Posts Tagged ‘Green Party’

Swedish Green Party leader more concerned about the effect on Muslims after 9/11 “accidents”

April 19, 2016

The Swedish Green Party is living in some fantasy dream world of its own. The 9/11 atrocities were merely “accidents” and their concern is more for Muslim communities who felt the backlash after the attack than for the 3,000 victims of the Islamic terror attacks.

"An accident" according to Åsa Romson

“An accident” according to Åsa Romson

Their leader, Åsa Romson, euphemistically called a “spokesperson” (in Swedish literally a “mouthpiece”!), was on TV this morning defending her party member Mehmet Kaplan who resigned yesterday as Housing Minister. He resigned (actually was fired) because it was revealed that he was in the habit of hobnobbing with Islamic extremists and neo-fascists and for his rather stupid comparisons of Israelis to Nazis. Åsa Romson, this morning, was still in admiration of his “values” and then revealed her own mind-set when she applauded him for helping the Muslim community during the backlash after the “9/11 accidents”.

It was almost unbelievable that she could so nonchalantly dismiss the almost 3,000 people who were murdered by islamic terrorists (Al Qaida) on that day as being the victims of an accident. She later defended her ridiculous statement by saying that she was focusing on the travails of the Muslim community and their isolation and on the difficulties of integration.

In her warped and twisted world, it seems the backlash against Muslim communities was more important than the terrorist atrocity that claimed  3,000 victims and the effects on their families. That Muslim communities (not all but many) celebrated the 9/11 atrocities was of little concern.

She also has the dubious distinction of claiming that the plight of refugees to Europe was to be compared to Auschwitz (but she actually thought that Auschwitz was somewhere in southern Germany). Even for a Green politician – who all lack common sense – she is/was remarkably uninformed, callous and insensitive. The terrorists and extremists can never be challenged with the Åsa Romsons of this world sitting in government.

Stefan Löfven and the ruling Social Democrats in Sweden do not have the courage to dump the Greens from the coalition government – though many would like them to. Unfortunately the Moderate Party in opposition does not either have the courage to do what they are supposed to  – oppose.

And so we are left with the Greens continuing in government while inhabiting their own rose-coloured, fantasy world. And Sweden’s reputation for being a place where extremists and terrorists are not jut tolerated, but actively protected by politicians in government, grows. Åsa Romson is Deputy Prime Minister and her stupidities cannot be construed as anything but being a representation of the Government’s views.

Her position is untenable. She really does have to go.


Kaplan in deep s**t as film emerges of him equating Israelis to the Nazis

April 17, 2016

UPDATE 2: Well, he resigned.

But the Green Party have not distanced themselves from him. He remains in parliament and in the Party. Their “principles” are fundamentally compromised.

The Prime Minister reacted very late and not very decisively. He too refrained from condemning Kaplan’s thoughtless language and his hobnobbing with extremists.


UPDATE to previous post on Green Party and antisemitism:

Today Sunday 17th April, SvD reported that Kaplan has been caught on film from 2009 on Somali Star TV where he equates the Nazi treatment of Jews in the 1930s to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

His position is untenable and he will have to go.

He does not have any good options left.

  1. He can resign as Minister and from parliament and resign from the Green party — this is the best outcome for the Greens who will still be tarred by the anti-semitism brush.
  2. He can resign as Minister and remain in Parliament as a Green representative – which will only prove the Green indecisiveness and their unsuitability for government.
  3. He can be sacked by Stefan Löfven which will win Löfven some brownie points.

M Kaplan

The critical thing is that both the Greens and the Social Democrats need to distance themselves – fast – from Kaplan. The longer the Greens remain supporting him the greater the hit they will take. The longer Löfven does not speak out publicly against Kaplan the more indecisive and weak he will appear. The Greens and the Social Democrats have to wake up to the fact that the damage has already been done. Now it is how good they are at damage control which is the question.

But Mehmet Kaplan is toast.

Good riddance (one, because he is an apologist for islamist extremism; two, because he is apparently incompetent: three, because he is a token of multiculturalism with the Greens; and four, because he is a Green).




