#198: Merz muck-up, CSD assaults, re-vote
And Berlin's other pro sports team
Dear 20 Percent,
Credit where credit is due.
The right-wing AfD party is enjoying its best-ever poll results, sparked by the current government’s efforts to make residential heating more environmentally friendly as well as the opposition evergreen of immigration policy. They would theoretically get somewhere around 20% of the vote if national elections were held Sunday (the regular poll is known as the Sonntagsfrage in Germany). How dare they snag our brand!
Friedrich Merz, the head of the conservative CDU party, has been offering lots of advice about the Alternative für Deutschland’s rise lately, once even saying his party was also an Alternative for Deutschland, but with substance, which seems odd. Like, why legitimize the party at all, even if you are hoping to siphon off a few voters? It’s like me saying I’m a Donald Trump. Just smarter. And nicer. And less orange.
Merz went one step further in a national interview Sunday, saying his party would probably soon have to work together with the AfD in local governments, piercing a previous promise of a firewall between his party and the would-be fascists in the AfD.
Merz has spent the past few days backpedaling and watching as his shot at the chancellorship slips away. Good riddance: He’s been flirting a little too much with the AfD.
Anyway, have a good week!
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Giving credit to Christopher Street Day
A handful of attacks against LGBTQ+ people around the Christopher Street Day celebrations Saturday reminded us of why the Christopher Street Day protests are necessary. Anti-gay activists unfurled a banner on Alexanderplatz that said homosexuality would lead to the death of humans (or maybe just Germans?), according to taz. Police took information from at least four of those responsible for the banner, which is also linked with the far-right Third Way party. Three men were also injured in three seperate homophobic attacks Saturday, including one man who was attacked by three others in the S1.
Credit the previous government for the f*ck-up.
Remember the February Re-Election® that brought us Berlin’s current government? Well Berlin is preparing the Re-Re-Election®! While the Re-Election® was for local politicians, the Re-Re-Election® would be to re-do the September 2021 vote for national representatives. Germany’s constitutional court, the highest in the country, is currently reviewing a suit by the conservative CDU that says the election must be repeated because of day-long snafus in the original vote. The court may rule that the vote has to be repeated in just part of Berlin or all of Berlin but officials are preparing for a city-state-wide vote, according to Morgenpost.
“It would help,” I overheard an American say in a Mitte cafe the other day, “if Berlin had some professional sports teams.” Like, what Berlin was she talking about? Berlin has lots of pro sports teams, including pro kickers Hertha BSC, which was founded on this day in 1892 (it even used to have 1892 in the name!). Hertha is mostly an embarrassment for a club from a nation’s capital — they play at the Olympic stadium — and last year was relegated to the second, or lesser, Bundesliga. But they have new management and a new investor, so maybe their fortunes will change.
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