Pubblicato in: Stati Uniti, Trump

Mobilize America. Le dimostrazioni dei liberal non portano voti.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-11-19.

2017-11-17__Virginia__002

Mr Trump è un outsider: è alieno sia al partito democratico sia al partito repubblicano.

Non è un politico di professione, bensì un industriale, ed è arrivato alla Presidenza degli Stati Uniti chiamando a raccolta tutte le componenti dei comparti produttivi, quasi in opposizione al mondo finanziario e, soprattutto, a quello di burocrati federali e statali.

Né è riconosciuto da parte delle numerose lobby trasversali, ovvero centri di interessi e poteri che contano membri in ambedue i partiti che da due secoli si alternano al potere negli Stati Uniti.

*

Questo è il motivo di fondo per cui ha vinto tutte le competizioni elettorali tenutesi nel corso dell’anno, nonostante una campagna avversa parlamentare e sui media senza precedenti nella storia.

È un anno che i liberal democratici cercano un qualsiasi cavillo per poter fare avviare una pratica di impeachment, senza riuscirci.

È un anno che i media lo bombardano in continuazione, senza cavar altro che Cnn e The New York Times hanno dovuto licenziare dei loro giornalisti che avevano mentito oltre ogni limite dell’umana creduloneria.

Trump. CNN, NYT ed AP ammettono di aver riportato artatamente notizie false su Mr Trump.

CNN Accused of Blackmailing The Reddit User Who Made Trump Wrestling Meme

Trump. La CNN come la mafia intimidisce l’autore delle vignette animate.

Questa strada si è dimostrata non solo improduttiva, ma anche controproducente.

Cnn. Crollo dell’audience dopo la pubblicazione di troppe fake news.

* * *

«Almost as soon as Donald Trump was elected, an energetic resistance arose to counter him, spawning hundreds of new grass-roots activist groups and the Jan. 21 Women’s March that drew 2.6 million protesters in Washington, D.C., and across the globe»

*

«But Democrats have learned the hard way that antipathy for Trump doesn’t automatically translate to votes—and if the resistance marchers don’t show up at the ballot box next year, their protests won’t matter»

*

Risultati elettorali non si sono visti: quelli che ci sono stati sconfessano le azioni pregresse.

Adesso i nemici di Mr Trump stanno tentando un’altra via.

«Since November, a new generation of progressive entrepreneurs and activists have quit their jobs to run for office or launch startups aimed at helping Democrats identify and turn out supporters, especially among groups like millennials and minorities that didn’t show up for Clinton»

*

Tra queste nuove iniziative segnaliamo MobilizeAmerica.

«After the recent presidential election, a small army of U.S. citizens started forming various groups aimed at, among other things, electing Democratic candidates. There’s a lengthy list of these folks: Swing Left, Sister District Project, Red2Blue. You get the idea. …. Building a platform allowing people to find out about and sign on with activities seemed like a good idea. But to be sure, they ended up talking to more than 300 people over two months “to validate what was needed, as opposed to building a piece of technology and trying to put it out in the world,” …. They also created videos teaching people about how to canvass door to door, among other actions»

*

La prova sul campo è avvenuta in Virginia, nelle elezioni del 7 novembre.

La Virginia era ed è rimasta uno stato democratico, ma non per questo è esente da tutte le contraddizioni politiche riscontrabili di norma nelle elezioni locali, ove il fascino di un candidato può superare l’avversione al partito che rappresenta.

La Virginia ha in Campidoglio11 rappresentanti, sette repubblicani e quattro democratici, ma i due senatori sono ambedue democratici.

«According to the reported count as of November 8, 2017, Republicans lead in 51 seats, and Democrats lead in 49 seats …. Virginia state law provides that election results for the 2017 election will be certified by its State Board of Elections on November 24, 2017 (the 4th Friday of November)» [Fonte]

È stato un buon risultato elettorale, tenendo conto che i repubblicani avevano 66 seggi contro i 34 dei democratici: tuttavia non è stato sufficiente per un epsilon a conquistare la maggioranza.

Il Governatore è stato invece riconfermato democratico con il 53.0% dei voti, contro il repubblicano a 44.97%.

*

La rimonta democratica è evidente, ma con un grande scollamento tra i risultati delle elezioni a governatore e quelle per il Congresso locale.

* * * * * * *

Sicuramente il metodo porta-a-porta è molto più fruttifero della contrapposizione muro-a-muro finora perseguita.


Bloomberg. 2017-11-07. Can Democrats Harness the #Resistance?

The party’s fortunes hinge on turning anti-Trump energy into votes. A wave of new startups aims to help.

*

Almost as soon as Donald Trump was elected, an energetic resistance arose to counter him, spawning hundreds of new grass-roots activist groups and the Jan. 21 Women’s March that drew 2.6 million protesters in Washington, D.C., and across the globe. But Democrats have learned the hard way that antipathy for Trump doesn’t automatically translate to votes—and if the resistance marchers don’t show up at the ballot box next year, their protests won’t matter. In her new memoir, Hillary Clinton expresses admiration for them, but adds a dig: “I couldn’t help but ask where those feelings of solidarity, outrage and passion had been during the election?”

Clinton wasn’t the only one to whom this thought occurred. Since November, a new generation of progressive entrepreneurs and activists have quit their jobs to run for office or launch startups aimed at helping Democrats identify and turn out supporters, especially among groups like millennials and minorities that didn’t show up for Clinton.

To reach people who didn’t vote, it helps to meet them on their turf, with enough of an enticement to grab their attention. That’s why, one night in September, the staff of MobilizeAmerica, a new field-organizing app, was crammed into a dressing room backstage at an Arcade Fire concert at Capital One Arena in Washington—and why they’d brought along Danica Roem, the first transgender candidate to run for Virginia’s House of Delegates.

MobilizeAmerica was founded in May by two friends, Allen Kramer, 26, and Alfred Johnson, 31. Until last November, both were happily toiling in the private sector. Kramer, who grew up in New York City, worked at Bain & Co. in San Francisco. Johnson, who hails from Washington, played defensive end on Stanford’s football team, then stuck around Palo Alto for business school and a job at a fintech startup. Trump’s election jolted them in a new direction. “Alfred and I had a collective realization,” says Kramer, who’d returned to Bain after taking a leave to work on Clinton’s campaign. “I was helping a large corporation figure out how to sell IT hardware online. Quantitively, very interesting problem. But I’d just come back from the campaign with the gut-wrenching context of having seen what happened up close. We knew we had to do something.”

They quit their jobs and moved back east. With business-school rigor, they set off on a fact-finding tour, quizzing campaign managers, organizers, activists, and data scientists to find the gaps in the system that were causing Democrats up and down the ticket to lose winnable races. They were searching for a business idea. “We kept coming back to the fact that we had millions of people marching in the streets,” says Johnson. “There had to be ways to plug those people into the electoral opportunities that mattered most.”

What MobilizeAmerica landed on could be described as “Tinder for the Resistance”: a mobile app and web interface that matches grass-roots activists—many newly politicized by Trump—with nearby candidates who need volunteer support.

With seed funding from Higher Ground Labs, a Chicago-based progressive technology accelerator, Kramer and Johnson hired a small staff of engineers and organizers, and then fanned out across Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia to connect with hundreds of resistance groups, small and large. Like many of the new political-technology startups, MobilizeAmerica is focusing first on Virginia, the only battleground state with elections in 2017, and one that also approximates the larger country, with urban and rural areas and a fast-growing immigrant population. MobilizeAmerica chose to focus on a dozen House of Delegate races—including Roem’s.

“Local politics is a matter of quality of life and an issue of life and death”

If Virginia is a microcosm of America, then the 13th District race between Roem and the 13-term GOP incumbent, Bob Marshall, is like the 2016 presidential election glimpsed in a fun-house mirror: Everything is exaggerated even further. Roem grew up in the Northern Virginia district, working for nine years as a local political reporter and moonlighting as a singer in a heavy-metal band. She began her gender transition in 2013. Trump’s victory pushed her into electoral politics. “What the election taught me,” Roem says drily, a rainbow scarf in her hair, “is that there is literally nothing in my background that’s disqualifying. That bar is gone.” (Even in a race bursting with sociocultural significance, Roem’s campaign pitch is a hyperlocal focus on alleviated traffic congestion along Route 28, the district’s main thoroughfare. “Traffic hates everyone,” she notes.)

Her opponent, Marshall, is a kind of ur-Trump, who refuses to debate Roem or call her by her preferred gender pronoun. Marshall is best known for unsuccessfully pushing a state “bathroom bill” to dictate which restrooms transgender people can use in public buildings. Last week, his Republican backers sent out a campaign flier reminding voters that Roem was “born male.” But Marshall is falling out of step with his district, which is increasingly composed of highly educated voters and went for Clinton by 14 points. David Wasserman of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report calls the race a “toss-up” and a harbinger of national political sentiment heading into 2018.

Roem, in other words, is exactly the sort of candidate Democrats must find a way to push to victory. To boost her volunteer network and raise awareness of the election, MobilizeAmerica had gotten Arcade Fire’s Will Butler to livestream a pre-concert interview with Roem on the band’s Facebook page. “Local politics is a matter of quality of life and an issue of life and death,” Butler, wearing a “Butler-Roem” campaign button, told the 150,000 fans who tuned in. Trump “has treated a lot of people like garbage. So let’s get our shit together and help the people who need it the most.” 