Is Sweden’s Green party fundamentally anti-semitic?

April 16, 2016

The Green Party’s Mehmet Kaplan who is the housing minister in the Swedish coalition government is currently in hot water after photographs were released showing him hobnobbing with Turkish, far right, neo-fascist extremists. He is seen at the same table as Barbaros Leylani (“death to the Armenian dogs”) and president of the Swedish branch of the neo-fascist Grey Wolves Ilhan Senturk.

This is not the first time Kaplan has been linked to extremist, islamic and anti-semitic organisations. As housing minister he is seen as incompetent and has also surrounded himself with an unprofessional personal staff. He is still in government as part of the price that Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and the Social Democrats have to pay for keeping their coalition going with the Greens.

(The Green Party leader is environment minister. She along with the culture and education ministers, who are also from the Greens, have not distinguished themselves particularly. But they cannot be accused of being extremist or anti-semitic – only of being incompetent and desperate to stay in government).

Kaplan however has been linked to islamic militants for some time.

  1. In 2014, Turkish-origin former Social Democrat member of parliament Nalin Pekgul accused Mr. Kaplan of being an “Islamist” with a “hidden agenda”. Writing a scathing editorial in a Swedish newspaper, the politician said that with Kaplan’s appointment to the ministry the government had “sent a clear signal to Sweden’s Muslims that the Islamists now have the support of the Swedish establishment”.
  2. Kaplan was also unthinking enough to equate Swedes joining IS with Finns fighting against Russians during WW2. Also a remarkable display of ignorance of history and an apologist remark – in any interpretation – for the IS.
  3. Mehmet Kaplan was arrested in 2010 by Israeli forces after participating in the Mavi Marmara flotilla, which was headed to the Gaza Strip. The Turkish-born MP was later deported from Israel over his involvement.
  4. During Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, Kaplan called for the “liberation of Jerusalem” at a pro-Palestinian rally.
  5. When the Mohammed cartoons were published in Denmark, he thought it was deplorable and not applicable as an expression of freedom of speech.
  6. Kaplan hosted a conference in the Swedish parliament where he invited Yvonne Ridley, a member of the English Respect Party and a rabid anti-semite. He also invited hate preacher Riyadh ul Haq.

The Green Party leader Åsa Romson is also – like Jeremy Corbyn’s extreme labour supporters – so enamoured of the Palestinian cause that she often strays into anti-semitic territory.

Green party “co-spokesperson” (a euphemism for “leader”) Åsa Romson has once again demonstrated that the greens have great difficulty in making the transition from being demonstrators on the streets to actually being in government. Åsa Romson is even the Deputy Prime Minister. She has been silly enough to first compare the Mediterranean to Auschwitz and then to refer to the Roma as “zigenare” which means gypsy and as a term has officially been declared to be “offensive”.

Anti-semitism crops up regularly among local Green politicians. Birgitta Hansen of the Stockholm Greens has said the Israelis “behave like the Nazis – only worse”. Another local Green politician Jerker Nordlund has called Israel “mentally sick” and called for a global war against Israel.

The Greens claim that they have no more than a “usual” number of anti-semites among their members. But I note that 17 of 21 local Green parties have expressed their support for Kaplan. They try to excuse themselves by saying they are pro-Palestine and anti-Israel and not anti-semitic, but methinks they do protest too much.

Green Parties around the world have become a safe haven for former communists and far-left extremists. And among the far left (as with the far right) there is very hard core of fascists and anti-semites. Unfortunately the sanctimonious, self-righteous sections of the Greens are often too naive – or too stupid – to realise when they have been hijacked. The Green Party in Sweden contains a hard core of anti-semites. In Kaplan they also seem to have an apologist for islamic extremism and a not particularly good minister.


Åsa Romson and “the tears of a Green”

November 26, 2015

Åsa Romson’s “tears” for taking the decisions she took have received much attention. But it is not about the decisions this post is concerned with. It is about the behaviour of a politician who wishes to escape responsibility when making unprincipled decisions. It is about crying for a credit where none is due.

