Voting Time In Germany

I don’t often talk about politics, because it’s the fastest way I know to divide people.  However, it’s election season here in Germany, and that means the political placards are coming out.

Politics here are, by American political standards, incredibly complicated.  Germany has a multi-party system, with two major and three minor national parties.  However, the states here also have their own parliaments and there are many, many  more political parties at that level.    There are multiple elections- one for national races, one for state races.    Some of the political groups have really  entertaining names, too.

Here’s just a tiny selection of the many, many political parties here:

  • Anarchist Pogo Party of Germany (APPD)
  • Bavaria Party (BP)
  • Citizens In Rage
  • Communist Party of Germany
  • Ecological Democratic Party (ödp)
  • Feminist Party of Germany (DIE FRAUEN)
  • German Communist Party (DKP)
  • German Social Union (DSU)
  • Green Party
  • Human Environment Animal Protection (Die Tierschutzpartei)
  • The Left
  • Marxist–Leninist Party of Germany (MLPD)
  • Party of Bible-abiding Christians (PBC)
  • Party of Reason (pdv)
  • Pirate Party
  • Revolutionary Socialist League (RSB)
  • Social Equality Party (PSG)
  • Statt Party
  • The Freedom – Civil rights Party for more Freedom and Democracy
  • The Republicans (REP)

I liked the sound of the Party Of Reason until I found out that it was endorsed by Ron Paul.  Anyway, the biggest sign of the upcoming elections is the sudden manifestation of the political placards everywhere.

Most of ’em are pretty dull, just faces with vague slogans.  For example, Astrid Lamby is with the Ecological Dems and she says values are choosable!

elections1

This dude just says “you have it in hand.”  I hope he means the vote.

elections2

I don’t know much about this candidate either, but her placards are nondescript as hell, and everywhere.

elections3

This smug looking liberal bastard says that how you live is your choice.  The URL translates to “cheap and free,” so you can pretty much imagine the talking points.

elections4

This guy “keeps the word.”  Literally.  He’s holding a giant word in his hands.

elections5

“Color your world!”   Graf Lerchenfeld’s political slogan would be right at home with Disney.

elections6

I’ve been saving the next few posters for last-  the Bayern Partei!  They advocate Bavaria breaking away from the rest of Germany.

elections-bayern1

No, really, they completely want to secede from the rest of Germany.  Like now.

elections-bayern2

This last placard is my absolute favorite.  I love this so much that I went online and found the source image instead of using a picture of my own, because it’s just so magnificent.  The slogan means “Paid enough.”  As in, “Bavaria has given enough money to the rest of Germany.”

The donkey shitting out gold is a particularly nice touch.

elections-bayern3

And finally, we have the bastard side of politics.  The NPD, or National Democratic Party, is an extreme right-wing political party with Neo-Nazi leanings.  They’ve met with David Duke, and they’ve managed to stay just barely on the correct side of the law.  While Naziism and Nazi symbols and paraphernalia are illegal here, simply being a hate group isn’t illegal by itself.  The group has survived numerous attempts to ban them, and they’re still kicking.  In November 2008, the NPD published a document entitled “Africa conquers the White House” which stated that the election of Barack Obama was the result of “the American alliance of Jews and Negroes” and that Obama aimed to destroy the United States’ “white identity.”

On 5 September of this year, the NPD came to Regensburg for an authorized political speech.  The local newspaper Mittelbayerische  posted this photo of the speech.  The NPD people are on the right side of the photo.  The huge mass of people on the left, behind the Polizei vehicles cordoning off the area, are the counter protesters.  I’ve never been prouder of this city than I was when I saw this photo.

elections-ndp

Who would win in a fight, the Piraten Partei (Pirate Party) or a clan of Ninjas?

