including the level of life (in the west it is much higher than in the east).

The average salary in the east is 2 / 3 salary in the west of the country, but the unemployment rate is higher (8,5% versus 5,6% in the west). The main centers of industry are located in the so-called old lands of Germany, and many of the production that existed during the GDR, were closed after reunification and did not resume their work. According to the report on the state of German unity, published annually by the German government, in 2016, the per capita GDP in East Germany was 73,2% of the GDP in West German lands.

"There is a difference in the political orientation of the East and West of Germany," Darya Platonova, an expert with the Center for Geopolitical Expertise, said in an interview with RT. - In addition to a significant difference in the standard of living, political culture can not be denied. The West German lands were intensively Americanized during the Cold War, so the influence of liberal ideology and the fear of supporting the radicals is higher here than in the east. "

Party of Common Sense

Another reason that the ratings of the ruling coalition have recently subsided, and AdG on a national scale have grown, is the disappointment of voters in the mainstream political forces, experts say.

For example, a protest by local residents in Chemnitz in late August of this year after a resonant killing of local residents by migrants was submitted by most German media outlets as neo-Nazi outrages. Most politicians of traditional parties spoke in the same vein, in fact ignoring the position of the city's residents, worried about the growing violence from third-world countries.

"The alternative for Germany" does not offer any complex ideology. Instead, it operates on a realistic model in the spirit of common sense and emphasizes that on the side of the people, not the elites who are separated from it and living in their own illusory world, so its support grows on a national scale, "notes Daria Platonova. "The party's proposals are understandable to the ordinary voter: to limit immigration, the sovereignty of the country within the EU to support, be independent of the US, to pursue a conservative but not radical economic policy."

At the same time, the political scientist underscores, the fact that the mainstream parties, especially those forming the "big coalition" of the CDU-CSU and the SPD, are also immersed in numerous conflicts.

“Inside the CDU-CSU block, there is a strong opposition to Merkel in the person of Horst Seehofer, head of the Bavarian CSU. The root of the contradictions is the same migration policy. The Social Democrats, however, are pulling the other way. It is difficult to conduct a coordinated policy, as a result, none of the ruling parties is fulfilling their promises, and their rating continues to fall, "the expert notes.

The only thing that hinders both the CDU-CSU and the SPD from re-election now is the fear of gaining even fewer votes than in the 2017 year. In fact, this was the reason that after many months of negotiations at the beginning of the year, the parties still formed a “big coalition”.

“If they had not formed this coalition, then the new election would have been the end of Merkel’s political career,” Daria Platonova notes. - However, the era of Merkel and so ends, there comes a time of new politicians.

Left alternative

These politicians appear not only on the right, but also on the left side of the political spectrum. Residents of the former East German Karl-Marx-Stadt (this is the name Chemnitz with 1953 for 1990 year), in addition to politicians "Alternatives for Germany" and representatives of nationalist groups, supported only one political force.

September 4 Sarah Wagenknecht, the famous German left-wing politician and co-chair of the Left Party faction in the Bundestag, presented her new political movement, Get Up (Aufstehen). She announced the beginning of its creation back in July, and by September more than 110 thousand people had signed up to it - more than in the “Left Party” itself. In addition to Wagenknecht herself, her husband, the former co-chairman of the “Left” Oscar Lafontaine, is at the helm of the movement.

Sarah Wagenkneht and Oscar Lafontaine. © Rolf Vennenbernd

The new movement presents itself as non-party, and, according to a poll by the same Kantar Emnid published in August 2018, 32% of Germans support its creation. According to the Internet poll of the Civey sociological institute, every fourth German citizen is ready to vote for a new political movement if it becomes a party.

The events in Chemnitz showed that we can not continue in the old way, "Vaganknecht noted 4 September. - Not all who took part in right-wing demonstrations in Saxony are neo-Nazis.

According to the politician, one of the tasks of the new movement is to attract those who became disillusioned with the old parties and took the side of AdG.

“A new left political force in Germany has great prospects,” said Daria Platonova. - This is a manifestation of a common European tendency to create left-wing populist forces that are firmly directed against the establishment, such as, for example, “Unconquered France” Jean-Luc Melancheon or "Five Stars" in Italy. Their popularity demonstrates that the left-oriented voter in Europe is tired of the “old” left who either degenerated into ordinary liberal parties defending capitalism, or instead of protecting human labor focused on marginal things such as the gender agenda. ”

The "Get Up" movement is skeptical of mass migration to Germany, noting that this harms the interests of the German working class. However, according to Vagenknecht, the causes of social discontent are much wider than the influx of migrants and are linked in general to the unresolved social problems in the country.

"The political family of Wagenknecht-Lafontaine is probably the brightest in the sky of left Europe, and Sarah Wagenkneht is the most charismatic politician of modern Germany," says Oleg Bondarenko. - But how far it will be possible to select the votes from the "Alternative", will depend on their reaction to the agenda. The current agenda is Chemnitz, the problem of migrants, which has become a headache for the local population. "

Future prospects

Against the backdrop of growing popularity of alternative political forces, mainstream politicians are worried about where Germany can lead.

From the initiative, Wagenkneht and Lafontaine dissociated themselves into her own party, and Horst Seehofer called 14 September the "Alternative for Germany" "a threat to the German state."

"In the long term," Alternative "will be the main party of East Germany, but taking into account the fact that Eastern Germany is electorally only 16% of the votes, this will not significantly affect the win in the general elections," notes Oleg Bondarenko.

Therefore, everything will depend on how "Alternative for Germany" can be fixed in the west of the country, and this, in turn, is connected with the migration situation. Oleg Bondarenko notes that in order to win elections at the all-German level, AdG needs to enlist the support of voters in three main lands: Lower Saxony, Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria.

In Bavaria, "Alternative" has good positions, it became there the second force after the local Christian social union, "the expert notes. - This year in October there will be elections, let's see how AdG will show itself.

"Undoubtedly, the growing popularity of the" Alternative "and the formation of a new political force around Sara Wagenkneht demonstrate tremendous changes in the German political system," said Daria Platonova. "The fact that both these structures are friendly to Russia and are against sanctions is encouraging. Now they are rivals, but the unification of left and right populists in Italy within the framework of the government of the Five Stars and the League demonstrates that overcoming the controversial confrontation between right-wing and left-wing populists in Europe in the national interests is possible, although every country has its own nuances " .


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