The Independent: Sweden’s Deputy Prime Minister broke down into tears as she announced the Government’s U-turn over the refugee crisis to reduce the number of people fleeing war and persecution from seeking asylum in Sweden. ……

“In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been convinced that this is the best way to help the local green party politicians actually do something,” she went on, before bursting into tears.

I note today that she gets some sympathy for taking a decision which goes stick and stone against what the Green party is supposed to stand for. As if the tears wash away her responsibility for her own decisions. As if the tears somehow mean that her principles are uncompromised or excuse her remaining in government. Doing something “wrong” by her own standards and then crying about it does not make it any the less wrong or alter the fact that she took the “wrong” decision.

It is a trick that politicians should remember and bring out whenever they need to take an unprincipled decision but avoid the consequences. A few tears can then absolve them of any feelings of guilt for violating their own principles. It is having the meal and bursting into tears when the bill is presented.

I am reminded of “Tears of a Clown” by Smokey Robinson.

Well ther’e some sad things known to man

But ain’t too much sadder than

The tears of a Green

who, to pay the bill, is not too keen

with apologies to Smokey Robinson

Swedish Greens abandon their principles just to remain in government

November 25, 2015

In the face of the massive stream of asylum seekers, the decisions by the Swedish government to now only offer temporary residence permits, to insist on identity checks at the borders and to return those without identification to the EU country they are coming from (Denmark and Germany in the main), are only just common sense. But even these common sense actions have long been considered much too tough by the Greens and the far left. But when the Social Democrat led government announced its decision today, their Green party partners stood by their side. They abandoned their previous principles, and did not leave the government or the position in the limelight they so desperately crave. They put forward the flawed argument that they are remaining in government because without them there it would be even worse for the refugees.

But – in my opinion – the only reason they did not do the right thing and leave the government is that their leader Åsa Romson and her other Green party ministers, have been so seduced by the trappings of power that they cannot give them up. Goodness gracious! They couldn’t possibly not be at the Paris Climate Conference now, could they?

The GuardianSweden needs “respite” from the tens of thousands of refugees knocking at its door, the government has said, announcing tough measures to deter asylum seekers in a sharp reversal of its open-door policy towards people fleeing war and persecution.

The country’s generous asylum regime would revert to the “EU minimum”, Sweden’s prime minister, Stefan Löfven, said on Tuesday, revealing that most refugees would receive only temporary residence permits from April. Identity checks would be imposed on all modes of transport, and the right to bring families to Sweden would be severely restricted, he said. ……

The reversal in refugee policy, which follows the imposition of border controls two weeks ago, marks a policy choice the ruling red-green coalition would have considered unthinkable until asylum seekers began arriving this autumn at a rate of 10,000 a week. Official estimates suggest up to 190,000 could come to the country of 10 million people this year.

The rise in refugee numbers has caused a frantic scramble to place roofs over their heads. At the weekend refugees arriving in the southern city of Malmö were forced to sleep on the streets because no beds could be found. …….. 

The Greens’ deputy prime minister, Åsa Romson, broke into tears as she announced the measures.“This is a terrible decision,” she said later, admitting that the proposals would make life even more precarious for refugees. But quitting the government would have made a bad situation even worse, she added.

Crocodile tears.

And yet Åsa Romson, while claiming that the Greens had reached their limits,  would not commit to leaving the government if even stricter measures were introduced.

Dagens Nyheter:

…. But now the limit has been reached for the Green Party. Åsa Romson said to DN that there is no question of the Green Party going along with the Moderate party’s proposals in practice to close the border to refugees.

“For the Green Party’s part, I see no room whatsoever today to take further steps in terms of a restrictive asylum policy”.

DN; Would you leave the government in such a case?

“I did not say so”.

DN: But how else should we interpret it?

“I said I did not see any opportunities for my party to make any further deterioration. Now we have gone down to the minimum level required by international law and EU law. To go beyond means not even meeting international asylum law. There is of course an upper limit that is not possible to go over”.

I don’t expect much logic or rational thinking from the Swedish Green party. But the lack of rational thinking here is particularly obvious.

