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2005-08-19

Oh God, I'm a Communist 

And here is the proof, see for yourself. This at least was the result when I filled in the election questionnaire at Wahlkabine.at (via Verflixt and Zugenewst!)for the upcoming regional election in Styria. Yes, it is election season in Austria too: this autumn there will be regional elections in Styria (2.10.), Burgenland (9.10.), and Vienna (23.10.) - Wahlkabine.at has compiled questionnaires for all three regions. While in Vienna and Burgenland the SPÖ has good chances of winning an absolute majority, the outcome in Styria is hotly contested. For the first time in several decades the ÖVP might lose its first place and the post of regional governor Mrs Waltraud Klasnic (who insists on being addressed as "Frau LandeshauptMANN" rather than "Landeshauptfrau") to the SPÖ. The roster of smaller parties with realistic chances of entering the Styrian regional assembly is larger than usual. In addition to the Greens, FPÖ, and BZÖ (the latter with only slim chances), there is also a "Liste Hirschmann" of a popular ÖVP-renegade, and the communist KPÖ. The KPÖ generally contests all elections in Austria and polls somewhere between 0.2% and 0.9%, but in Styria their populist frontman Ernest Kaltenegger (interview in DerFalter [DE]) has established an unideological profile and won over 20% in the last municipal elections in regional capital Graz. Opinion polls see the KPÖ between 4% and 6% in Styria overall.

As I've now been outed as a crypto-communist, I'd like to make the following public declaration for self-purification and repentance:


3 comments:

'nuff said.
That is up to you of course but I really like to hear more about the bold part of this quote

"Ernest Kaltenegger (interview in DerFalter [DE]) has established an unideological profile and won over 20% in the last..."

By the way in the Netherlands the former communist party merged with two other small parties to form what is now generally percieved as the Dutch Green (GroenLinks) !
I think it is very strange to call yourself a communist nowadays but at the same time they did change.
 

Of course Kaltenegger is not free of ideology strictly speaking, but he does not care much about it, he is a populist pragmatic. The interview includes examples. One of the reasons of his success in Graz is that he is very active in public housing policy, where he supports the tenants to the point of giving individual cash handouts in his office. Yet, he is against granting needy foreigners (other than EU-citizens and asylum seekers) the right to live in public housing - quite in contradiction to his professed principle of solidarity. He wants Austria to leave the EU, but does not raise this as a demand for pragmatic reasons, whereas in day-to-day politics he campaigns actively against further EU enlargement.
 

So now he is more into populism apparently.
'nuff said indeed.
 
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