Butler asked fans to text “MOBILIZE” to a special number if they could volunteer, a request he repeated at a late-night afterparty at a D.C. club, to which Arcade Fire had invited several hundred local friends. Johnson described these actions as “an engagement funnel” to pull motivated locals into a MobilizeAmerica list. The next morning, they were sent a video from Butler thanking them and asking them to join a recruitment effort. “Anger at Trump is important for convening volunteers,” Johnson says. “But it doesn’t necessarily move voters. They’re moved by local issues, such as Danica’s traffic campaign. Our job is to build a bridge that connects one to the other.”

On Nov. 7, Virginia’s elections will serve as a testing ground for MobilizeAmerica and dozens of similar efforts, with the goal of improving Democratic turnout next year. The vital question for Democrats is this: Can they harness the energy of the resistance and steer its members to the ballot box in 2018? Control of Congress, and the future of Trump’s presidency, hangs in the balance.

One reason Democrats struggle to turn out voters in down-ballot races is that the cutting-edge technology they’ve developed since Barack Obama’s rise has mostly been housed inside presidential campaigns. When the campaign ends, the tools vanish. Four years later, the process repeats. “Our reputation as Democrats is that we invest in technology, and that’s true,” says Betsy Hoover, a partner at Higher Ground Labs, who directed digital organizing for Obama’s 2012 campaign. “But the way we do that is really inefficient. We invest a ton of money inside a presidential campaign, which requires hard-dollar campaign donations that are difficult to raise and sustain. And then we build the same thing over and over. Down-ballot races never really benefit.”

After Trump’s victory, Hoover and two partners, staked to $3 million by Reid Hoffman and other Democratic donors, founded Higher Ground to provide mentorship and early-stage investment in politically focused tech startups. They hoped to foster an ecosystem outside of national campaigns and focus on state and local races, which often lack the specialized personnel and budget to make use of technology built for presidential races. 

“Where most people who invest in companies are looking for a monetary return, they’re looking first and foremost for a political return,” says Steve Spinner, the chief executive officer of RevUp, a fundraising company that grew out of his experience as a tech adviser and top fundraiser for Obama’s campaigns.

Over the summer, Higher Ground invested in 11 companies, many of them focused on reaching voters through mobile technology and social media. Field organizers Shola Farber, 27, and Michael Luciani, 25, who worked in Michigan for Clinton’s campaign, say this is important because two groups Democrats struggle to activate—young people and minorities—are more transient than others, making them harder to reach, since they often don’t own a landline telephone or pay for cable television.

“In the past it’s been hard to lure the brightest young minds in tech into the world of campaign politics”

Trump’s election prompted them, too, to leave their jobs and found the Tuesday Company, another HGL startup working in Virginia that’s developing “digital door-knocking” technology. While working for Clinton, Farber could see that the standard voter contact methods of door knocking, phone banking, and TV ads were not reaching many millennials. “When we talk to people via Facebook or text, they often don’t know there’s an election,” she says. A Tufts University poll taken a month before the 2016 election found that just 30 percent of millennials had been contacted by a campaign. “That’s a figure that haunts us,” says Luciani. 

Tuesday’s technology aims to extend field organizing’s best practices into the digital realm. “The one thing Democrats absolutely excel at is volunteers,” says Farber. “Our system uses a bottom-up approach to built a grass-roots volunteer network among voters who aren’t being reached by traditional Democrat efforts.” Tuesday’s app, Team, allows users to share campaign content with their social network. When friends “like” or comment on a video, meme, or GIF, Tuesday learns what issues excite them and can then encourage friend-to-friend outreach. Roem’s campaign is using the technology to connect with people whose doors are harder to knock on, either because they live in private buildings, gated communities, or rural areas difficult to canvass. 

Reaching voters through Facebook is particularly urgent, Luciani adds, because Trump’s campaign used the platform to send “dark posts” with negative messages to blacks and millennials to weaken their support for Clinton. “The same people that they don’t want to vote are the people we do want to vote,” he says.

Senior Clinton officials who have studied the reasons for her loss say these startup efforts are vital to reversing the party’s electoral doldrums. “In the past it’s been hard to lure the brightest young minds in tech into the world of campaign politics,” says Brian Fallon, a top Clinton campaign adviser. “We’ve still only really scratched the surface of social media platforms’ potential to make voter persuasion more effective, targeting more precise, and organizing more efficient. The coming midterms and even the down-ballot races [in Virginia] will give us the chance to experiment with new technologies.”

Unlike Silicon Valley startups, these enterprises offer little money or glamour for their young founders. Since leaving her job, Farber has spent nine months in couch-surfing transience as she works to launch the Tuesday Company. “There’s a generational aspect to many of these startups,” says Hoover, “a lot of energy and dedication, a lot of founders’ stories tied to the day after the election. Many of them pivoted, changed careers, or changed focus based on that moment. People are woke.”

“People are happier to engage by text than by phone. … That’s how we communicate with our friends. Calling would be weird”

On a Tuesday evening just before Halloween, the staff of MobilizeAmerica and a small crowd of volunteers are gathered in a downtown Washington loft for a weekly text-banking session, an update on the phone banks long employed by campaigns to contact voters. The scene looks oddly familiar, though more suited to a dormitory common room than an old-fashioned political campaign. Dozens of millennials are sprawled in comfortable chairs and couches amid towering stacks of pizza boxes and a few empty beer bottles, all peering intently at their laptops and iPhones. The purpose of all this virtual activity, however, is to generate real-world engagement that will lead to votes. 

“Texting is a more social form of recruitment,” says Yasmin Radjy, 30, MobilizeAmerica’s Virginia state director. “You hang out, you meet people, eat pizza, drink beer, and play music—all things you can’t do when you’re phone banking.” Radjy and other organizers have found it’s also more effective for reaching people. Unlike a phone call, a text message isn’t nearly so intrusive and allows people to answer at their leisure—and many do. “People are happier to engage by text than by phone,” she says, adding with a shrug, “It’s a level of intimacy that’s kind of crazy. But that’s how we communicate with our friends. Calling would be weird.”

On this night, Radjy and her cohorts are recruiting volunteers to Virginia from a list compiled by Do the Most Good, a resistance group in Montgomery County, Md., that’s partnered with MobilizeAmerica. They’re using a computer-based texting system designed by yet another HGL startup, Ground Game, which was founded by a former Clinton staffer.

One early discovery from the push into new technologies is that volunteers recruited by text are far more likely to follow through on their commitments. During the Clinton campaign, the “flake rate” among people who agreed by phone to volunteer ran as high as 90 percent. But Radjy says that those reached by text sign up for jobs and follow through, particularly when they’re members of enthusiastic resistance groups. “The conversion rate of SMS has been incredible,” she says. “Now, they’re showing up in higher numbers and volunteering.”

On weekends, these volunteers carpool or bus to the dozen Virginia districts MobilizeAmerica has targeted, to knock on doors and have the face-to-face conversations that are still the most reliable way of getting people to vote. As Radjy steps over scarecrows and Halloween pumpkins to canvass a row of townhouses in Gainesville on behalf of Roem, she ticks through a long list of resistance groups that have joined the effort, many of them formed in reaction to Trump.

It will take an enormous turnout for Democrats to flip the Virginia House of Delegates, which Republicans control 66-34. As polls tightened in recent weeks, even holding onto the governorship is no sure thing. 

Regardless of outcome, Johnson and his peers are convinced Virginia will leave Democrats better prepared to compete and win next year. “We have a better lens into the grass roots than almost anyone—the volunteers, the delegates, and all the local groups,” he says. “When we leave Virginia, we’ll know what works, how it works, and how it can work better—and all that will be brought to bear on the midterm elections.”

Annunci
Pubblicato in: Stati Uniti

Virginia. Buona vittoria dei democratici, che conservano il Governatore.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-11-08.

2017-11-07__Virginia__Results__001

Nelle elezioni per lo stato della Virginia i liberal democratici hanno ottenuto un buon risultato. Ecco la lista dei voti ottenuti per le principali città.2017-11-07__Virginia__Results__003

 

Sono riusciti a mantenere il Governatore, essendo stato eletto Mr Ralph Northam con 41,404,941 voti (53.7%) contro il repubblicano Mr Ed Gillespie che ha avuto 1,180,415 voti (45.1%).

Con percentuali simili è stato eletto procuratore generale Mr Mark Herring, 1,379,637 voti (53.3%), contro John Adams, repubblicano, con 1,211,061 voti (46.7%)

In parlamento sono stati eletti 48 democratici, con un incremento di 14 seggi, mentre i repubblicani hanno ottenuto 47 deputati.

Si noti come questi risultati non differiscano significativamente da quelli emersi lo scorso anno alle elezioni presidenziali. In realtà, i liberal democratici hanno conservato le posizioni che avevano, tranne che al parlamento, ove aumentano la loro presenza.

*

2017-11-07__Virginia__Results__004

La Virginia che emerge dalle elezioni è un quadro nettamente diviso.

Le grandi città dell’est dello stato, Norfolk, Richmond ed i suburbi di Washington D.C. sono nettamente schierati con il partito democratico, ad Henrico County con percentuali anche dell’88%.

Le zone rurali occidentali sono altrettanto nettamente schierate a favore dei repubblicani.

Non è solo una dicotomia geografica: è segno delle differenti aspettative politiche che differenziano in modo sostanziale quanti lavorino ai servizi da coloro che lavorano alla produzione.