In any event the decisions taken today are quite rational and necessary – even if they don’t quite go far enough. The reality is that something between 60 and 80% of those arriving at Sweden’s borders destroy their own ID documents so as to be eligible for being considered for asylum. A normal immigrant has no right to state support but an asylum seeker does. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but in the present wave of “refugees” the rules are being manipulated by some.

But the Green party has demonstrated quite clearly today that they are opportunistic, have very flexible principles (and values), and like being in power.

A Deputy PM who isn’t (if you are in Sweden and the deputy is a “green”)

July 19, 2015

The Swedish Social Democrats were forced to bring the Environmental Party into government to cobble together a majority in parliament with external support from the Left Party (rebranded communists). The leader of the Greens, Åsa Romson, was given the title of “Deputy Prime Minister” but it has now been revealed that in the agreement between the Social Democrats and the Greens, the position was entirely titular. Fortunately the Social Democrats were sane enough and responsible enough not to allow the possibility of a Green Deputy PM actually stepping in to replace the PM when he was abroad or ill. That would be more frightening than nuclear weapons with a rogue state.

This agreement came to light this week when the PM, Stefan Löfven, was taken ill – just for a few hours – on his return from a trip abroad. Though he has not named any particular person to fill his empty shoes, it is usually the Foreign Minister, Margot Wallström, also a Social Democrat, who steps in.

Opposition parties have been quick to take pot-shots. “Unconstitutional”, said some of them, “to have a deputy who wasn’t”.

All good fun, but there is a serious point. The Greens are not seen, even by their partners in government, as being responsible enough to be allowed to take the reins. And that is the reality. The 6 Green Party Ministers in this government have, in my perception, amply demonstrated their inexperience which borders on the incompetent. They are a destructive force, primarily concerned with stopping actions from others,  but have few constructive ideas of their own. They raise barriers when others want to “do” but “do” very little themselves.

Dagens Nyheter: The Green Party spokesperson Åsa Romson’s is Deputy Prime Minister – but will still not act as replacement for Stefan Löfven (S). Instead, it is Margot Wallström, who has that role in government.

According to information provided to DN the Social Democrat leaders did  not want to give Romson the responsibility to lead the country in a crisis.

“Stefan Löfven has not appointed a deputy. Since no specific proxy has been appointed the role is taken by the longest serving Minister” says Hans Dahlgren (S), State Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office.

In the red-green government, Foreign Minister, Margot Wallström is the longest serving minister. Therefore she has, whenever available, led most of the cabinet meetings that have taken place since last autumn whenever Stefan Löfven has been abroad or absent for other reasons.

…….. when the Social Democrats and the Green Party negotiated for government posts last autumn, the parties agreed that Åsa Romsons title as Deputy Prime Minister was merely titular.

“We made no demands about getting an operational deputy post when we negotiated to enter government. It was more important for us to have clear responsibilities and cooperation in government”, says Åsa Romson.

The issue came to a head on Thursday when Stefan Löfven after a trip to Ethiopia suffered acute nausea and was taken by ambulance from the airport to the Karolinska University Hospital. But it took more than a day for the Prime Minister to answer DN’s questions on the matter.

The Green Party is based on agitation when in opposition. In government they flop about like fish on dry land.

German Greens apologise for their paedophiles and abuse of over 1000 children

May 22, 2015

The German Greens have long been advocates of paedophilia as being one of the basic human rights. The Lib Dems in the UK also have a long history of condoning the abuse of children (Cyril Smith for example). Even The Times has picked up this expose of the German Greens but it is not being reported (yet) by other “environmentalist” media.

The Times: A paedophile network was active in the Berlin branch of the Green party until the mid-1990s, with potentially hundreds of victims, the party revealed yesterday after a lengthy investigation.

There was a “misunderstood tolerance” of paedophiles within the Green movement for many years, party leaders admitted, as they invited victims to come forward and share in a compensation fund. The figure of “up to 1,000” victims of paedophiles was suggested before yesterday’s report.

