Alternative for Germany
|How the sausage is made|
The Alternative for Germany (German: Alternative für Deutschland, AfD) is a far-right populist, economically liberal, right-libertatian, socially conservative, Eurosceptic, and reactionary political party in Germany. They are the one-phrase answer to the question, "Why has no movement similar to UKIP, Front National, or FPÖ taken root in Germany?"
In 2013, several conservatives and reactionaries on the right wing of the CDU, as well as unaffiliated people who had had sympathies for the CDU in the past, were dissatisfied with the Euro policies of chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and what they deemed a cultural and political shift of her party to the left. As there was at the time no right-wing alternative to the CDU, they set out to provide exactly that for the 2013 elections, which were widely assumed to be a done deal for the CDU and Merkel with the only open question being whether they would be able to go at it alone or whether they'd need a coalition partner.[note 1] They grouped around one Bernd Lucke and several other figures thrown in mostly to disguise Lucke's near-dictatorial reign over his party.
Radicalization, or the revolution eats its children
To the surprise of many – though not its members who had believed all polls to be faked and released their own polls predicting double digit results – they polled 4.7% at the September 2013 federal elections – the best federal result for any newly-founded party in German history. However, this success (and the similar number of votes with a lower turnout in the European election of 2014) led to internal fights within the party between the "old style conservatives" who wanted to focus on Euro policies and Euroscepticism and the hard right members who wanted to include all kinds of batshit insanity from anti-wind energy activity to criticism of a "gay agenda," "gender mainstreaming," or immigration policies. Needless to say that the more people uttered these hard-right stances openly, the more hard-right members were attracted to the party, and in a short while Lucke and his guys were in the minority and lost the ensuing power struggle. One Frauke Petry managed to edge him out for the leadership role and promptly proceeded to kick him out the party. Et voila the German FPÖ is born.
Bernd Lucke, its original founder, went on to create the Allianz für Fortschritt und Aufbruch (or Alliance for Progress and Renewal) on 19 July 2015, taking a lot of the European fraction of the AfD with him. The party promptly went on to total irrelevance despite keeping the anti-Euro stance while arguably down-toning the more ridiculous anti-foreigner and conspiracy-theorist ideas, proving once and for all that AfD voters are not and have never been bigots.
- The AfD is against renewable energy, particularly wind power, which they claim emits dangerous "infrasound" that is blamed for numerous ills.
- The AfD claims that new standards for teaching that dare to mention gays constitute an "early sexualization" of children and promote some insidious "gay agenda." Needless to say that a party of mostly older white males is somehow uncomfortable with (male) homosexuality and opposes gay marriage. Which interestingly enough
is still nothas become the law of the land in Germany.
- In general the AfD opposes any type of family that is not nuclear enough, as shown by their funding policy that wants to measure how important a family is by the number of children that that family has.
- The AfD was founded on the premise that the Euro is bad. Needless to say that they want to either get rid of the Euro and reintroduce the
ReichsmarkDeutsche Mark or to split it into a North and South Euro.
- The AfD is opposed to immigration and has been stupid – or malicious – enough to put sentences on their electoral material that could be – and in some cases are – straight-up lifted from parties even more right-wing than themselves.
- Several high-ranking members of the AfD have praised PEGIDA, an anti-Muslim, anti-immigration, and generally anti-everything "movement." They even got themselves a lawyer who does weird UFO shit... that held rallies mostly in Dresden throughout late 2014 and 2015.
- They claim to be in favor of holding referenda on several different issues, notably immigration or the Euro.
- Several high-ranking AfD members (most notably Alexander Gauland, a former CDU member) hold pro-Russian positions in the whole Ukraine business and some like to quote RT and/or give them interviews. Along with representatives of other far-right parties, AfD members acted as observers in the very flawed 2014 Crimean referendum on joining Russia.
- Sometimes they have downright bizarre proposals, like requesting the gays in Thuringia to be counted.
- The world women day was vigorously protested by the youth wing of the party, where they claimed that feminism was wrong.
