«Per ora nessuno ha il coraggio di parlarne in pubblico, ma i leader dei partiti «tradizionali» – da Berlusconi a Renzi fino a Salvini – in questi giorni si stanno scambiando un passaparola che somiglia a uno spettro: nel Mezzogiorno il Movimento Cinque Stelle potrebbe fare il «botto». Si tratta di qualcosa in più di una sensazione segnalata dai notabili di «territorio» più sensibili agli umori popolari. A parlar chiaro sono i sondaggi più analitici (e per questo più costosi per i committenti) che all’unisono rilanciano lo stesso dato: in tutte le principali regioni e città del Sud il Movimento di Grillo per il momento è al primo posto. Saldamente e nettamente. Un fenomeno che, laddove venisse confermato, rappresenterebbe un dato politico rilevantissimo, con connotati persino storici, se si pensa che in 72 anni di Repubblica gli elettori meridionali hanno sempre premiato in prevalenza i partiti di governo (la Dc, Forza Italia, l’Ulivo) e comunque mai un movimento dichiaratamente anti-sistema. »
«Certo, mancano ancora 48 giorni alle elezioni e qualcosa può ancora cambiare, ma i primi dati degli istituti più accreditati sono eloquenti. Molto analitiche e con campionature importanti, come sempre, sono le ricerche che Alessandra Ghisleri realizza per conto di Forza Italia. Proprio perché «mirati» agli interessi del committente, questi sondaggi non sono diffusi immediatamente, ma chi li ha visti racconta di una striscia che parla chiaro: il Movimento Cinque Stelle viaggia tra il 34 e 36% in Sardegna, tra il 33 e il 35% in Sicilia, tra il 30 e il 32% in Puglia, tra il 29 e il 31% in Campania. Se ancora è prematura la traduzione in seggi, sia per i collegi sia per la parte proporzionale, un dato è già acquisito: i Cinque stelle sono il primo partito nelle grandi aree metropolitane del Sud, dunque a Napoli, Bari, Palermo e Reggio Calabria, oltreché nelle principali regioni.»
«Numeri molto importanti, che non stupiscono chi conosce la realtà sociale e l’immaginario collettivo del Mezzogiorno. Spiega l’irpino Marco Ciriello, uno degli scrittori meridionali più originali e anticonformisti dell’ultima generazione: «Il meridionale Luigi Di Maio, un ex giovane che non ha finito l’Università, che sbaglia i congiuntivi, che non ha un papà professionista, che non è riuscito mai ad avere un lavoro, provoca una sorta di identificazione in lui da parte di tantissimi giovani ed ex giovani meridionali che sono avvelenati verso tutto quello che è istituzione, che odiano tutti quelli che sono “realizzati” e che sono inquadrati. Quelli che sono restati a casa sono giovani spesso mediocri, purtroppo senza una biografia e che si identificano in un leader senza biografia. E poi pesa molto nella simpatia verso i Cinque Stelle il tradizionale individualismo meridionale, un certo egoismo sul quale lo slogan “uno vale uno” finisce per colpire un nervo sensibile».»
«Ma nella propensione al voto a Cinque Stelle non c’è soltanto la frustrazione dei giovani e l’atavico familismo amorale. Racconta Clemente Mastella, sindaco di Benevento, dotato di un proverbiale fiuto per l’aria che tira: «È vero al Sud sotto traccia ci sono le premesse per un boom grillino e a gonfiare l’onda non ci sono soltanto i diseredati incavolati neri, ma c’è anche una “sopraelevata” che scorre sopra il tetto dei Cinque Stelle: ho incontrato diversi accademici che mi hanno annunciato il voto per Grillo. C’è una intellighenzia meridionale che, in parte per convinzione ma in larga parte per opportunismo si sta spostando verso quella parte». E lo storico Aldo Giannuli, barese, vicino ai Cinque Stelle, completa l’analisi con un altro tassello: «Nel Mezzogiorno è meno sentito il tema fiscale, che invece al Nord farà vincere la destra. Ma concorrerà al successo dei Cinque Stelle, oltre a tanti disoccupati e sottoccupati, anche l’apporto di segmenti sociali e di protesta: quelli che hanno lavorato senza mai avere una pensione, i pensionati più poveri, ma anche città come Taranto, dove non è difficile immaginare un vero e proprio boom elettorale».»
