Monday, October 1, 2018

Germany's Far-Right AfD Party Now Polls Second

Nazi fascism immigration politics eugenics
Björn Höcke, a politician from the Alternative for Germany party
German parliamentary debates tend to be well-tempered, often dreary affairs. But a recent session showed just how tense the climate in Germany's parliament, the Bundestag, has become.

Earlier this month, Alexander Gauland, a lawmaker with the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party in the lower house of parliament, lambasted German Chancellor Angela Merkel's migration policies. A verbal pile-on ensued. Senior Social Democratic politician Martin Schulz accused the AfD legislator of being a "right-wing radical" and using "tactics of fascism."

Eventually, the 94 AfD members of parliament walked out, saying that comparisons to the Nazis and other insults were "unacceptable."

In last September's elections, the AfD became the first far-right party to win seats in the Bundestag in more than half a century, becoming the official opposition to Merkel's ruling "grand coalition" of conservatives and social democrats. Although — or precisely because — the AfD is treated as a pariah in the legislature, its support is growing among German voters.

The AfD was listed as the country's second most popular party in a recent poll, with 18 percent support, beating the mainstream Social Democratic Party into third place, albeit by just a single point.

It is the latest sign that many citizens are drawn to a populist movement that is reshaping politics in Germany, a trend that's playing out in Europe and elsewhere. AfD politicians are regularly accused of extremism and don't shy from the type of nationalist rhetoric that mainstream German politicians largely have shunned since World War II.  (more...)


That ain't all, folks.

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