Pierre L. Gosselin has the story:

Berlin’s leftist daily Online Tagesspiegel here reports comprehensively on the German Green Party’s troubled past involving it’s earlier advocacy of pedophilia and practice by some of its former leading members, see background here, here, here and here.

Green Party Chairwoman Bettina Jarasch has just publicly apologized for what she calls an “institutional failure,” ….. 

….. The Greens’ advocacy of pedophilia rights was part of the party’s platform in the 1980s and early 1990s as it pushed neo-liberal ideas like “free and open relationships”. It still remains unclear as to why the Germany’s top environmental party took so long to issue an apology. 

…… The number of victims is not known. However one Green Party Berlin parliamentarian and author of the report, Thomas Birk, in March mentioned “up to 1000 victims”, though he said the figure was “speculative”. The report itself gives releases no figure.

Current Green party official Daniel Wesener said that there were at least two repeat offenders who were tolerated within the party, one was convicted in 13 cases.

Currently the child sex abuse within the Green party is now under investigation by a special commission. The Green Party leaders pledge their full cooperation and to provide compensation to victims who step forward.

According to the Tagesspiegel, the investigation shed light into an “abuse network” within the forerunner of the Green party, Alternativen Liste, which included at least three leading figures who set up a “youth center” in Kreuzberg recreational center.

….. Though some media outlets such as the Tagesspiegel reported on the story, much of the German media has been pretty mute on the topic.

I am afraid that the term “liberal” – which once stood for something fine – has been degraded and despoiled by the extremists to now come to mean “no limits, no ethics”. Liberalism is no longer about humanism but all about permissiveness. And if all is permitted and anything goes and any kind of ethical standards or limits are “evil”, then it follows that paedophiles and ISIS should be given free reign.

Swedish Green party leader exhibits her immaturity to be in government

May 11, 2015

Green party “co-spokesperson” (a euphemism for “leader”) Åsa Romson has once again demonstrated that the greens have great difficulty in making the transition from being demonstrators on the streets to actually being in government. Åsa Romson is even the Deputy Prime Minister. She has been silly enough to first compare the Mediterranean to Auschwitz and then to refer to the Roma as “zigenare” which means gypsy and as a term has officially been declared to be “offensive”.

Of course she wasn’t around during the Holocaust, but who does she see as the Nazis of today? The Mediterranean may well be a graveyard for many but the reference displays an amazing ignorance.

TheLocalGreen party co-spokesperson Åsa Romson has apologized after calling Roma people “zigenare” (gypsies) as well as comparing the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean to the Holocaust. ……. 

The leader later told SVT that she was sorry, adding that she had used an expression that “did not fit”, while trying to make a strong argument about the migrant crisis in the EU.

Her press spokesperson Hellström Gefvert later told the broadcaster that Romson had been “tired” after the debate and knew that her choice of words was “indefensible”.

On Monday, Romson issued another apology on Twitter, posting: “Again: It was wrong to make an Auschwitz analogy. I sincerely apologize”.

But this is not the first time that the greens have demonstrated their lack of judgement. They show little evidence of exercise of mind. The Swedish Greens border on being anti-semitic. They are definitely pro-Palestine, even have mild islamists in positions of power and are generally anti-Israel. It is sometimes difficult to tread the balance between being anti-Israel and being anti-semitic and, unfortunately, the Swedish Greens just don’t have the judgement and quality of thought necessary to walk the line. Mehmet Kaplan and Gustav Fridolin are Green party members and Ministers in the current Red/Green government. Kaplan was also unthinking enough to equate Swedes joining IS with Finns fighting against Russians during WW2. Also a remarkable display of ignorance of history and an apologist remark – in any interpretation – for the IS.

TimesofIsrael: Housing Minister Mehmet Kaplan, of Sweden’s Green Party, was arrested in 2010 by Israeli forces after participating in the Mavi Marmara flotilla, which was headed to the Gaza Strip. The Turkish-born MP was later deported from Israel over his involvement. 

During this summer’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, Kaplan called for the “liberation of Jerusalem” at a pro-Palestinian rally.