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19 thoughts on “Voting Time In Germany

  1. Robert

    That’s a rhetorical question, right?
    What you’re asking is “who would win in a fight – a bunch of clowns or ninjas”! Because that’s what those guys turned out to be – in a state where they are in the parliament (Berlin – yes, it’s not only the capital but a state as well) they made an official request if the city was prepared for the zombie invasion…

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    1. Yeeeaaahhh…. you shouldn’t believe everything the BILD publishes 😉

      There was never a request to check the city’s zombie fighting capabilities. What they wanted to do was to revamp the existing brochure for “preparing for natural desasters” by the Bundesamt für Katastrophenschutz” after the Canadian model, which contains illustrations of people dealing with a zombie apocalypse. The same model has also been applied to brochures issued by other official government institutions in several states in the US and Great Britain.
      Why did this spread from Canada to other places? Because these new flyers were HUGELY sccuessful! Guess what, people now actually READ these brochures. Whilest in Germland I can assure you NOBODY has read the official instructions by the “Katastrophenschutz”, let alone has them at home.
      So if you can spread the same valuable information much farther around the population by putting a cartoonish touch to it, why not?
      Because in humorless, striktly serious and mindblowingly boring Germany, unorthodox methods to success are not only frowned upon, they even make you a “clown” that’s why…

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      1. Robert

        Hmm, from how I understood the press (the somewhat serious press, I never read the BILD – http://www.stern.de/politik/deutschland/anfrage-der-piratenpartei-ist-berlin-fuer-eine-zombie-katastrophe-geruestet-1987190.html ) the question was if Berlin is prepared for a “zombie catastrophy”. The motive for this request was said leaflet, that’s true.
        I’m neither humorless nor striktly serious and I hope I’m not mindblowingly boring, but if somebody starts a new job I’m actually expecting them to learn how to handle things and how to get productive – and not making (more or less) funny jokes…

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    1. I didn’t see the one with the painted asses until after my post went up! They seem to be rotating the posters regularly. Also, after this weekend we’ll start to see more national posters, according to my colleagues, because the national election is coming up.

      (And yes, your comment was stuck in the spam filter again. Weird. Have you contacted WordPress support to see if maybe you’re flagged weird or something?)

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  2. I really liked how you described the boring placards Steven 😀
    Yepp…. the race for the elections over here is a totally different game. One good thing about it is that it very rarely gets anywhere near as nasty as the more recent elections in the US. Still not sure if I prefer the boring model though.
    Two things I noticed:
    A lot of these parties also exist on the national level. There’s not just 3 minor parties.
    Also, “Farbe bekennen” does not mean “color your world” but “stand in for your believes”.

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  3. The Piraten Party Arrrrrr! I love their posters. We stole one once, it hangs in a closet. We wanted to pack it up for the garage and hang it next to my Dukakis for President poster. But some of them are pretty hysterical…and they are not trying to be.

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  4. Michael Z

    A similar thing happened when the NPD tried to march through Mainz, the counterprotesters were so massive in numbers that they couldn’t leave the Hauptbahnhof and basically had to call the whole thing off. That made me proud of this city too.

    That aside, I’m with you there, I try to avoid politics on this here interweb thingie because it tends to be a surefire way of losing friends and making enemies relatively quickly.

    Btw, Graf Lerchenfeld actually translates as Count Lerchenfeld. He’s a count! How can anyone not vote for someone like that! Oh wait, he’s in the CSU…

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  5. Amelie

    Clan of ninjas, of course! But the pirates would probably put up a good fight. Although, I never understood the pirate vs. ninja rivalry. When would those two even encounter each other? That said, I’m glad our political parties have boring names. That forces me to research the issues, as opposed to voting for the party with the spiffiest name.

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  6. Pingback: Election season in Germany | sarah stäbler

  7. Michael Z.

    Btw, hopefully I’m not teaching my grandmother to suck eggs here, but liberal doesn’t have the same meaning in Germany as in the US. In the US, it more or less means anyone vaguely to the left of Rush Limbaugh whereas in Germany it means “deregulate everything and screw working people”. Well, kinda, sorta. Most major parties in Germany are socially liberal anyway, apart from the CSU and the arch-conservative wing of the CDU (who never managed to get quite comfortable with Frau Merkel).

    Oh, and I only just noticed the picture of Ude literally keeping his word. Like, LITERALLY. That’s awesome. Germans were never big on subtlety, give a German a metaphor and he’ll give you a massive clunking obvious one. 😀

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