Questo è forse il principali messaggio che dovrebbe essere recepito da questi risultati elettorali. Sarà compito dei politici trovare soluzioni che contemperino due opposte esigenze.

Come nota a margine, questo risultato non sembrerebbe né a favore né contro Mr Trump, essendo sostanzialmente eguale a quello emerso lo scorso anno.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Unione Europea

Sicilia. 4,945 sezioni su 5,300. Risultati.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-11-06.

2017-11-06__Sicialia__001

La vittoria di Nello Musumeci, centro-destra, con il 40.00% dei voti è netta. Inequivocabile.

È la dimostrazione lampante che unito il centro – destra ha ancora molto da dire e da fare per l’Italia.

Ottima la performance del M5S, con Giancarlo Cancellieri al 34.60%, in un terreno politico non certo molto favorevole alla sua formazione. Altra dimostrazione che la persecuzione giudiziaria scatenata contro questa formazione laddove essa governa non ha scalfito in nulla il suo potere elettorale: si direbbe anzi che lo abbia rafforzato.

Degno di considerazione invece è il 18.60% dei voti riportati da Fabrizio Micari per il centro-sinistra. Si noti come il partito democratico sia crollato al 13%: è diventato politicamente ininfluente.

*

Al momento, non sembrerebbe possibile estrapolare questi risultati a tutta l’Italia, ma le proiezioni su base nazionale non danno il pd sopra un modesto 26%.

Adesso si vedrà quanto Musumeci e Cancellieri sappiano essere buoni politici, ossia persone che aggregano invece che dividere.

*

Alcune considerazioni sembrerebbero essere doverose.

Da un punto di vista strategico, l’obbiettivo prioritario era l’annientamento del partito democratico, fonte della maggior parte dei guai di questa povera nazione. Non ultima, la scotennata battaglia per lo ius soli, legge desiderata solo dal pd e dai suoi stretti sodali, ma avversata dalla gente comune, dagli Elettori.

Molti faranno obiezioni circa la difficoltà di formare un governo siciliano.

In parte hanno ragione.

Ma se si volesse costruire un nuovo edificio, dapprima occorre demolire quello vecchio, indi rimuovere accuratamente i calcinacci. Solo a questo punto si può ricostruire. Serve avere pazienza e lasciare che il tempo lavori.

Inoltre, adesso da chi andranno i nostri giornalisti, tutti liberal, grembiulino e piddiini di chiarissima e specchiata fede? Si azzarderanno forse a continuare a parlare a nome di tutti gli italiani, quando le urne hanno decretato che valgono al massimo un ben misero 16%?

*

Gli Elettori del centro – destra e quelli del M5S dovrebbero però ringraziare la dirigenza pidiina, far loro un monumento ad imperitura memoria.

Solo loro, con la loro innata litigiosità, solo Renzi con la sua accecante superbia ed alterigia sarebbero riusciti ad annientare il partito democratico.

Gratitudine quindi, e pazienza. In attesa che un giorno il partito democratico sia dichiarato dapprima estraneo al nuovo Arco Costituzionale, e quindi proibito con dettame costituzionale.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Unione Europea

Repubblica Ceka. ČSSD crolla al 7.8%. ANO 2011 vola al 31.53%.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-10-21.

2017-10-21__Ceka__001

Gli exit poll per le elezioni politiche nella Repubblica Ceka indicherebbero un crollo verticale del partito socialdemocratico del premier uscente Sobotka, eurofilo, al 7.8%, che prenderebbe 16 seggi su 200. Nel 2013 ČSSD aveva ottenuto il 20.5% dei voti e 50 deputati.

ANO 2011, populisti di Andrej Babiš avrebbero preso il 31.53% dei voti, 84 parlamentari.

Invece, SPD, partito per la Libertà e la Democrazia Diretta, euroscettico ed anti-immigrazione, avrebbe ottenuto l’11.49% dei voti, cui spetterebbero 26 deputati.

2017-10-21__Ceka__002

*

Una coalizione Ano 2011 ed Spd disporrebbe di 110 deputati su 200, rendendo così stabile un governo.

2017-10-21__Ceka__003

* * * * * * *

Con questa ultima tornata elettorale in Europa è cambiata la composizione politica del Consiglio Europeo.

Restano solo cinque paesi a guida socialista, ma uno è l’Italia, ove a Dio piacendo e per Grazia ricevuta, si dovrebbe andare a votare questa primavera.

Il Deutsche Welle, quel giornale socialdemocratico tedesco che riporta e commenta ciò che avrebbe detto la Pravda di staliniana memoria se esistesse ancora, apre con un titolo sconsolato, cui fa seguito un articolo mesto, ma che sprizza bile da tutti i pori.

‘Czech Trump’ scores major lead in national election

«The ANO party, funded by the billionaire Andrej Babis, has come in a strong first place with about 30 percent of the vote. The projected future prime minister is currently awaiting trial on fraud charges.

The billionaire Andrej Babis is set to be the Czech Republic’s next prime minister after his centrist ANO party won 30 percent of the vote in two-day elections that ended Saturday, according to initial poll results. The country’s second-richest man and former finance minister has been dubbed the “Czech Trump” for his populist anti-establishment rhetoric — including lambasting the press as morons.

Speaking after the victory, Babis said he and his party wanted to take a more active role in shaping European Union policy, and that Brussels should stop thinking about a two-track Europe and pay more attention to the reasons why the UK voted to leave the bloc.

The far-right, anti-immigrant SPD party came in a close third place with about 10 percent.»

* * * * * * *

È davvero finita un’era.

Adesso il piano Juncker – Macron – Merkel dello stato europeo è defunto.

Che nessuno lo spieghi ai liberal ed ai socialisti ideologizzati europei: devono finire di suicidarsi. Devono scomparire per sempre.

Pubblicato in: Demografia, Politica Mondiale

Giappone. Domani elezioni anticipate. Abe favorito.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-10-21.

2017-10-21__Giappone__001

«new polling shows Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition on track to win around 300 of the 465 seats in the Diet’s lower house»

*

«But The Nikkei Inc. survey indicates that some uncertainty remains on the eve of the Japanese election, with 23% of the 289 single-seat constituencies and 16% of the 176 proportional-representation seats still considered close races»

*

«finds 207 single-seat districts and 55 proportional-representation seats leaning toward or strongly favoring Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party»

*

«The poll suggests the coalition may capture 63.9% of the chamber, down from 68.2% before the election»

*

«This would leave it just short of the 310 seats — a two-thirds supermajority — needed to advance Abe’s goal of revising Japan’s pacifist constitution to formally acknowledge the role of the country’s Self-Defense Forces»

* * * * * * * *

Il Giappone ha molti severi problemi, alcuni dei quali sono stati solamente adombrati in campagna elettorale, secondo l ostile orientale.

Sono però problemi la risoluzione dei quali richiederebbe maggioranze sopra i 310 deputati, perché le decisioni in merito richiederebbero maggioranze qualificate.

Un primo grande problema è costituito dalla difesa dello stato. Il Giappone ha forze armate del tutto inadeguate e non dispone di armamento atomico per costituzione. Ma ciò che poteva avere un senso settanta anni fa sembrerebbe non averlo più ora. La Cina è emersa come superpotenza economica e militare. Essa non costituisce una minaccia al Giappone, però c’è, e quindi un nuovo equilibrio di forze sarebbe auspicabile. Poi, sicuramente il Giappone è protetto da trattati militari, ma tutti sappiamo come i trattati siano pezzi di carta che hanno valore solo se sostenuti da un forte esercito.

Un secondo grande problema è costituito da un debito pubblico straripante, che tutti si affannano a ripetere che sia utile e benefico, ma che nei fatti pesa come un macigno. È innegabile quanto questo aspetto possa condizionare un riarmamento giapponese.

Un terzo grande problema è quello demografico. A fronte di una mortalità del 9.6 per mille, si evidenzia un tasso di natalità del 7.8 per mille. Il tasso di fertilità si attesta a 1.41, mentre l’attesa di vita sfiora gli 83.84 anni. Il saldo è quindi negativo. Più ancora che il futuro calo della popolazione, interessa lo squilibrio tra anziani e giovani, essendo questi ultimi coloro che alla fine pagano le pensioni. Ma senza giovani è impossibile costituire un esercito.

*

Il Giappone è un paese di vecchi: il 27.28% della popolazione è over 65. Sarà ben difficile che riesca a riprendersi.


Nikkei Asian Review. 2017-10-21. Abe’s coalition seen near supermajority in Japan election poll

TOKYO — As the campaign for Sunday’s general election enters its final stretch, new polling shows Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition on track to win around 300 of the 465 seats in the Diet’s lower house, while Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike’s upstart Party of Hope has lost much of its initial momentum.

But The Nikkei Inc. survey indicates that some uncertainty remains on the eve of the Japanese election, with 23% of the 289 single-seat constituencies and 16% of the 176 proportional-representation seats still considered close races.

LDP firmly in front

The poll, conducted Tuesday through Thursday, finds 207 single-seat districts and 55 proportional-representation seats leaning toward or strongly favoring Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, roughly the same as in an Oct. 10-11 poll conducted as campaigning officially began. The party held 290 seats before Abe dissolved the lower house in September for the snap election.

Junior coalition partner Komeito looks to reach 35 seats, up one from the earlier survey and an increase of one seat from the party’s previous standing in the lower house.