When in early 2016 an AfD MP in the state of Baden Württemberg made a clearly antisemitic statement that in addition to the ol' trusty "Zionist" dog whistle contained more than one outright fog horn, the party tried but failed to distance itself from this madness.[note 2] His caucus tried to throw him out, but they did not gain the two-thirds majority required, so instead thirteen members (including the erstwhile caucus leader) left and founded an "Alternative für Baden Württemberg" caucus. We'll see how successful that is, but it sure reminds of the People's Front of Judea…
They have won a couple of votes in some state elections. Mostly from intellectually and economically challenged xenophobic and unpleasant people. Whoopdido. Big fraggling deal. However as the AfD keeps hitting double-digit election results, in a few instances even a scary fifth or quarter of the vote in state elections, and manages to nearly match and even outperform the SPD or the CDU, it doesn't speak well for the current mindset of a significant part of Germany's electorate.
In 2017, Alice Weidel, a lesbian mother, was elected as one of two leaders of the AfD. She stated, "My election and my high acceptance within the party show that, contrary to public perception, my party is tolerant." After all, some of her best friends are...
During the 2017 federal parliament elections they received 12.6%, becoming the third most powerful party in the Bundestag with 94 seats.
In the state elections of 2018 in Bavaria and Hesse, they gained 10.2% and 13.1% each, entering both state assemblies as the fourth strongest party each, but both states were still able for form "stable" governments (Black/Orange and Black/Green respectively) in spite of it.
Which cannot be said for three out of four state elections due for the following year:
- Bremen wasn't too bad, with the party only gaining 0.6%, finishing with 6.1% on fifth place with behind the Greens (by a sizable margin) but ahead of the FDP (by a VERY narrow margin).
- But then we got Brandenburg and Saxony: In both of these elections the party finished in second place with 23.5% (behind the SocDems) and 27.5% (behind the Union) each.
- The Thuringia state election's outcome isn't too promising either, with the AfD finishing with 23.4%, finishing in second behind the Left Party (31%) and ahead of the Union (21.8%).
- But while a "stable" government without the AfD can still be formed in Saxony and Brandenburg – even if they'll involve three parties each: Union/SocDems/Greens (for both) and SocDems/Left/Greens (for Brandenburg only) – the only possible state government that can form in Thuringia will be either a coalition between the Union and the Left (blasphemous) or a minority government of Union and FDP (5%) tolerated by the AfD (perhaps even worse).
- But the Hamburg election could have marked end of their ethnic cleansing mission, with the AfD getting just 0,3% over the necessary minimum of five percent of the votes. This is the first time that the AfD lost votes compared to the election before.
Although AfD has long been suspected to be an extremist group, and parts of its organization have been officially labelled as such (e.g., the youth division), it was not until March 2021, that the entire organization has labelled as a suspected extremist group by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV). The decision was made based on "two years of information gathering by the intelligence agencies, culminating in an 800-page report."
- Crank magnetism — a surprisingly common occurrence for them
- Nazism — which they have nothing to do with. Honest. Großdeutsches Versprechen! Oops...
- Vladimir Putin — their great role model
- Germany's AfD: How right-wing is nationalist Alternative for Germany? BBC News 11 February 2020
- Wikipedia article on the German Federal Diet election of 2013. That's just 0.3 percentage points below the 5% threshold
- Image: Comparison of election posters of the AfD and the NPD
- Image: Proof for the absence of creativity among the right-wing parties
- Putin’s friends in Europe, Fredrik Wesslau, European Council on Foreign Relations, 19 October, 2016
- Robert Klages, "AfD wants a count of homosexuals in Thuringia" (in German), Der Tagesspiegel, Oct 12, 2015
- Rhineland-Palatinate state election, 2016 results, (in German)
- Baden-Württemberg state election, 2016 results, (in German)
- Brandenburg state election, 2014 results, (in German)
- Thuringia state election, 2014 results, (in German)
- Saxony state election, 2014 results, (in German)
- Saxony-Anhalt state election, 2016 results, (in German)
- Philip Oltermann, "Merkel's party beaten by rightwing populists in state election – exit polls ", The Guardian, Sep 04, 2016.
- Germany’s far right preaches traditional values. Can a lesbian mother be its new voice? by Anthony Faiola (May 15 at 2:58 PM) The Washington Post.
- Germany places entire far-right AfD under surveillance — reports: Germany's domestic intelligence agency is investigating the far-right Alternative for Germany — the largest opposition party in parliament — according to national media. The move comes ahead of national elections. (03.03.2021) Deutsche Welle.
- Germany to spy on far-right AfD party, reports say (march 3, 2021) BBC.