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EU-Skeptic Politician Dead in Solo Road Crash

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 7:47 pm    Post subject: EU-Skeptic Politician Dead in Solo Road Crash Reply with quote

Austrian Politician Killed

"I'm the leader of a 27% party in Austria. It's
unbelievable that Mr Clinton is afraid of Mr. Haider."

- Jörg Haider Comment, 1999

Haider's Anti-EU Poll Triumph
Ends Swiftly in his Death

Opponent of EU Elite Dies in Solo Car Crash

by Fintan Dunne, BreakForNews.com - 11 Octover, 2008

The triumphant return to the national stage by Austrian Euro-skeptic
politician Jörg Haider has ended swiftly --in the mangled wreckage of
his State car.

To the dismay of EU leaders, the 58-year-old head of the center-right
Movement for Austria’s Future party had just weeks ago surged back
from the political sidelines, as voters backed his renewed leadership
of the party.

But the victory turned to tragedy in the early hours of Saturday when
Haider died of reported massive head and chest injuries after his car
veered off the road and struck a concrete barrier.

His Volkswagen Phaeton swept road signs aside at high speed on a
little-traveled southern Austrian highway, before somersaulting to a
smoking standstill.

Haider was alone in the vehicle and no other car was imediately involved.
The only reported witness was a woman who around the time of the crash
called police claiming Haider had overtaken her in a reckless manner.
Austrian authorities are investigating.


In 1999, when Haider had last upset the European status quo and
formed part of a coalition government, EU leaders for months had
boycotted Austria as a pariah. Now those same leaders can breathe
a sigh of relief.

Haider had won backing for a platform seeking a referendum in Austria
over the EU Treaty issue. Ahead of the election, he told Euronews:
"We are losing control in areas such as justice, rights of asylum, etc.
These powers are all transferring to Brussels – and this annoys us
enormously. We would like a referendum because we believe the
people should be consulted

The European elite was alarmed at the prospect of a lurch against the EU
by a heartland member such as Austria -even as the EU Lisbon Treaty is
already stalled by Ireland's 'No' vote.

Haider's success would have driven the issue of an Austrian referendum
over the Treaty on to the political agenda in his country. With Poland and
other EU states already balking at the Treaty, that could have spelt doom
for the whole project. Absent Haider that threat is greatly diminished.

The Austrian right won 29 per cent of the vote in the recent elections
--the same level of support as in 1999, when Mr. Haider entered the
government in coalition with Conservatives, triggering an EU diplomatic
boycott of Austria. In the election held in late September Haider's party
won 11 per cent, and the Freedom party, got 18 per cent. Both parties
oppose usurpation of member state powers by the EU and want an end
to immigration.

While characterized as a racist or xenophobe by EU leaders and the
international media, Haider was a folksy populist who actually did deserve
the 'Maverick' label adopted by U.S. presidential candidate John McCain.

His politics defied categorization. While opposing immigration and the
proliferation of Muslim places of worship, by contrast he was a firm
supporter of largely-Muslim, Turkey's entry to the EU. But his provocative
praise for the Nazi era (Haider's parents were Nazi party members), and
other intemperate comments for which he later apologized, led to an
international political hue and cry back in 1999.

His maverick credentials were further spotlighted when he visited with
Saddam Hussein on the eve of the Iraq war and by his friendship with
Moammar Gadhafi when Libya was still an international outcast.

He also made comments seeeming to compare President George Bush to
Saddam and Hitler in 2003. In 2002, the U.S. State Department said his
electioneering comments "could be interpreted as xenophobic or anti-

Haider is survived by a wife, two daughters and his mother, to whose 90th
birthday he was travelling to celebrate later this weekend.

Euronews Interview : Jörg Haider

euronews: “My first question is taken directly from your election
manifesto – you say “we are against dictatorship” – what do you mean
by this.?”

Jörg Haider: “Over the last few years we have lost many of our
state powers to Brussels. This has provoked a negative reaction from the
people – for example, within the context of the European Union’s reform
treaty, we are losing control in areas such as justice , rights of asylum
etc. These powers are all transferring to Brussels – and this annoys us

euronews: “You would like to hold a referendum on the treaty?”