He also downplayed the evils of the Islamic State in a July address, saying that Swedes joining their ranks in Iraq and Syria were similar to those who went to Finland during World War II to combat the Soviet Union. His comparison was lambasted by many Swedes, who consider the soldiers who volunteered to fight the Soviets on behalf of Finland freedom fighters.

In addition, Sweden’s Education Minister Gustav Fridolin was detained by Israeli forces in 2004 for protesting the security barrier near Ramallah. Fridolin left the country shortly after he was released.

The thoughtlessness is evident even in environmental issues which ought to be their strength – but is not. In fact even on many environmental matters they tend to be remarkably uninformed and blindly follow an eco-fascist line. They know best what everybody else should do – for their own good.

Greens in government just don’t work and in Sweden they are an embarrassment to rational thought.

Swedish Green minority in government leads to oppression of the majority and a “bad democracy”

March 28, 2015

The Swedish Green party won 6.9% of the vote (25 seats in a 349 seat parliament) in the last general election. But they are part of the minority government with the Social Democrats (31% of the vote – 113 seats). Inevitably the Social Democrats are forced (or choose to) adopt some of the Green party policies. Most Green party policies are about forbidding things they don’t like on ideological grounds. Or they are about increasing taxes to discourage behaviour they don’t like. Very few of the Swedish Greens’ environmental policies are based on sound science. They are mostly based on alarmism and fear. Even when they propose new taxes they have not even an inkling – apart from how much will be collected – of what they will actually achieve. The goals are never capable of being monitored or – in many cases – even measured.

Whenever the Social Democrats accept Green policies – which they themselves don’t agree with – they put it down to being the “price of having a coalition partner”. They are effectively promoting a minority view and subverting the democratic process. A policy supported by 6.9% of the voters is inflicted upon the entire population.

It happened again this week. Green party minority dogma is planned to be inflicted on the entire country and the Social Democrats – who promised not to do this – are now complicit in the subversion of democracy. It is a simple case of a tiny minority oppressing an overwhelming majority. (Not so different from a dictatorship). The Social Democrats are effectively a “poodle” being wagged by their Green tail.

TheLocalSweden’s left-wing government proposed a hike in petrol taxes on Friday, citing the drop in oil prices and pressure put on it by its coalition partner the Greens.

“The oil price has plunged by 50 percent, so it’s become cheaper to fill up at the pump. That’s one thing. The other is that we are in a government with the Green Party,” Social Democratic Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson told reporters at a press conference.

“We need to finance our reforms krona for krona. And that means we need to increase revenues,” she said. The government proposed to increase the tax on petrol by 0.44 kronor ($0.05) per litre and on diesel by 0.48 kronor.

The hike, which would take effect on January 1st, would bring in 4.1 billion kronor ($479 million) to state coffers in 2016.

The Social Democrats no doubt see this as a way of raising revenues while blaming the Greens. But it also demonstrates their incompetence in running a coalition where they ought to be the senior partner. The Green tail is wagging the Social Democratic poodle. Democracies work but they have their share of negatives. And coalition governments where a large party is dependant upon a small party leads to tiny minorities inflicting their views on the majority. There is nothing inherently better in a democracy than in a dictatorship. It all depends on the “goodness” of the democracy or the dictatorship. A “good dictatorship” may well be superior to a “bad democracy”.

In the case of the present coalition government in Sweden, the inescapable conclusion is that the inclusion of the Greens makes it a “bad democracy”.

Germans no longer being taken in by Green propaganda

September 10, 2013

The German elections are less than 2 weeks away and the only real question is what Angela Merkel’s win will look like. Whatever the result she will not find it necessary to pay too much attention to the Greens. The German Green party peaked in support a few weeks after the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima nuclear plant accident. They reached the height of 28% support for a few days in April 2011 and entertained hopes of becoming Germany’s 3rd party. But the euro zone financial crises have ccontinued since then. The German Energiewende is turning out to be an expensive catastrophe. More coal is being burnt today than before. Heavily subsidised solar and wind energy are destabilising the grid and not pulling their weight. German electricity prices are driving industries – and jobs – out of the country. Profligate Green policies adopted under Green pressure are being seen to be the reason. They are a problem rather than a solution to any existing problem.The Greens are currently polling at about 10% support. A long drop from the heady days of 2011.