The poll suggests the coalition may capture 63.9% of the chamber, down from 68.2% before the election. This would leave it just short of the 310 seats — a two-thirds supermajority — needed to advance Abe’s goal of revising Japan’s pacifist constitution to formally acknowledge the role of the country’s Self-Defense Forces. The coalition would be forced to seek opposition support, and how that proceeds would depend on which party gains the upper hand in the opposition.

The Party of Hope — or Kibo no To — which picked up many candidates from the former Democratic Party in an effective merger, was favored in the earlier poll to lead the opposition, with 69 seats. But the party has failed to gain widespread support, owing partly to Koike’s comments about “excluding” Democratic lawmakers deemed too liberal. The governor acknowledged in a news conference Thursday that her phrasing “may have been harsh.” The latest survey shows her party winning just 55 seats — fewer than its individual members held before the election.

The left-leaning Constitutional Democratic Party, which includes many of those former Democrats left out by the Party of Hope, is rapidly catching up. The party’s projected seat total has risen from 45 to 54 as it attracts more of the opposition interest away from the Party of Hope. The Constitutional Democrats, headed by Yukio Edano — who served as chief cabinet secretary in a former Democratic Party of Japan government, could become the second-largest party in the lower house.

The Japanese Communist Party looks set to lose three seats, bringing its total to 18, while the Japan Innovation Party would drop from 14 to 10 amid struggles in its main support base of Osaka.

Independents are expected to take 30 seats, up from 28 in the earlier poll. The gains likely owe to growing support for former Democrats who chose not to join the Party of Hope.

Koike’s Party of Hope sheds support as liberal rivals gain ground: Nikkei survey

The poll was conducted by Nikkei Research via random-digit dialing. Roughly 45,000 eligible voters participated for a response rate of 60.1%.

Hope fades as forsaken liberals rise

The survey results suggest that the opposition’s failure to present a united front against the ruling coalition has hit the Party of Hope hardest. The LDP has pulled well ahead of the party in 13 districts previously considered battlegrounds, nearly all of which had at least two opposition candidates splitting the anti-Abe vote.

The upstart party is foundering even in Tokyo, where Koike’s local party Tomin First no Kai trounced the LDP in the July metropolitan assembly election. The Party of Hope is not strongly favored to win in any of the capital’s 25 single-seat districts, and it is seen as having the upper hand in only two. The governor’s association with the party does not seem to be drawing unaffiliated voters as hoped.

The rise of the Constitutional Democrats is causing problems for the Party of Hope as well. In Tokyo’s 10th district, once represented by Koike herself in the lower house, support for the Party of Hope candidate slumped by 9 points between the two polls, with the LDP and Constitutional Democratic contenders competing for those votes.

Koike circulated a manifesto to her party’s candidates Thursday casting the Party of Hope as a healthy, “reformist conservative” alternative to an LDP focused on protecting its own interests and a Constitutional Democratic Party veering steadily to the left.

A survey of party support showed the LDP leading with 38%, followed by the Constitutional Democrats at 15%, the Party of Hope at 10% and Komeito and the Communist Party tied at 5%. Yet despite the ruling party’s commanding lead, 47% of respondents disapproved of the current cabinet while only 38% approved.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Unione Europea

Austria. L’urlo di terrore che si leva dalla sinistra dell’Unione Europea.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-10-17.

ulisse che-saetta-i-proci-particolare1

Ma torvo riguardolli, e in questa guisa

Favellò Ulisse: Credevate, o cani,

Che d’Ilio io più non ritornassi, e intanto

La casa disertar, stuprar le ancelle,

E la consorte mia, me vivo, ambire

Costumavate, non temendo punto

Nè degli Dei la grave ira, nè il biasmo

Permanente degli uomini. Ma venne

La fatal per voi tutti ultima sera.

Omero. Odissea. XXII, 44 – 52

Già: senza timor di Dio né degli uomini.


Il risultato elettorale austriaco non è ancora definitivo, perché manca lo scrutinio delle schede inviate per posta, spoglio di 800,000 schede nel quale l’Austria mostrerà sicuramente il meglio della sua sbrigliata fantasia.

«Postal votes were yet to be counted with the final result set to be announced on Thursday (October 19).»

*

In ogni caso, il messaggio che dall’Austria si è propagato immediatamente a Bruxelles e nelle altre capitali europee è chiaro: l’FPÖ ha conseguito dalle urne il 26.4% dei voti e verosimilmente potrebbe entrare nella coalizione di governo.

*

Le reazioni dei pezzi grossi europei è stata immediata.

2017-10167__Juncker__001

«European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Austria was set to face many challenges, including holding the rotating EU presidency in the second half of 2018. That’s when Brussels wants to conclude Brexit talks.

“Therefore I wish you great success in establishing a stable, pro-European government,” Juncker wrote to Kurz.

“Each government will have a very pro-European agenda because all the major political parties are very much committed to the European Union,” he added.»

Le parole di Mr Juncker sono tutte un programma.

È suo desiderio che l’Austria si dia un governo pro-Europa, “molto” pro-Europa. Il motivo?

«all the major political parties are very much committed to the European Union»

Sembrerebbe quasi che il 24 settembre non abbia insegnato proprio nulla a Mr Juncker.

Poniamoci ora alcune domande.

– Ma che mai si crede di essere Mr Juncker da poter ordinare ad una persona eletta dal popolo con un preciso mandato di assumere questa o quella posizione politica?

– È forse compito suo, che non è stato eletto bensì nominato, intromettersi così pesantemente nella situazione interna di una stato sovrano?

– È questa l’Unione Europea patrocinata da Mr Juncker, Mr Macron e Frau Merkel?

*

«A new Austrian coalition of Kurz’s OVP and Heinz-Christian Strache’s FPO would be a tougher partner for Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron as they push reforms of the eurozone and EU asylum policies»

*

‘There is no such thing as a European nation!’

*

«Kurz has praised Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban for building a fence along his border to keep out immigrants»

*

«And Strache has said Austria should join the Visegrad group of central and east European states – Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia – that are united in their opposition to EU migrant quotas pushed by Berlin and Brussels.»

*

«Viktor Orban has mocked the idea of a ‘European nation’ in an attack on the EU superstate project, led by Jean-Claude Juncker and his allies in Brussels»

*

«The fiery Hungarian Prime Minister lashed out at those leading the EU for trying to impose a myth of a “European nation»

*

«Speaking alongside his Visegrad allies, the controversial leader rebuked plans from Mr Juncker, as well as French President Emmanuel Macron, which pushed for closer integration»

*

«The Visegrad Group is an alliance of four EU states – Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republica, and Slovakia – all of whom share a similar Eurosceptic attitude toward political integration»

*

«I believe there is no such thing as a European nation. There are Slovaks, Czechs, Poles, Hungarians, Germans, and many other nations»

*

«And yet the fear of “Überfremdung” exists— that is, a fear of foreign infiltration that poses a threat to cultural or national identity»

*

«Kurz and Strache want more direct democracy in the form of popular referendums, which could lead to votes on the Euro and Austria’s membership in the EU»

*

«Kurz, and even more so his potential coalition partner Strache, advocate ending EU sanctions against Russia»

* * * * * * *

Come i Proci bevevano, sgavazzavano e si sgroppavano le ancelle compiacenti nella casa di Ulisse senza darsi il minimo pensiero che avrebbe potuto ritornare, banchettando del cibo altrui senza ritegno alcuno, così questi eurocrati hanno fatto per decenni quello che più loro aggradava, come se il popolo bue avesse come obbligo morale quello di votare baciando la mano che lo bastonava.

Ma quando Ulisse è tornato, li ha sterminati tutti quanti.

Il popolo semplicemente non vota più i partiti che reggevano il bordone a questi eurodirigenti: sono stati totalmente sfiduciati.

E ricordiamocelo bene.

A suo tempo Eichmann ce lo siamo andati a prendere, lo abbiamo processato, lo abbiamo condannato, ed infine è stato giustiziato.


Austrian election results: Conservative Sebastian Kurz on course to become Europe’s youngest leader

«The far-Right was on the verge of returning to government in Austria following elections on Sunday.

Sebastian Kurz appeared all but certain to become the world’s youngest leader at just 31 after his conservative People’s Party (ÖVP) was the clear winner in initial exit polls.

But the nationalist Freedom Party (FPÖ) led by Heinz-Christian Strache looked set to emerge as kingmaker in coalition talks after Mr Kurz failed to win an outright majority.

“Today we have won a huge mandate to change this country, and I promise you I will work with all my energy for change,” Mr Kurz told cheering supporters.

“We want to establish a new culture in politics. And we want to change the country for the better.”

Mr Kurz now has a mandate to pursue the hardline anti-immigrant policies he introduced as party leader. “There has been a huge shift to the Right. We have seen it across Europe. We are not pleased with the result, but we can live with it,” Mr Kern, the outgoing chancellor, said.» [The Telegraph]


What Austria’s election says about Europe’s political landscape

«the Austrian vote and its implications for Europe. …. There was a temptation after the Dutch and French elections this year to declare an end to the far-right populist wave in Europe. But last month’s German election, which saw the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party surge into the Bundestag, and now the Austrian election, say otherwise. …. Despite a hard shift right by the conservative OVP under Kurz, the FPO appeared close to the all-time high of 26.9 it won in 1999. That result paved the way for it to enter government, a move which prompted a horrified European Union to impose sanctions against Austria. If the FPO enters the government this time, expect little more than a whimper. …. “The German election brought populism back to the centre of the debate and the Austrian election will strengthen that …. In France, hardliner Laurent Wauquiez is in pole position to take over the leadership of the centre-right Republican party”

A new Austrian coalition of Kurz’s OVP and Heinz-Christian Strache’s FPO would be a tougher partner for Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron as they push reforms of the eurozone and EU asylum policies.