«Polling in the final week of the Alabama Senate special election has been all over the place. Four polls have shown Roy Moore leading by between 4 and 9 points. One new one, from Fox News, shows Democrat Doug Jones with a 10-point lead. And another, from SurveyMonkey, just posts a range of possibilities, arguing that results will largely depend on how a pollster chooses to model turnout.
Put it all together, and RealClearPolitics’s polling average shows Moore ahead by 2.5 percentage points. That would make him the favorite — but not much of one, since polls frequently “miss” by more than that amount. For instance, RCP’s polling average underestimated Ralph Northam’s margin of victory by 5.6 points in this year’s Virginia governor’s race.
The Alabama race is even more of a muddle. Even in the most normal of times, special elections are extremely challenging to poll. And as Matt Glassman, a senior fellow at Georgetown’s Government Affairs Institute, has pointed out, very little about this election is normal.»
Sondaggi così discrepanti, ben oltre l’errore di campionamento, non consentono di trarre conclusioni ragionevoli.
Mercoledì avremo i risultati usciti dalle urne, e potremo anche valutare l’attendibilità delle società di prospezioni.
«Nationalists on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica are set to cement their gains in regional elections on Sunday and then push ahead with their demands for greater autonomy from Paris»
«The outcome is widely expected to pose a new challenge to President Emmanuel Macron who will have to decide whether to cede some control or maintain France’s tradition of highly centralised government»
«The vote comes amid a political crisis in Spain — with potentially major consequences for the European Union — following efforts by Catalan nationalists to break away from Madrid»
«The leaders of Pe a Corsica have stressed throughout that their short-term goal is greater autonomy, rather than independence from France»
«la coalizione di Simeoni e Talamoni, “Pè a Corsica”, ha ottenuto il 56,9% alle elezioni per la scelta dei rappresentanti nella nuova assemblea unica dell’isola»
Gran brutto risveglio per Mr Macron.
Se è vero che i separatisti corsi sembrerebbero essere molto ragionevoli, è altrettanto vero che l’attuale situazione non può durare a lungo.
Se è vero che il Cittadino è tenuto ad osservare le leggi, è altrettanto vero che le leggi sono fatte per il Cittadino. Al bisogno, le leggi devono essere riviste.
A Pè a Corsica di Simeoni e Talamoni maggioranza seggi assemblea
PARIGI, 10 DIC – Vittoria annunciata, ma di dimensioni straordinarie quella della coalizione nazionalista al ballottaggio per le “territoriali” in Corsica: la coalizione di Simeoni e Talamoni, “Pè a Corsica”, ha ottenuto il 56,9% alle elezioni per la scelta dei rappresentanti nella nuova assemblea unica dell’isola.
Lo annuncia il primo exit poll Ipsos/Steria per France 3 Corse.
Nationalists on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica are set to cement their gains in regional elections on Sunday and then push ahead with their demands for greater autonomy from Paris.
The outcome is widely expected to pose a new challenge to President Emmanuel Macron who will have to decide whether to cede some control or maintain France’s tradition of highly centralised government.
The governing Pe a Corsica (For Corsica) alliance — made up of the pro-autonomy Femu a Corsica (Let’s Make Corsica) and pro-independence Corsica Libera (Free Corsica) — won 45 percent in a first round of voting last Sunday.
They are expected to extend their gains in the final round on Sunday that will see them dominate a new regional assembly which will begin its work at the start of 2018.
The vote comes amid a political crisis in Spain — with potentially major consequences for the European Union — following efforts by Catalan nationalists to break away from Madrid.
The leaders of Pe a Corsica have stressed throughout that their short-term goal is greater autonomy, rather than independence from France — not least because the mountainous island is dependent on state spending.
They have formulated three core demands: they want equal recognition for the Corsican language along with French and an amnesty for convicts they consider to be political prisoners.
They also want the state to recognise a special Corsican residency status — which would be used to fight against property speculation fuelled by foreigners snapping up holiday homes.