Jörg Haider: “We would like a referendum because we
believe the people should be consulted
on the fundamental changes
being made in our relations with Brussels and with other EU countries.”


Jörg Haider Car Accident - RAW Video

Jörg Haider

Minds are like parachutes.
They only function when open.

Last edited by Fintan on Sun Oct 12, 2008 11:32 am; edited 6 times in total
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Accident's do happen.

However, if there was foul play we can be sure to be awash in an "orgy of evidence" quite soon.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to Kathy for digging these
two gems up.... Illumination!!

Hillary Clinton warns of Austria's Haider

January 30, 2000

HILLARY Rodham Clinton has spoken out against Joerg Haider
and his far-right Freedom Party becoming part of a coalition
government in Austria.

"Haider's record of intolerance, extremism and anti-semitism should be of
concern to all of us."

The US First Lady said Haider's party should not be considered as a
partner in an Austrian government.

There has been an international outcry after the centre-right Austrian
People's Party began talking with the Freedom Party about forming a
governing coalition.This has led to criticism from Israel and other
European countries.


Why Do We All Love to Hate Haider?

Feb 2000 - Slavoj Žižek Slavoj Žižek

The prospect of Joerg Haider's Freidemokraten participation in the
Austrian government aroused horror in the entire spectrum of the
"legitimate democratic" political block in the Western world: from the
Social Democratic Left to the Christian conservatives, from Chirac to
Clinton - not to mention, of course, Israel -, they all expressed "worries"
and announced at least symbolic measures of Austria's diplomatic
quarantine, untill this disease disappears or is proven not really

Some commentators perceive this horror as the proof of how the basic
post-World-War-II anti-Fascist democratic consensus in Europe still holds
- are, however, things really so unequivocal? The first thing to do here is
to recall the well-concealed, but nonetheless unmistakable, sigh of relief
in the predominant democratic political field, when, a decade ago, the
Rightist populist parties became a serious presence in Europe.

The message of this relief was: finally the enemy whom we can all
together properly hate, whom we can sacrifice - excommunicate - in
order to demonstrate our democratic consensus!
This relief is to be read
against the background of what is usually referred to as the emerging
"post-political consensus."

The two-party system, the predominant form of politics in our
post-political era, is the appearance of a choice where there is
basically none.

Both poles converge on their economic policy - recall recent elevations,
by Clinton and Blair, of the "tight fiscal policy" as the key tenet of the
modern Left: the tight fiscal policy sustains economic growth, and growth
allows us to play a more active social policy in our fight for better social
security, education and health... The difference of the two parties is thus
ultimately reduced to the opposed cultural attitudes: multiculturalist,
sexual etc. "openness" versus traditional "family values."

And, significantly, it is the Rightist option that addresses and attempts to
mobilize whatever remains of the mainstream working class in our
Western societies, while the multiculturalist tolerance is becoming the
motto of new privileged "symbolic classes" (journalists, academics,
This political choice - Social Democrat or Christian
Democrat in Germany, Democrat or Republican... - cannot but remind us
of our predicament when we want artificial sweetener in an American
cafeteria: the all-present alternative of Nutra-Sweet Equal and High&Low,
of blue and red small bags, where almost each person has his/her
preferences (avoid the red ones, they contain cancerous substances, or
vice-versa), where this ridiculous sticking to one's choice merely
accentuates the utter meaninglessness of the alternative.

And does the same not go for late TV talk shows, where the "freedom to
choose" is the choice between Jay Leno and David Letterman? Or for the
soda drinks: Coke or Pepsi? It is a well-known fact that the "Close the
" button in most elevators is a totally disfunctional placebo, placed
there just to give the individuals the impression that they are somehow
, contributing to the speed of the elevator journey - when we
push this button, the door closes in exactly the same time as when we
just pressed the floor button without "speeding up" the process by
pressing also the "Close the door" button. This extreme case of fake
participation is an appropriate metaphor of the participation of individuals
in our "postmodern" political process.