Kurz has praised Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban for building a fence along his border to keep out immigrants. And Strache has said Austria should join the Visegrad group of central and east European states – Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia – that are united in their opposition to EU migrant quotas pushed by Berlin and Brussels.»


Reuters. 2017-10-16. Merkel: Strong result for Austria’s FPO ‘big challenge’ for other parties

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that the strong showing of Austria’s anti-immigrant Freedom Party (FPO) in Sunday’s election was a “big challenge” for other parties.

Speaking at a news conference in Berlin, Merkel added that she was hoping for close cooperation with Austria’s conservative election winner Sebastian Kurz at the European level.


Express. 2017-10-16. ‘There is no such thing as a European nation!’ Orban warns against Brussels-led superstate

VIKTOR ORBAN has mocked the idea of a ‘European nation’ in an attack on the EU superstate project, led by Jean-Claude Juncker and his allies in Brussels.

*

The fiery Hungarian Prime Minister lashed out at those leading the EU for trying to impose a myth of a “European nation”.

Viktor Orban announced that the European Union had failed and was “going backwards” under the leadership of Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk

Speaking alongside his Visegrad allies, the controversial leader rebuked plans from Mr Juncker, as well as French President Emmanuel Macron, which pushed for closer integration.

The Visegrad Group is an alliance of four EU states – Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republica, and Slovakia – all of whom share a similar Eurosceptic attitude toward political integration. 

Mr Orban told the press conference: “The Hungarian point of view – identical to the view of the Visegrad countries – is that, if we want to move forward, we should not step back! 

“However, we can see that we are reversing the achievements that we reached in the past. The most visible example is the Schengen Zone.

“I have to say firmly, that all the institutions of the EU have utterly failed.

“Neither the European Commission, nor the European Council,  nor the European Parliament protected the Schengen Treaty.”

Mr Orban then ripped into the low levels of trust among Europeans in the political projects of Brussels.

He said: “I believe there is no such thing as a European nation. There are Slovaks, Czechs, Poles, Hungarians, Germans, and many other nations.

“If we want to improve trust towards the EU, we must straighten the member-states.

“The strength of the EU is only possible through strong national institutions.”

The Hungarian leader also revealed plans for a massive international conference in Budapest early next year which will discuss “the future of Europe” as he seeks to build on his anti-Brussels momentum.

Mr Orban made his remarks during a trip to Slovakia, where the Visegrad Group complained about the double standards of food in the EU – where western states are sold higher quality products than countries in the east. 


Deutsche Welle. 2017-10-16. A right-wing coalition in Austria threatens the EU

The conservative Sebastian Kurz has emerged victorious from Austrian elections. As he now looks to forming a government, he should carefully consider the dangers of partnering with the far-right FPÖ, says Bernd Riegert.

*

Former Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, a smart European, fears that Austria is undergoing “Orbanization.” In his eyes, the potential rise of a strongly right-wing coalition between the People’s Party (ÖVP) of chancellor-in-waiting Sebastian Kurz and the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) reflects the nationalist wave that is sweeping across the Alpine nation and which could lead to a complete restructuring of the state — as it has in Hungary under Prime Minister Victor Orban. If the young but totally power-conscious Kurz and the FPÖ Chairman Heinz Christian Strache become coalition bedfellows, migration policy and domestic security, as well as structural political issues, would begin to move in new, possibly questionable directions.

Kurz and Strache share the belief that closed borders should be used first and foremost to keep asylum applicants and illegal migrants out of Austria. Kurz also convinced voters to cast their ballots for him through his partially incomprehensible calls for more deportation and migrant reception camps, either in Africa or on uninhabited islands.

The number of asylum applicants in Austria is falling. Most migrants come from EU states. And yet the fear of “Überfremdung” exists— that is, a fear of foreign infiltration that poses a threat to cultural or national identity.  It is this fear that the ÖVP and the FPÖ harnessed to win the election. Strache’s “homeland” party did best in the areas of Austria that have the fewest foreigners or migrants. This phenomenon could also be seen in eastern Germany where the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) was particularly successful. 

Right-wing populists in Europe celebrate

Even the Austrian Social Democrats (SPÖ) jumped halfway on this bandwagon, though apparently too late in time to win additional votes. Kurz and Strache want more direct democracy in the form of popular referendums, which could lead to votes on the Euro and Austria’s membership in the EU. Strache’s party has advocated leaving the bloc in the past. The participation of the right-wing populists in the Austrian government would unnecessarily strengthen similar parties in Europe, from Finland to Hungary, Italy to Greece. Strache’s best friends are the French nationalists of the National Front and the Russian government.  Kurz, Austria’s likely next chancellor, is not put off by any of this. He believes that his followers will have fewer problems with an FPÖ partnership than with a continuation of the no-longer-so-great Grand Coalition with the SPÖ, which many Austrians see as Chancellor Kurz will make life hard for Europe

The new chancellor of the Alpine republic will probably be a difficult colleague for all his EU partners, but especially for German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Kurz boasts that his resolute closure of the Balkan migration route forced Merkel to reverse her migration policy. In the future, he could take Austria down a rather national road, for instance, by having the country join Poland, Hungary the Czech Republic and Slovakia in their cultural and political alliance known as the Visegrad Group. These countries feel patronized by Germany, and Austria’s joining them would strengthen the unofficial opposition to Brussels. EU proceedings due to democratically questionable practices in Hungary or Poland would be much harder to carry out with a Chancellor Kurz.

In addition, the EU’s relationship to Russia would also possibly have to be readjusted due to pressure from Austria. Kurz, and even more so his potential coalition partner Strache, advocate ending EU sanctions against Russia.  Austria has a large interest in doing better business with Russia, for instance in the energy sector.

A turquoise-blue government of the conservative ÖVP and the right-wing populist FPÖ would be a dangerous experiment for Austria and the EU. Attempts to minimize fear by arguing that FPÖ has already served in coalitions with the ÖVP and the SPÖ are meaningless. Today’s FPÖ is fundamentally different than it was in the past. Strache represents a strict policy of nationalist isolation. But that’s what the Austrians wanted. Does the historic phrase “Tu Felix Austria” — “You Happy Austria” — which once graced the royal seal, still apply? Hopefully Sebastian Kurz will make the right decision and partner with the Social Democrats under new party leadership.


Deutsche Welle. 2017-10-16. Austria election: Europe reacts to Sebastian Kurz victory

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was hoping for close cooperation in Europe with Sebastian Kurz, who led his conservative party to election victory in Austria. DW has reaction from Berlin and beyond.

*

German Chancellor Angela Merkel congratulated Sebastian Kurz on his victory and the “energetic” modernization of his party, which is aligned with her Christian Democrats. She declined to comment on which coalition arrangement she wanted to see, but said the Freedom Party’s strength would be a “major challenge” for its Austrian rivals.

Merkel said the challenge posed by the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany was “manageable” compared with the FPÖ’s strength. She hoped for close cooperation with Kurz at the European level.

Hungary’s foreign minister Peter Szijjarto was full of praise for his Austrian counterpart and “friend” Kurz, who at 31 is expected to become Europe’s youngest national leader following an election victory on Sunday. 

“He’s hijacked neither by hypocrisy nor by political correctness. He’s always honest, he’s always very direct and I think it’s very necessary currently, that European leaders speak directly,” Szijjarto told reporters in Brussels.

Szijjarto welcomed Kurz’s stance on migration as close to that of Budapest and expected Austria to work more closely with anti-immigration eastern and central European states including Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. East-West divides over migration policy have strained unity in the bloc.

Immigration – a key issue in the election

The conservative Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), which Kurz remodeled in his image, won Sunday’s election by taking about 32 percent of the vote. To govern he would need to form a coalition with either the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) or the far-right Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) which are both hovering around 26-27 percent pending Thursday’s final count. He is expected to favor the FPÖ, whose immigration policies align closely with his own.

Migration was a major issue in the election campaign, after Austria became a major transit and destination country during the migration crisis of 2015 and 2016. Kurz favors tough enforcement of the EU’s borders and played a major role in introducing the border restrictions in the Balkans which largely shut down the main migration route to Western Europe in 2015/2016.

Congratulations, unease in Brussels

While many European leaders expressed congratulations to Kurz, there was also unease about his potential coalition partner the FPÖ. The far-right, euroskeptic party has previously clashed with the bloc. Back in 2000 when the FPÖ was part of the government, other EU member states at the time temporarily reduced cooperation with Vienna amid concern over anti-immigrant rhetoric.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Austria was set to face many challenges, including holding the rotating EU presidency in the second half of 2018. That’s when Brussels wants to conclude Brexit talks.

“Therefore I wish you great success in establishing a stable, pro-European government,” Juncker wrote to Kurz.

EU Commissioner for Enlargement Johannes Hahn, an Austrian from Kurz’s party, sought to allay concerns about Austria moving to the right.

“Each government will have a very pro-European agenda because all the major political parties are very much committed to the European Union,” he added.

The far-right in France had a different interpretation of the result, calling the rise of the FPÖ “another welcome defeat for the European Union” despite FPÖ leader Heinz-Christian Strache having taken care to distance himself from radical anti-EU positions during the campaign.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Unione Europea

Austria. Risultati definitivi. Kurz dovrebbe essere il nuovo cancelliere.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-10-15.