Opinion polls show that most of Corsica’s 330,000 residents, many of whom live off seasonal tourism or are employed in the public sector, want to remain in France.
Even separatist leader Jean-Guy Talamoni — nicknamed by some “the Corsican Puigdemont” after the Catalan leader — suggests the island would split from France in 10 or 15 years at the earliest, if a majority supported it.
“An economically viable Corsica — I don’t think we’ll see it in my lifetime,” a Corsica specialist at the University of Bordeaux, Thierry Dominici, told AFP last week.
That is not the case for Catalonia, where separatists complain that their wealthy region, representing a fifth of Spain’s economic output, pays more than it gets back into national coffers.
The mountainous island, famed for having some of the best beaches in Europe and for being the birthplace of Napoleon, was once a hotbed of violent anti-French militancy.
The National Liberation Front of Corsica (FLNC) waged a four-decade bombing campaign — mainly targeting state infrastructure — until 2014.
The worst nationalist attack saw France’s top official on the island, Claude Erignac, assassinated in 1998.
«La storia ci insegna che i sondaggi non sono strumenti di previsione: ci dicono come stanno probabilmente le cose al giorno d’oggi, ma difficilmente possono essere usati per dire con certezza quale sarà il risultato di un’elezione che si terrà diversi mesi dopo.»
Secondo i dati rilevati da Index, questa sarebbe la situazione odierna per i partiti politici.
M5S sarebbe sempre il primo partito nazionale con il 27.5% dei voti. Il partito democratico scenderebbe al 24.3%, mentre forza Italia e la lega avrebbero il 15.0% ed il 14.7%, rispettivamente.
Si noti come forza Italia e la lega siano sostanzialmente stabili nel tempo, mentre il partito democratico evidenzi un lento ma costante decremento.
Tuttavia movimenti significativi sono evidenti quando si prendano in considerazione le possibili coalizioni.
Questi sono i risultati forniti da Index.
Il centro-destra sarebbe al 36.6%, con 7.2 punti percentuali di stacco contro il centro-sinistra, quotato al 29.4%: questo stacco dura oramai da diversi mesi.
I risultati per coalizione forniti fa Tecne sono ancora più marcati. Il centro-destra raggiungerebbe il 38.4%, cresciuto in un mese di 0.7 punti percentuali, mentre il centro-sinistra si attesterebbe al 27.7%, con un decremento in un mese di 1.5 punti percentuali.
Questi dati sembrerebbero essere in linea con quanto sta accadendo a livello mondiale ed europeo in particolare.
– Il 20 gennaio 2017 si è insediato il Presidente Trump, che a novembre aveva conquistato 304 grandi elettori contro i 227 di Mrs Hillary Clinton, del partito democratico.
– Il 7 maggio 2017 alle elezioni presidenziali francesi il partito socialista francese è crollato dal 62% all’8%.
– Il 21 settembre 2017 Mr Macron ha conquistato 22 su 171 seggi senatoriali.
– Il 24 settembre 2017 le elezioni federali politiche sanzionavano la perdita di 153 deputati della Große Koalition: la Cdu crollava al 32.9% e l’Spd al 20.5%.
– Il 15 ottobre in Austria Herr Kurz trionfava alle elezioni austriache con il 31.6%, e l’Fpö raggiungeva il 26.0%.
– Il 22 ottobre 2017 nella Repubblica Ceka il partito Ano 2011 conseguiva il 29.6% dei voti, mentre il Civil Democracy Party crollava all’11.3% dei voti.
– Il 5 novembre 2017 in Slovakia, alle elezioni regionali, la Smer, partito socialista del presidente Fico, ha perso il controllo di quattro delle sei regioni. Nelle elezioni politiche del 2012 aveva conseguito il 44.4% dei voti, il 28.3% in quelle del 2016, il 26.2% nelle regionali.
In sette successive tornate elettorali, liberal e sinistre hanno subito sette severi smacchi.
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.
«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»
«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.
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 Reportcalls 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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Una coalizione Ano 2011 ed Spd disporrebbe di 110 deputati su 200, rendendo così stabile un governo.
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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.
«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.»
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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.
«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»
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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.
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.
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.
«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»
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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.
«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]
«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.»
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.
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.
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.