And this brings us back to Haider: significantly, the only political force
with the serious weight which DOES still evoke an antagonistic response
of Us against Them is the new populist Right - Haider in Austria, le Pen in
France, Republicans in Germany, Buchanan in the US. A strange thing
took place in New York politics at the end of November 1999: Lenora
Fulani, the Black activist from Harlem, has endorsed Patrick Buchanan's
Reform Party presidential candidacy, declaring that she will try to bring
him to Harlem and mobilize the voters there on his behalf. While both
partners admitted their differences on a number of key issues, they
stressed "their common economic populism, and particulary their
antipathy for free trade." Wherefore this pact between Fulani, the far-Left
espouser of Marxist-Leninist politics, and Buchanan, a Reaganite cold
warrior and the leading Right-wing populist figure?

The liberal common wisdom has a quick answer to it: extremes - Righ
and Left "totalitarianism" - meet in their rejection of democracy, and
especially today, in their common inability to adapt to the new trends of
the global economy. Furthermore, do they not share the anti-Semitic
agenda? While the anti-Semitic bias of the radical African-Americans is
well-known, who does not remember Buchanan's provocative designation
of the US Congress as an "Israeli occupied territory"?

Against this liberal platitudes, one should focus on what effectively unites
Fulani and Buchanan: they both (pretend to) speak on behalf of the
proverbial "disappearing working class." In today's ideological perception,
work itself (manual labor as opposed to "symbolic" activity), not sex,
becomes the site of obscene indecency to be concealed from the public
The tradition which goes back to Wagner's Rheingold and Lang's
Metropolis, the tradition in which the working process takes place
underground, in dark caves, today culminates in the millions of
anonymous workers sweating in the Third World factories, from Chinese
to Indonesian or Brasil assembly lines - in their invisibility, the
West can afford itself to babble about the "disappearing working class."
But what is crucial in this tradition is the equation of labor with crime, the
idea that labor, hard work, is originally an indecent criminal activity to be
hidden from the public eye.

Today, the two superpowers, USA and China, more and more relate as
Capital and Labor
. The US is turning into a country of managerial
planning, banking, servicing, etc., while its "disappearing working
class" (except for migrant Chicanos and others whi work predominantly in
servicing economy) is reappearing in China, where the large part of the
US products, from toys to electronc hardware, is manufactured in
conditions ideal for capitalist exploitation: no strikes, limited freedom of
movement of the working force, low wages...

Far from being simply antagonistic, the relationship of China and US is
thus at the same time deeply symbiotic. The irony of history is that China
fully deserves the title "working class state": it is the state of the working
class for the American capital.

The only place in Hollywood films where we see the production process in
all its intensity are when the action hero penetrates the master-criminal's
secret domain and locates there the site of intense labor (distilling and
packaging the drugs, constructing a rocket that will destroy New York...).
When, in a James Bond movie, the master-criminal, after capturing Bond,
usually takes him on a tour of his illegal factory, is this not the closest
Hollywood comes to the socialist-realist proud presentation of the
production in a factory? And the function of Bond's intervention, of
course, is to explode in firecraks this site of production, allowing us to
return to the daily semblance of our existence in a world with the
"disappearing working class"...

This brings us to the reason why the new populist Right plays the key
structural role in the legitimacy of the new liberal-democratic hegemony.
They are the negative common denominator of the entire center-left
liberal spectrum: they are the excluded ones who, through this very
exclusion (their inacceptability as the party of the government) provide
the negative legitimacy of the liberal hegemony, the proof of their
"democratic" attitude. In this way, their existence displaces the TRUE
focus of the political struggle (which is, of course, the stifling of any Leftist
radical alternative
) to the "solidarity" of the entire "democratic" bloc
against the racist neo-Nazi etc. danger.

Therein resides the ultimate proof of the liberal-democratic hegemony of
today's ideologico-political scene, the hegemony which was accomplished
with the emergence of the "Third Way" social democracy. The "Third
Way" is precisely social democracy under the hegemony of liberal-
democratic capitalism. i.e. deprived of its minimal subversive sting,
excluding the last reference to anti-capitalism and class struggle.