2017-10-15__Austria_001

Herr Sebastian Kurz ha vinto le elezioni austriache ottenendo il 31.6% dei voti e 62 seggi in parlamento.

Seguono l’Spö con il 26.9%, 52 seggi, e quindi l’Fpö con il 26.0%, 50 seggi.

I Grüne non riescono a passare la soglia, quindi non ottengono alcun deputato.

2017-10-15__Austria__Vecchio_Parlamento__001

*

«The victory would make Mr Kurz the world’s youngest national leader»

*

«Short of a majority, Mr Kurz’s party could seek an alliance with the FPÖ, which campaigned against immigration»

*

«He appealed to conservative and right-wing voters with pledges to shut down migrant routes to Europe, cap benefit payments to refugees, and bar immigrants from receiving benefits until they have lived in Austria for five years»

*

«The rightward shift was seen as a response to the success of the FPÖ»

*

«The current chancellor, Social Democrat leader Christian Kern, looks certain to lose his position after a campaign marred by several scandals, including allegations that his adviser led an online smear campaign against Mr Kurz»

*

«Kurz’s ÖVP is expected to form a government with the far-right FPÖ, after he ended a grand coalition government with the center-left SPÖ earlier this year»

*

«But an alliance with the populist, far-right FPÖ could prove controversial among Austria’s EU counterparts.»

*

Al momento attuale sarebbe del tutto prematuro fare considerazioni generali.

Di certo, Herr Kurz ha la possibilità sia di allearsi con la SPÖ sia con la FPÖ.

L’unica certezza è nel fatto che l’attuale dirigenza dell’Unione Europea farà grandi pressioni per una riedizione della Große Koalition.


Bbc. 2017-10-15. Austrian conservative set to become world’s youngest leader

Austria’s conservative People’s Party (ÖVP), led by 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz, is set to win the country’s general election, projections suggest.

*

The victory would make Mr Kurz the world’s youngest national leader.

The People’s Party was set to win 31.5%, followed by the Social Democrats with 27.1% and the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) with 25.9%.

Short of a majority, Mr Kurz’s party could seek an alliance with the FPÖ, which campaigned against immigration.

Who is Sebastian Kurz?

Before the election, Mr Kurz served as Europe’s youngest-ever foreign minister, after he was appointed in 2013 aged just 27.

In May 2017 he became the leader of the ÖVP. He began his political career in the youth wing of the party, which he chaired before moving on to serve on Vienna’s city council.

Nicknamed “Wunderwuzzi” (roughly translated – someone who can walk on water), he has been compared to the young leaders of France and Canada, Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau.

Much like Mr Macron, Mr Kurz has created a movement around himself, rebranding the ÖVP – which has been in power for more than 30 years – as “The New People’s Party”.

What were the main issues?

Immigration was the dominant issue in the run-up to the vote, and Mr Kurz moved his party to the right in the wake of Europe’s 2015 refugee crisis.

He appealed to conservative and right-wing voters with pledges to shut down migrant routes to Europe, cap benefit payments to refugees, and bar immigrants from receiving benefits until they have lived in Austria for five years.

The rightward shift was seen as a response to the success of the FPÖ, which narrowly missed out on the presidency in December when Norbert Hofer was defeated by Alexander Van der Bellen, head of the Greens.

The stance proved popular with Austrian voters after a huge influx of undocumented migrants and refugees from the Middle East and North Africa.

The FPÖ accused Mr Kurz of stealing their policies. Their candidate, Heinz-Christian Strache, has called him an “imposter”.

Mr Kurz looks to be on course to win the lion’s share of the vote but not a majority. If the polls are correct, he will need to form a coalition, most likely with the FPÖ.

The last coalition between the Social Democrats and the conservatives fell apart this spring – and there may be reluctance to renew it. But an alliance with the populist, far-right FPÖ could prove controversial among Austria’s EU counterparts.

Polls currently put the FPÖ at an all all-time high of 26.9%, suggesting that the European far-right is not dead after emphatic defeats in France and the Netherlands.

The relative success of the FPÖ follows an electoral breakthrough by the far right in neighbouring Germany last month.

What about the opposition?

The current chancellor, Social Democrat leader Christian Kern, looks certain to lose his position after a campaign marred by several scandals, including allegations that his adviser led an online smear campaign against Mr Kurz.

Mr Kern said on Sunday he had no intention of standing down as leader, despite the party’s loss. “I have said I will stay in politics for 10 years and there are nine years to go,” he told broadcaster OBF.

After a tumultuous year with internal rifts, the pro-refugee Greens party is among several smaller parties uncertain of reaching the 4% threshold required to enter parliament.


Deutsche Welle. 2017-10-15. Austrian elections: Young, conservative Sebastian Kurz’s People’s Party wins poll

At just 31, Sebastian Kurz appears set to become Austria’s next chancellor after his People’s Party won the most votes in parliamentary elections. The far-right Freedom Party may be key to his government.

*

At just 31, Sebastian Kurz appears set to become Austria’s next chancellor after his People’s Party won the most votes in parliamentary elections on Sunday.

The People’s Party (ÖVP) won 31.6 percent of the vote in Sunday’s parliamentary elections, marking a major victory for the 31-year-old, according to the latest vote count by state broadcaster ORF. If the ÖVP keeps that vote count, they’re set to lead parliament with at least 62 seats.

“I can promise you today that I will fight for change in this country with all my power,” Kurz told supporters at a rally. “I accept this responsibility with great humility.”

The right coalition

The far-right, anti-immigration Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) came in third place with 26 percent, amounting to 51 seats, while the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) managed to garner 26.9 percent, placing them in second with 53 seats.

Kurz’s ÖVP is expected to form a government with the far-right FPÖ, after he ended a grand coalition government with the center-left SPÖ earlier this year. It would mark the first time the far-right party enters government since 2000.

However, Finance Minister Hans Jörg Schelling, a member of the ÖVP, told DW that the center-right party – as a whole – is open to talks with both the FPÖ and the Social Democrats. Meanwhile, SPÖ chief Christian Kern said he will stay on as his party’s leader despite losing to his government’s junior coalition partner.

Greens out?

The New Austrian and Liberal Forum (NEOS) picked up 5.1 percent of the vote, amounting to 10 seats, which remains roughly unchanged from the 2013 election.

The Green Party took a beating, losing 8.5 percent compared to the 2013 election. The Greens managed to garner 3.9 percent of the vote, which isn’t enough to make it to parliament.

The Greens’ lead candidate Ulrike Lunacek said the election result has been difficult to stomach, describing it as a “heavy defeat and a great disappointment.” However, an offshoot party led by former Greens member Peter Pilz managed to gain 4.4 percent of the vote, amounting to 8 seats.

Migration: Austria’s main concern

Before the elections, campaigning focused on migration, notably the 2015 migration crisis that polarized European politics.

That year, Austria was used as a gateway for nearly 900,000 migrants making their way to Germany. It also received more than 68,000 application for asylum in 2015, one of the highest proportions on the continent compared to the population.

While the center-left SPÖ campaigned on a track-record of lowering unemployment and economic growth, Kurz’s ÖVP promised to prevent a repeat of 2015’s wave of migration and cut access to social welfare benefits for newcomers for at least five years. In a poll by state broadcaster ORD, 55 percent of respondents that voted for the ÖVP said they did so because of their stance on asylum and integration.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Unione Europea

Germania. Domani si vota in Niedersachsen.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-10-14.

2017-10-14__Niedersachsen__001

Il parlamento del Land Niedersachsen ha 137 deputati: al momento 55 Cdu, 49 Spd, 19 Grüne e 14 Fdp.

«a member of parliament for the Green Party, Elke Twesten, left her party in August to join the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). By doing so, she put an end to the slim majority held by the governing coalition comprised of the Greens and the Social Democratic Party (SPD), making elections necessary»

Le previsioni, ma si tenga che per le elezioni politiche i polls errarono di più o meno otto punti percentuali, indicherebbero la Cdu in calo dal 36% al 31.8%, mentre l’Spd salirebbe dal 32.6% al 34.6%. AfD prenderebbe il 7.8% dei voti, in un Land che in altri tempi era rosso come il fuoco.


Deutsche Welle. 2017-10-14. Anything can happen in Lower Saxony’s regional elections

Three weeks after the federal elections in Germany, the state of Lower Saxony will be holding elections for a new regional parliament. The poll could reveal voter sentiment as coalition talks are held in Berlin.

*

The regional elections to be held in the German state of Lower Saxony on Sunday were originally slated for January 2018. But a member of parliament for the Green Party, Elke Twesten, left her party in August to join the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). By doing so, she put an end to the slim majority held by the governing coalition comprised of the Greens and the Social Democratic Party (SPD), making elections necessary.

Many believe that these state elections will give clues about how voters view the difficult process of forming a federal government in Berlin.

Merkel warns against left-wing coalition

The two largest parties, CDU and SPD, lost a lot of votes in the national elections in September. Will this trend continue in Lower Saxony? Chancellor Angela Merkel, leader of the CDU, has been heavily involved in the short election campaign in Lower Saxony, even making several appearances in local town squares to address voters in person. She has warned above all against having a ruling coalition made up of the left-wing parties SPD, Greens and the Left party in the Hanover parliament — the SPD has not ruled out the possibility of such an alliance.