As Der Spiegel puts it:

German consumers already pay the highest electricity prices in Europe. But because the government is failing to get the costs of its new energy policy under control, rising prices are already on the horizon. Electricity is becoming a luxury good in Germany … 

…. The political world is wedged between the green-energy lobby, masquerading as saviors of the world, and the established electric utilities, with their dire warnings of chaotic supply problems and job losses.

Even well-informed citizens can no longer keep track of all the additional costs being imposed on them. According to government sources, the surcharge to finance the power grids will increase by 0.2 to 0.4 cents per kilowatt hour next year. On top of that, consumers pay a host of taxes, surcharges and fees that would make any consumer’s head spin.

It is beginning to sink in with the German electorate that “feel good” politics of the Greens which achieves little and costs the earth is not sustainable. The electorate is beginning to resent being told what to do, how to live, what to eat and how to drive. To attack meat-eating and the driving of cars as the Greens have done seems particularly inept.


Greens dream of power fading as German election nears

….. Like other Germans once attracted to the world’s most successful pro-environment party, Suska is now turned off by the Greens — and his defection helps explain a sudden drop in support before Germany’s September 22 election.

“The Greens have this ‘ecological dictatorship’ feeling about them now,” says Suska, 45. “I used to always vote Greens. But not anymore. No one likes to be told what to do. It feels like the Greens are going to make everything more expensive.”

Support for the Greens, which traces its roots to the peace movement of the 1970s, hit a high of 23 percent in 2011 after the Fukushima disaster in Japan boosted the appeal of its anti-nuclear message. Within weeks of the tragedy, the Greens stunned Chancellor Angela Merkel by winning control of the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, long a conservative stronghold.

As recently as July, the party was polling a robust 15 percent, well above its 2009 result of 10.7 percent.

But over the past two months, the Greens have seen their support crumble to 10 percent, a four-year low. The collapse, in the most crucial phase of the campaign, appears to have doomed what faint hopes the party had of returning to power with the Social Democrats (SPD), with whom it ruled from 1998 to 2005.

… Much of the party’s fall in popularity can be traced to a series of self-inflicted wounds.

One big problem is the lin… gering suspicion the Greens want to tell people what to do: drive more slowly, take the bus, turn off lights, turn down the heat, ban large livestock farming.

Their light-hearted idea for a “Veggie Day”, where Germans would skip meat once a week, has been mocked in the media and by other parties. The rival Free Democrats (FDP) went so far as to organize a barbecue to annoy the Greens.

Proposals to cut city speed limits and put an upper limit on motorways have also alienated some supporters.

“Germans don’t have a sense of humor when it comes to cars and meat,” said Yvonne Seiler, a secretary and Greens backer.

Gero Neugebauer, a political scientist at Berlin’s Free University, said: “The Greens scare away a lot of voters and their ideas just don’t excite people anymore. People don’t understand their message.”

Der Spiegel again:

…. with the vote two-and-a-half weeks away, the picture is not nearly as rosy. A poll released Thursday found that just 10 percent of Germans intend to vote for the Greens on Sept. 22. It is the lowest survey result for the once popular party since way back in 2009.

…… One of the party’s central proposals in the current campaign, for example, has been that of raising taxes on high earners and introducing a 1.5 percent tax on assets of over €1 million as a way of increasing social justice. To be sure, many of the party’s core voters support such a proposal, despite being in the upper tax brackets themselves. But it seems poorly designed should the Greens be interested in getting their new supporters to actually cast a ballot for the party on Sept. 22. Other proposals have likewise fared poorly.

Specifically, the Greens have proposed the introduction of one vegetarian day each week in workplace cafeterias across the country. “A veggie day would be a great opportunity to see how we can nourish ourselves without meat and sausage,” senior Green politician Renate Künast told the tabloid Bild on Monday.

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