Furthermore, it is absolutely crucial that the new Rightist populists are the
only "serious" political force today which addresses the people with the
anti-capitalist rhetorics, although coated in nationalist/racist/religious
clothing (multinational corporations who "betray" the common decent
working people of our nation). At the congress of the Front National a
couple of years ago, le Pen brought to stage an Algerian, an African and a
, embraced them all and told the gathered public: "They are no less
French than I am - it is the representatives of the big multinational
, ignoring their duty to France, who are the true danger to our
identity!" Hypocritical as such statements are, they nonetheless signal
how the populist Right is moving to occupy the terrain left vacant by the

Here, the liberal-democratic New Middle (as it is called in Germany) plays
a double game: it puts forward Righist populists as our common true
enemy, while it effectively manipulates this Rightist scare in order to
hegemonize the "democratic" field, i.e. to define the terrain and win over,
discipline, its true adversary, the radical Left.

And in the events like Haider's party's participation in the government
(which, let us not forget, has a precedent in the Fini's neo-Fascist Alleanza
Nazionale's participation in the Berlusconi government a couple of years
ago in Italy!), the post-political and post-ideological New Middle gets its
own message back in its inverted - true - form. The participation in the
government of the far Right is the price the Left is paying for its
renunciation of any radical political project, for accepting market
capitalism as "the only game in town".


Minds are like parachutes.
They only function when open.
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Rick Dagless

Joined: 11 Apr 2008
Posts: 104

PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's an interesting insight from a BBC article. Funny how the important parts of a news article always seem to be pushed to the end of the article.

About Haider:




He was a controversial figure who gained notoriety for praising the employment policies of the Third Reich.

Under his leadership, the far right Freedom Party gained a place in the coalition government in 2000.

The move sparked outrage across Europe and for several months Austria was placed under EU sanctions.

But the power of the far right was split when Mr Haider broke away from the Freedom Party in 2005 to form the Alliance for the future of Austria.

In a general election last month both the Freedom Party and the Alliance did better than expected, gaining almost 30% and there has been speculation that they might enter the new governing coalition.

Some analysts now believe that with the death of Mr Haider, there may be attempts to reunite the two parties of the far right in Austria - a move that could considerable strengthen their political power.

I wonder, did the leaders of the European far right decide they couldn't afford another Gregor Strasser?
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haider doing more than twice speed limit in fatal crash

VIENNA (AFP) — Austrian far-right leader Joerg Haider was driving at
more than double the speed limit when he crashed and died this
weekend, court officials said on Sunday.

Haider was doing 142 kilometres per hour (88 miles per hour) in a 70
kilometre per hour zone when he crashed in the early hours of Saturday
after leaving a nightclub, the prosecutors' office said.

Prosecutor Gottfried Kranza did not say whether Haider's body had tested
positive for alcohol.

Haider's vehicle, a Volkswagen Phaeton V6, was new and in perfect
condition, Kranza told the APA news agency, adding that "any speculation
as to the cause of the accident was null and void.".....


Good point Rick.

The death of Haider may have scuppered a possible coalition of smaller
parties which could have formed a government.

In the last few days, Haider had met with his rival and Freedom Party
chief, Heinz-Christian Strache. That meeting had reportedly gone well,
opening the possibility of a three way coalition with the second-place
People's Party. The reunification that is being mooted now would see
Haiders party subsumed back into the Freedom Party.

The EU-friendly Social Democrats won the most votes in the election,
with 29.3 percent. But the two right parties had secured virtually the
same level of votes between them.

We have no firm basis for foul play in Haider's death. But I must say
for the record that it has happened at a time of resurgence for Haider
and when the formation of a new government is in the balance.

When I began to delve into the details of the car crash, I found that
it had happened in the early hours of the morning, on a quiet road,
with only one witness and Hiader alone in the car. The vehicle was
a State car --opening the possibility of electronic tampering.

Optimum circumstances for dirty work, in other words.

Minds are like parachutes.
They only function when open.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haider's vehicle, a Volkswagen Phaeton V6, was new and in perfect
condition, Kranza told the APA news agency, adding that "any speculation
as to the cause of the accident was null and void."

