Vote 1 Pirate!

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After getting humiliated in the Macklenburg-Vorprommen state elections on Sunday, Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats face another challenge in the local poll in Berlin in a week’s time. Though at least this time the CDU will not place third behind the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) and Social Democrats. The latter are polling 21 per cent to Christian Democrats’ 19 per cent and the Greens’ 16 per cent. AfD and the Left party are both on 15 per cent and liberal Free Democrats on 5. AfD seems to have taken the voted off both the mainstream centre-right and the mainstream centre-left (which are currently in coalition, very European style) – Social Democrats are down from 28.3 per cent and Christian Democrats down from 23.2 per cent since the last election five years ago.

The corflutes (the signs) for the candidates are everywhere. Unlike in Australia and the United States where most people live in free-standing houses and candidates’ signs get staked in the front yard, in Berlin the local laws allow corflutes to be affixed to any street lamp or a post. In practice it means tens of thousands of signs, with candidates’ faces staring at you every few metres, often several on one post, one on top of another, like some sort of a bizarre political totem pole. Damaging the other side’s corflutes is not unknown here either, for all the law abiding German nature. All along long stretches of Unter den Linden which cuts through the old and respectable heart of Berlin, every Christian democrat sign has been wrecked. Social Democrat signs mysteriously remain untouched.

What img_4161have I learned from walking the streets of Berlin for a few days?

  1. Politics is awful everywhere around the world and you can’t escape it.
  2. Left-wing and far-left-wing politicians have exactly the same “Look”.
  3. Right-wing women are the most attractive (hello Maren from Free Democrats).
  4. The Pirate Party has by far the best candidates – who wouldn’t vote for a clown or the rainbow man?
  5. Some people here too seem to have a problem with mosques. I wonder what that’s all about?

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