I will be gone during the peak of the horrible German election campaigns (in fact I’m just back and voting is this Sunday). The only thing that is keeping things somewhat bearable are the low-budget fake news broadcasts by Tagesschaum. I pay taxes in this damned country but I am not eligible to vote. That’s why I penned this election advice before I left for those that are. I didn’t have time to polish it then but here it is, better late than never.
I agree with others that votes should not be cast on FDP, CDU or SPD because they are all cynical douchebags, one not much better than the other. You would think that the SPD are sort of good but they aren’t really and yesterday I found out thanks to the Wahl-Apparat that they are both for weapons sales and the Kirchensteuer.
Then to treat the remaining parties:
The Left – They have some policies with significant merit. The abolishment of the two class healthcare system is long overdue1 and their other economic policies hit the right tone in a time in which almost everything is being sold to the highest bidder.
But I can only recommend voting for them in protest and if you do, hope that everybody else doesn’t do the same. When they were in power, these people perpetrated some of the worst crimes against society in recent history (see the pictures from the Stasi archives). They even have an actual Stasi member (source) leading their list. And for economic redistribution to work there has to be an economy, something I’m not so sure will still exist if these people come into power.
The Pirates – It’s hard to take these guys seriously anymore but they seem to have some good —even if probably frightfully naive— candidates that you may be able to elect directly. Giving your protest vote to them is also by far the most harmless option.
The Greens – They are not the idealists that they were anymore (that honour goes to the Pirates). This does not prevent them from applying their ideals onto the world with horrible consequences. Their economic policies are about as good as those of the Left but more oriented towards yuppies as are their environmental policies. Large parts of the party also seem to be batshit crazy —though probably not much more than the other parties— and there are lots of controversies that I haven’t read up on and can’t really write about2.
Having taken that all into account I would advice a vote for the Greens anyway because they are mostly harmless and because it is the party that is most adamantly pro-bicycle. On the local level their policies are already paying off and a strong national faction will only supplement that. Putting your vote behind cycling in a single issue fashion is not that bad and it is an issue that is being clinched right now. Next time around the choice may be slightly less hopeless.
Also: I will be talking on stage to a Dutch delegation here for the elections about what it’s like to live and work in Germany.