Love sentences like that.
Straight out of the horse's backside into a big steaming pile.

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Rick Dagless

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Posts: 104

PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robert wrote:
Haider's vehicle, a Volkswagen Phaeton V6, was new and in perfect
condition, Kranza told the APA news agency, adding that "any speculation
as to the cause of the accident was null and void."

Love sentences like that.
Straight out of the horse's backside into a big steaming pile.


I'd like to know what kind of driving record Haider had.

Had he been cited previously for reckless driving or driving over the speed limit?

Did he have a taste for fast driving?

If he was a careful driver I would find is strange that on the day of his death he was driving at twice the posted speed limit.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a politician, Haider must have known what a careless accident involving injury or death to another person would have cost him and his party. All the more reason for him to be extra cautious, not extra reckless. Are we to believe that he was driving through a residential area at 90mph in darkness and fog? I am thinking that Haider intentionally drove off the road through the street sign, curb, and the garden hedge in a desperate effort to slow himself down after he realized he no longer had operational control over the accelerator or the brakes.

The onboard computer should show what the car was doing in its last seconds. If we don't hear any more about this electronic record you can be sure it means a coverup.

Another bit of essential info would be the response time of the police. How long did it take them to arrive at the accident scene? And how long after that was Haider put in an ambulance? And when did the ambulance arrive at the hospital? Remember it took over an hour for Princess Diana's ambulance to arrive at the hospital after it left the accident scene.

Good link here:

"You've got to be able to move quickly if you're running from Feds or special ops."
--Jeff Weise, Red Lake, MN
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Curiouser and curiouser.

Amid claims that Haider was drunk and the revelation of
an open secret that he was gay, comes this development:

Haider widow believes death 'not an accident'

The widow of Joerg Haider believes the far-right Austrian politician's death
in a car crash may not have been an accident and has saved his body
from cremation for a second post mortem, a Vienna newspaper has

By David Wroe in Berlin - 24 Oct 2008

Today cited senior members of Mr Haider's party as claiming that his
widow Claudia had doubts about the official explanation of her husband's
death and wanted a further examination by a coroner, possibly in Italy.

The paper suggested that Mr Haider's body was abruptly withdrawn from
a planned cremation on Saturday. It said Mrs Haider feared her husband
may have been drugged.

Theories that the charismatic politician, 58, was assassinated have
simmered in Austria since the crash on Oct 11.

Party sources pointed to the fact that there were no tyre skid marks as
evidence Mr Haider was unconscious when he crashed, Today said.

Last week, a Volkswagen spokesman said the speed at which Haider was
driving – 88mph – although nearly double the speed limit, should ''not
have been a problem for the car's physics'' on the curved road.

Mr Haider's car, a VW Phaeton, struck a pillar and flipped near the city of
Klagenfurt. The governor of the state of Carinthia, was nearly four times
over the legal blood alcohol limit.

Stefan Petzner, his protégé, has been linked to Haider romantically by
Austrian media after Mr Petzner said: "We had a relationship that went far
beyond friendship. Me and Jorg were connected by something truly
special. He was the man of my life."

Mr Petzner briefly succeeded Mr Haider as leader of the Alliance for the
Future of Austria but was sacked after his tearful revelation.

Mrs Haider declined to comment to the Austrian paper about the plan for
a further post mortem. A spokesman for the party yesterday also refused
to comment on the story to the Telegraph.

Mr Haider, who rose to notoriety in the late 1990s as leader of the far-
right Freedom Party, died just days after his new party more than
doubled its vote in Austria's national election.




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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

9 Years after the NWO murdered Jorg Haider as a way
of decapitating the right, and now a new generation of Austrians
just brought nationalism back by popular demand -with support
highest among younger voters.

Game On.