“I firmly believe that this alliance would not be good for Lower Saxony,” the chancellor told NDR, the public broadcaster for the northern regions of Germany. Merkel is well aware that if current SPD state premier Stephan Weil works toward such a coalition, her own coalition negotiations with the Greens and the business-friendly Free Democratic Party (FDP) will become even more difficult than they already are.

Because the SPD has decided to go into opposition at the national level after recording its worst election outcome since WWII, it has nothing to do with those negotiations in Berlin. As a result, the party in Lower Saxony now feels free in its moves.

But everything is different in Lower Saxony anyway. As the election date approaches, the SPD is seeing a surge in support; some polls even have the party overtaking the CDU. Both the conservatives and the Social Democrats will end up receiving somewhere between 32 and 34 percent of the vote. But this balance does not really reflect a trend at the national level; rather, it can be attributed to Stephan Weil’s popularity.

 Popular premier

For the Social Democrat premier enjoys considerable support in the state. Although his main challenger, the CDU’s Bernd Althusmann, who is considered to be rather on the bland side, was leading the polls for a long time, the gap between him and Weil has been constantly closing.

In a TV interview with NDR, federal SPD party leader Martin Schulz explained: “The party is motivated by the bad result we achieved in the Bundestag elections.” In an interview with the newspaper Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, Schulz, who was also his party’s candidate for chancellor at the national poll, briefly touched upon Merkel’s aversion to a left-wing coalition, saying, “We have to wait for the election result. Stephan Weil will decide what needs to be done. I am not giving any advice.”

In other words, a left-wing coalition is an option. But the Left party must first get over the threshold needed to enter parliament — something that is still by no means certain, with polls showing the party only hovering around that 5-percent mark.

Other coalition possibilities

Different combinations of parties are possible, but one thing is certain: The previous coalition of SPD and Greens is barely likely to be able to continue to govern. Theoretically, Lower Saxony’s CDU could also work together with the FDP and the Greens, as it intends to do in Berlin with Merkel. But the Green Party would in all probability not take part in a regional alliance with the conservatives, especially as the state branch of the environmentalist party is seen as more left-wing than its national counterpart.

 It will be anyway interesting to see how the two small parties currently striving for power in Berlin will fare at the state level. The polls have both FDP and the Greens at a stable 10 percent in Lower Saxony. So far, the reports from Berlin about the possible CDU/CSU-Green-FDP alliance do not appear to be having a negative impact on the Greens and FDP in the state.

Coming to terms with the Alternative for Germany (AfD)

Although the populist AfD won more than 12 percent of the vote at the national elections, polls have them at just 7 percent in Lower Saxony. However, if the party does score another election success, it will surely draw massive media attention.

Martin Schulz wants his party to engage with the phenomenon of the AfD in a different, more open manner than previously — and not only in Lower Saxony. Schulz told the Heidelberg-based newspaper Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung that many  AfD voters did not feel they were respected” and thought that “their personal achievements were not being appreciated.” Looking back at the Bundestag elections, he added, “We must convince the majority of them that we have heard their wake-up call.”

He knows, however, that the other parties cannot win over staunch far-extremists within the AfD. “But they are a minority among AfD voters,” Schulz said.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Unione Europea

Germania. Merkel. La reazione dei russi alle elezioni.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-10-03.

Putin Karikature 001

«It’s clear after Sunday’s election in Germany that the electoral failures of established socialist parties in Europe are not a few isolated events but a trend, an existential crisis for the center-left.»

Così commenta l’articolista di Bloomberg.

Non c’è stato bisogno che Mr Putin in calzamaglia nera e con la mascherina sugli occhi avesse dovuto interferire con le elezioni federali tedesche sbianchettando le schede.

È stato sufficiente lasciare a Frau Merkel mano libera, che ha fatto tutto da sola, ed anche molto meglio di quanto avrebbe potuto fare un Gru, Glavnoe razvedyvatel’noe upravlenie, scatenato. Per debito di giustizia si dovrebbe ricordare anche il fattivo contributo datole da Herr Martin Schulz nel distruggere il quadro politico tedesco.

Per fortuna del mondo, i liberal democratici ed i resti del socialismo ideologico europeo sono intellettualmente incapaci di comprendere che si stanno suicidando, con grande compiacimento di tutti, che non devono spendere tempo ed energie alla bisogna. Anzi, li stimolano a proseguire sulla strada intrapresa.

Ovunque contavano e contano ancora, questi signori patrocinano la contrazione demografica che praticano sulla loro stessa pelle, ovviandosi così alla estinzione.

Poi, come se non fosse già sufficiente, per essere ben sicuri di estinguersi, propugnano costumanze sessuali inidonee alla riproduzione.

Infine, cercano di imporle a tutto il globo, rendendosi alquanto impopolari.

Poi aggiungono sul tutto una visione del tutto particolare di “democrazia“, considerando democratico esclusivamente un governo di cui loro ne siano a capo: tutti gli altri sono per definizione dei fascisti, se non di peggio.

Come ciliegina sulla torta, Mr Merkel ha la sua propria scala valoriale che vorrebbe imporre a tutto l’universo: guardate un po’ come si diporta con polacchi ed ungheresi. Frau Merkel, come tutti i liberal, patrocina l’immigrazione islamica forzata nel continente europeo, a mo’ di rimpiazzo della popolazione.

È infatti cosa nota che un immigrato possa tranquillamente sostituire un professore universitario di tedesco, un alto burocrate dello stato, oppure l’amministratore delegato di Volkswagen. Resta ancora poco chiaro se si possa sostituire anche il cancelliere (la cancelliera) con un nigeriano che non parli tedesco.

*

I pareri espressi dai russi sono molto cauti.

«The ‘Russians are coming’ only occurs in two cases: either when nothing worked at all, or when it’s unclear what will happen and you need to intimidate the naive public»

*

«The preliminary results of the German elections reflect the general crisis in all of Europe related to both the socioeconomic situation and migration»

*

«There is a search for a new idea that can help restore the Europeans’ freedom of choice and independence from the policies of the big brother overseas»

*

«The Russian-speaking population of approximately 5 million people is a big serious political force»

*

«they supported the new ‘Alternative for Germany’ party»

* * * * * * * * * * *

In Germania vivono circa 82,2milioni di persone, secondo i dati dell’Ufficio federale di statistica (Destatis). Di questi ben il 12 per cento è composto da stranieri.

L’età media del cittadino immigrato in Germania? Sono poco più di 37 anni (quella dei tedeschi è di 45), con una permanenza nel Paese di circa 15 anni e mezzo (dati del 2016).

La maggior parte degli stranieri vive in Nord Reno-Vestfalia (2.513.000), e il minor numero in Meclemburgo-Pomerania Anteriore (69.000) e Turingia (91.300).

I russi di recente immigrazione ammontano a 1.3 milioni, quelli di ascendenza russa raggiungerebbero i cinque milioni.

Verosimilmente, loro e i turki sembrerebbero non aver votato per Frau Merkel.


The Moscow Times. 2017-09-26. ‘Populist’ Surge in German Elections — Russia Reacts

Germany went to the polls on Sunday to elect their next chancellor and members of parliament, in a ballot which saw a surge in support for the right-wing AfD party.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc won the election by slightly over 33 percent, with turnout estimated at three-quarters of Germany’s 82-million population.

Russian senator Alexei Pushkov attributed the ruling bloc’s smallest share of the vote since the 1940s to “a syndrome of fatigue with Merkel.”

He pointed to her open-door refugee policy in explaining the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany’s (AfD) unexpected third-place finish with 13 percent of the vote.

Here’s how Russian official figures reacted:

— Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Federation Council’s foreign affairs committee:

“I wonder why the ‘imminent Russian interference’ in the German elections thesis, which was actively promoted by Berlin and other Western capitals during the first stage of the campaign, completely disappeared from the screens in the last couple of months?”

‘The ‘Russians are coming’ only occurs in two cases: either when nothing worked at all, or when it’s unclear what will happen and you need to intimidate the naive public.”

— Leonid Slutsky, chairman of the State Duma’s International Affairs Committee

“The preliminary results of the German elections reflect the general crisis in all of Europe related to both the socioeconomic situation and migration.”

“There is a search for a new idea that can help restore the Europeans’ freedom of choice and independence from the policies of the big brother overseas.”

— Vasily Likhachyov, Central Election Commission member and ex-Duma deputy

“The Russian-speaking population of approximately 5 million people is a big serious political force.”

“They named their preferences, especially those who are in the middle in terms of residence in Germany: they supported the new ‘Alternative for Germany’ party.”

— Mikhail Khodorkovsky, former Yukos CEO and activist

“In my opinion, the Kremlin (or Lubyanka) actively helps AfD (extreme right). On the other end, we will be dealt another blow to Russian interests. Maybe we shouldn’t step on the same rake the second time?”

— Alexei Kudrin, former Finance Minister

“Populism lost to common sense in the German election. It would be good if the new coalition’s policy toward Russia was also pragmatic.”

— Dmitry Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center think tank

“No reports of  Russian meddling in the German elections creates a favorable atmosphere for fresh attempts to improve bilateral relations.”

— Vladimir Milov, former deputy Energy Minister

“AfD members gained 5 mandates in single-member constituencies, in other words this is a shell of a party like UKIP. And against the backdrop of the largest migrant crisis, 12.6 percent is a not a super-sensational result, to put it mildly.”

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Unione Europea

Germania. Merkel in trappola. – Bloomberg

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-10-02.