Austria lurches to the right and
elects youngest ever leader

Sebastian Kurz is just 31

Three days before Austrians went to the polls to elect a new parliament and a new chancellor, several-hundred members and campaign volunteers of the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) gathered at the party’s political academy, where it trains young members and potential future candidates, to watch the final debate of the campaign. Surrounded by the old building’s dark, wood-paneled walls, many wore black and gray suit jackets. But sprinkled in amid the staid, conservative tones, were countless splashes of bright turquoise—the new color selected by the traditionally center-right party for its new candidate and now-expected chancellor-elect, the 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz. The younger members wore turquoise-colored “Team Kurz” jackets and leather bracelets with the letter “K” branded onto them; they drank beer out of plastic cups emblazoned with Kurz 2017 and, in turquoise print: Refreshing. Different.

Kurz and his message of change were victorious on Sunday night, with his ÖVP winning more than 31 percent of the vote. This result is expected to usher a rightward turn for Austria’s government, with Kurz at the helm as chancellor, in a likely coalition with the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ). “We have built a movement,” Kurz told supporters Sunday night at an election celebration in Vienna. “We have made the impossible possible … this is our chance for real change in this country.”

It is no coincidence that Kurz, a political wunderkind who is expected to become the youngest head of government in Europe, emphasizes the word “movement” to describe the new manifestation of his decades-old political party. If elections across Europe this year have yielded any broad, overarching trend, it’s that conventional political parties are out and movements are in: One need only look at France’s Emmanuel Macron, who built his En Marche movement from scratch and won both the presidency and majorities in the French parliament this spring, to see that voters are increasingly disillusioned with existing government systems.

Through Kurz’s victory, that disillusionment is exactly what he and his party capitalized on. Since taking over as leader of the ÖVP barely five months ago, he worked to invest it with new ideas that will bring about change—a tall order for a party that has served in government for decades. Part of that rebranding has been literal: the turquoise and the modern fonts, the renaming of the People’s Party as the “Sebastian Kurz List” and “the New People’s Party,” and slogans such as It’s Time and Now. Or Never! Kurz’s changes, though, aren’t merely superficial: By dragging the ÖVP sharply to the right on immigration and migration, his signature issue, he seeks to co-opt the political space previously monopolized by the Freedom Party.

As traditional centrist political parties across Europe reel from historic losses, Kurz’s strategy in Austria seems to have paid off. With his victory, he’ll no doubt serve as an example for other ambitious young center-right leaders looking to rebuild support and come out ahead of their right-wing populist challengers. As a polished, anti-immigration millennial who successfully worked to remake his party, Kurz could be a sign of what’s to come from the next generation of European leaders—one that is running and governing in a time of turbulent political change across the continent.

Key to Kurz’s success, and in stark contrast to Macron’s strategy, is the rightward turn he’s taken for his party on immigration and refugee politics. As foreign minister, Kurz argued for closing the Balkan route, the path refugees have taken to get into Europe via Greece and several countries in the Balkan region, and limiting refugee arrivals in Austria; during his campaign, he kept his focus on these issues, supporting a burqa ban and arguing that immigrants should receive less state support for children than native-born Austrians. On these issues, he’s so blatantly parroted the far-right Freedom Party that its leader, H.C. Strache, accused him and the People’s Party of stealing. In fact, Kurz’s critics in Austria argue that, as chancellor, he would lead a government that is “Freedom Party-lite”—indistinguishable from its far-right counterpart on at least this issue.

Kurz has good reason to highlight his views on immigration. As evinced by Sunday night’s vote, anti-refugee sentiment in Austria has contributed to a Freedom Party resurgence in recent years. In last year’s presidential election, Freedom Party candidate Norbert Hofer advanced to the second round, winning 46 percent of the vote; earlier this year, before Kurz took over leadership of the ÖVP, the Freedom Party led national election polling with support as high as 34 percent. And unlike in other western European countries, where the idea of including a far-right populist party in government is still taboo, the Freedom Party served in a government coalition with the People’s Party from 2000 to 2005.

In the days before the election in Vienna, the ÖVP’s distinct advertising was ubiquitous: everywhere you turned, there was Kurz’s pensive visage and slicked-back hair. “The new People’s Party,” each campaign poster read, again calling it a “Movement for Austria!” Gone was the well-known logo and any other identifying features linking the advertising to the ÖVP’s previous campaigns. “When you see his election ads, you wouldn’t immediately know, actually, that it’s the same party,” Jakob-Moritz Eberl, a researcher at the University of Vienna and a member of the Austrian National Election Study, told me. “It’s completely focused on him as a person.”