Merkel e Juncker

«Ha disperso i superbi nei pensieri dei loro cuori»

Magnificat


Questo articolo di Bloomberg è sottilmente perverso nell’enunciare con tono calmo e pacato i triboli della Bundeskanzlerin Frau Merkel. Ed in taluni passi lo si direbbe financo compiaciuto.

«The messy election that just past may be a sign of what’s to come.»

Per comprendere appieno il vetriolo con cui è scritto questo articolo, potrebbe essere utile ripassarsi i risultati elettorali.

Germania. Analisi del voto federale. 1. Classi di età.

Germania. Analisi del voto federale.2. Altre caratteristiche. Est – Ovest.

Germania. Analisi del voto federale. 3. I voti nei Länder.

*

Germany’s Federal Statistics Office forecasts that by 2050, Germany’s population will have shrunk to 63 to 72 million from 82 million today, with one-third of those aged 65 or above.

*

«Older voters have supported the establishment, which rewards them generously»

*

«But that is creating a dangerous rift»

*

«As she builds her new coalition government, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be mindful of the need to counter nationalism at home and the imperative of finding a consensus on integration in the euro zone»

*

«But the election also exposed a demographic rift that could present an even bigger challenge to Germany’s leaders: between a graying population that backed the establishment, and a young one that sought alternatives or stayed home»

*

«Germany risked turning into a “pensioner democracy” where “older generations plunder the younger ones.”»

*

«The age rift played out as an establishment versus anti-establishment divide»

*

«CDU/CSU getting 41 percent of the over-60 vote, versus 32.9 percent nationally»

*

«younger people disproportionately support either less establishmentarian parties or don’t vote»

*

«little was heard on the campaign trail about education or family policy in a country with very low birth rates»

*

«Young people naturally react to an unresponsive establishment by disengaging from the process or voting for extreme parties»

*

«Voters of the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) tend to be young»

*

«By that time, fully half of the under-40 population could consist of immigrants of North African and Middle Eastern origin and their children, while the overwhelming majority of the elderly would be of native German background»

*

«The messy election that just past may be a sign of what’s to come.»

* * * * * * *

Germania. Incidenza economica del calo demografico. – Bloomberg.

Germania. Realtà geografica, non più umana, politica ed economica.

Germania. Non è povera. È misera. – Financial Times

*

Bloomberg mette sui piatti della bilancia alcune caratteristiche della situazione odierna tedesca che concorrono potentemente a rendere instabile non solo la vita politica, la l’esistenza stessa della Germani e, di conseguenza, dell’Unione Europea. In questo è in linea con l’opinione espressa dal Governo cinese.

– I partiti tradizionali, Unione (Cdu e Csu) ed Spd hanno un elettorato vecchio, il 41% over-60;

– AfD e Grüne hanno una fortissima presa sui giovani;

– La popolazione under-40 tedesca è per metà composta da immigrati.

*

A quadro politico invariato, sulla sola scorta dei soli dati demografici, tra due tornate elettorali:

– l’Union è proiettata sotto il 20%;

– l’Spd è proiettata sotto il 12%;

– l’AfD è proiettata sopra il 19%.

*

Poi si dovrebbero prospettare i mutamenti degli umori politici.

– I partiti tradizionali, Unione (Cdu e Csu) ed Spd sembrerebbero destinati a scomparire dai Länder ex-Ddr;

* * * * * * *

AfD ha rotto gli equilibri politici esistenti in Germania, ed i partiti tradizionali hanno dovuto confrontarsi sull’immigrazione piuttosto che sulla situazione economica e su quella familiare.

Adesso Frau Merkel è al bivio cruciale, scelte che condizioneranno sia la Germania sia l’Europa.

Se Frau Merkel volesse proseguire l’attuale linea politica a favore delle classi pensionate ed élitarie si candiderebbe all’estinzione politica; se invece Frau Merkel optasse per una politica rivolta ai giovani, perderebbe l’attuale elettorato.

Similmente, l’elettorato tedesco ha espresso chiaramente di averne a basta dell’Unione Europea e di volere anche in casa propria una certa quale considerazione nazionale, mutamenti di visione politica che dovranno ripercuotersi in seno alla Commissione Europea, in primis nelle politiche nei confronti di Polonia ed Ungheria. In poche parole, un vero e proprio ribaltone.

Da ultimo, ma non certo per ultimo, vi è il problema delle famiglie.

Spd ed Union hanno perseguito nell’ultimo decennio politiche fortemente penalizzanti l’istituto familiare, che ad oggi appare quasi completamente distrutto. Senza una grandiosa marci indietro su questo tema, i partiti tradizionali scompariranno ancor prima che i processi demografici abbiano fatto completamente presa.

*

A latere, il problema demografico sottende quello del welfare, specie pensionistico.

Se è vero che in Germania vige un sistema prevalentemente contributivo, è anche vero che i fondi necessari provengono dai contributi versati giorno per giorno. Ma se i giovani continuassero come adesso a lavorare con Miniarbeit per una quota del 40% della forza lavoro, i contributi versati sarebbero ogni giorno che passa sempre più insufficienti. In altri termini, il sistema pensionistico collasserebbe.

* * * * * * *

A giorni si voterà in Austria e nella Repubblica Ceka, e verosimilmente saranno elette forze politiche contrarie sia a questa Europa, sia ad un suo rafforzamento.

Il progetto Juncker – Macron – Merkel appare essere a questo punto davvero velleitario ed utopico.

L’ideologia socialista e quella liberal sono crollate anche nell’ultima roccaforte che avevano: la Germania.


Bloomberg. 2017-09-30. A Graying Germany Complicates Merkel’s Task

Older voters have supported the establishment, which rewards them generously. But that is creating a dangerous rift.

*

As she builds her new coalition government, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be mindful of the need to counter nationalism at home and the imperative of finding a consensus on integration in the euro zone. But the election also exposed a demographic rift that could present an even bigger challenge to Germany’s leaders: between a graying population that backed the establishment, and a young one that sought alternatives or stayed home.

Former German President Roman Herzog warned in 2008 that Germany risked turning into a “pensioner democracy” where “older generations plunder the younger ones.” As the number of older people steadily rose, he noted, the political parties were paying disproportionate attention to them. Last week’s election, where the biggest age cohort was voters over the age of 70, showed that Herzog may have been onto something. While the West is graying overall, Germany getting older faster, with the highest median age in Europe, and one of the lowest birth rates. And Germany’s future will inevitably shape the future of Europe.  

The age rift played out as an establishment versus anti-establishment divide. The establishment parties (Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and its Bavarian sister party, the CSU; the Social Democratic Party; and the Free Democratic Party) drew their support from older voters, with CDU/CSU getting 41 percent of the over-60 vote, versus 32.9 percent nationally. Meanwhile, younger people disproportionately support either less establishmentarian parties or don’t vote, showing alienation from the political establishment that has steered Germany since the end of World War II.

Martin Schulz, the SPD candidate, campaigned on higher pensions, while Angela Merkel’s CDU rejected further pensions reform, which would bring a reduction in benefits. Despite Germany’s reputation for fiscal rectitude, the country’s pensions are headed for a cliff. Close to 80 percent of pensions remain pay-as-you-go and therefore unsustainable given Germany’s graying. Company-sponsored private pensions are supposed to fill the gap, but they are reported to be 30 percent to 50 percent underfunded, and they are overwhelmingly defined-benefit schemes. Recent reforms to raise the retirement age slightly and introduce defined-contribution pensions schemes didn’t come close to putting the country’s liabilities on a sustainable path.

Meanwhile, little was heard on the campaign trail about education or family policy in a country with very low birth rates and where various policies, such as schools closing for the afternoon and a lack of affordable day care, make it harder for women to enter the labor force and may suppress the birth rate.

That will eventually become a problem for Germany’s impressive economy. For all the plaudits that its system of skilled-worker apprenticeships earns, this year was the first one on record when a majority of firms cited skilled-worker shortage as the biggest risk for their business in a regular business sentiment survey by the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK), Politico reported.

There is also widespread agreement that Germany is falling behind in terms of digital infrastructure — only about 2 percent of German internet connections run on fiber, according to Politico Global Policy Lab versus 20 percent for France (and growing), according to telecoms regulator Arcep. And yet that’s another issue on which most candidates were silent; older voters don’t game online or watch Netflix and so tend to worry less about download speeds.

Young people naturally react to an unresponsive establishment by disengaging from the process or voting for extreme parties. Voters of the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) tend to be young, for example. In this election, younger voters disproportionately either stayed home or voted for the non-establishmentarian parties (AfD, the Left Party and the Greens). The fortunes of the liberal FDP party also reflect this graying. It went from the biggest election disaster in its postwar history in the previous election to outperformance that virtually guarantees it a key role in Germany’s future governing coalition by focusing its message on issues appealing to older voters — security, immigration, EU bailouts — rather than issues appealing to younger voters as it did the last time around.

The situation has changed in one important sense since Herzog made his call: The large number of migrants, whose numbers skew disproportionately young, profoundly alter Germany’s demographics. Germany’s Federal Statistics Office forecasts that by 2050, Germany’s population will have shrunk to 63 to 72 million from 82 million today, with one-third of those aged 65 or above. By that time, fully half of the under-40 population could consist of immigrants of North African and Middle Eastern origin and their children, while the overwhelming majority of the elderly would be of native German background. This introduces an ethnic, cultural and religious dimension to a generational split that was already promising to exacerbate social and political tensions. The messy election that just past may be a sign of what’s to come.