This kind of cult of personality is only possible because of Kurz, who occupies a rare space in Austrian politics. He is well-respected in political and media circles, and popular among Austrian voters. According to exit polling, this personality-driven strategy worked: 42 percent of People's Party voters said they voted for the party because of Kurz (compared with just 7 percent who voted for the Freedom Party because of Strache, or 20 percent who chose the Social Democrats because of Chancellor Christian Kern).

Long active in the youth wing of the ÖVP, Kurz joined the government at age 24 and became the world’s youngest foreign minister at 27. Political types both within and outside the People’s Party have long believed he would be the party’s next chancellor candidate. “We all take him seriously now,” Christian Rainer, editor-in-chief of the Austrian news magazine Profil, told me. “When he got into politics at 24, we journalists and everyone else just made fun of him for about three months—but then we saw, ‘Oh, we were wrong.’” While many politicians are either skilled at substance or have a flare for political style and strategy, Rainer said Kurz “has both—that’s why he’s so interesting.”

When Kurz took over party leadership in May, it was with the understanding that he would immediately call for new elections, which advisers said gave him license to argue that he is not part of the current system but a representation of “change.” It also helps Kurz’s case for a “new style” in politics that the center-left Social Democrats (SPÖ), headed by current Chancellor Christian Kern, is embroiled in a scandal over a series of social media pages attacking Kurz. The young People’s Party leader and his advisers coupled the new branding with several structural changes that gave him more power—to choose some of the candidates himself included on the national party lists, and to streamline a party system that had long been complicated by its very federal structure. All of this combines to send the impression that, vastly different politics aside, Kurz is the head of a Macron-esque political movement in Austria.

But despite the new look, the ÖVP is, in fact, still the same party. Unlike Macron, who broke with France’s Socialists to found something completely separate, Kurz and his team have continued to rely on the party’s ingrained party infrastructure—and the public campaign financing it receives as an established party. But as Liste Sebastian Kurz, the People’s Party at least gives the impression that it’s different than it was before.

“Sebastian Kurz tried to position himself as bridge to both ‘worlds’: the world of the traditional ÖVP, taking advantage of the financial and structural assets, and the world of a new movement, as we know it from Emmanuel Macron in France offering new forms of participation,” Markus Keschmann, the People’s Party’s former director for marketing and campaigning who now works as an outside consultant, told me. He added: “The brand ‘Sebastian Kurz’ is stronger than the brand ‘ÖVP,’ and is able to reach more voters than the old ÖVP could.”

People’s Party General Secretary Elisabeth Köstinger told me immigration is important to Kurz’s campaign; it’s a big reason why Austrian voters are disillusioned with their politicians, she argued. “Since 2015, where we had to deal with the migration and refugee crisis, a lot of people lost their trust in the government and the existing system,” she said, including political parties. Kurz “is very talented in telling people how the situation is and delivering solutions, so people trust him, that he has the power and also the courage to change something.”

And the message seems to resonate with young People’s Party supporters. In conversations with a handful of young voters and volunteers after Kurz spoke outside the party headquarters in Vienna on Friday, all said immigration is an important part of why they’re supporting him. “Sometimes it’s hard to say, ‘Yeah, you have to go,’” Christoph Flick, 21, said. “But we have just a place for [so many refugees]. I think it’s a good way—in some ways it’s a hard way, but it’s a good policy.”

Whether Kurz’s strategy of creating a movement-style transformation will carry him beyond this election, though, remains to be seen. “It can be effective, but probably only in the short term,” Cas Mudde, an associate professor at the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs, told me. “While it liberates the candidate from an established structure and, therefore, legacy, it also means that their support base is looser and more contextual, based on personality and success rather than shared identity and interest.”

Minds are like parachutes.
They only function when open.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope the new guy survives and it would be truly wonderful if Austria leaves the debt prison called the ECB (aka euro/eu)

Re: Haider's murder....another reminder why the MasterCriminals are so ballistic about self driving cars.
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