Author Topic: Eyes right! Austrian elections follow Europe’s rightist trend  (Read 2720 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline mayya

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 7874
Eyes right! Austrian elections follow Europe’s rightist trend
« on: September 30, 2013, 22:23:35 PM »
Eyes right! Austrian elections follow Europe’s rightist trend
 Published time: September 30, 2013 09:03

Austria's far-right Freedom Party gained over one-fifth of the votes in Sunday's general election, while the ruling two-party centrist coalition got its worst-ever result. The swing comes amid a Europe-wide surge in support for the far right.

 Though Austria's two major centrist political parties, the conservative Popular Party and the center-left Social Democrats, have retained their majority in parliament, the resurrection of the far-right in Europe is a solid tendency marking a shift in the political mentality of Europeans.

 Euroskeptic and right-wing parties in Austria have gained support from people who think the issues that matter most to them aren't being addressed.

 The extreme, radical right is drawing mass support from working-class, blue-collar voters, Sylvia Kritzinger, a political scientist at the University of Vienna, tells RT’s Peter Oliver. “Because of the policies they put forward, like immigration reform, anti-European integration, anti-corruption in the political system.”

 The Viennese people Peter Oliver talked to are certain they want to “slow down immigration,” stop the EU “dictating everything” and “put Austria's interests first.”

 The leader of the Freedom Party, Heinz-Christian Strache, insists he is not a racist. “I love Austria, I don't hate foreigners,” he says.

 Across Europe, there’s a tide that’s turning right. Britain’s UK Independence Party (UKIP), which favors pulling out of the EU altogether, is being talked about as the country’s legitimate third party. Meanwhile, another euroskeptic party, Alternative for Germany, just missed out on a place in the Bundestag. Greece's Golden Dawn ultranationalist is the country's third-largest political group. Norway's conservative government came to power with tough immigration promises and there have also been far-right gains in Sweden and Finland. The latest country to swing to the right is Austria.

 Austria is one of the four EU economies that underpin the eurozone, so a challenge to the parties who support the common European currency in the country could potentially affect the continent’s economic course.

 Many Austrians have voted for the Freedom Party, which many critics call xenophobic, because they “don’t trust politicians in Brussels and Austrian decision-makers anymore,” Barbara Kolm, director of the Austrian Economic Center, tells RT. “They don’t believe they find the right solutions. After all it is just redistribution on a supranational level. It’s Austria’s tax euros going to other countries and just washed down the drain.”

 This time the Freedom Party adopted a different campaign tactic from in previous elections.

“Their message is about religious values,” says Kritzinger. “They talked about ‘love your neighbor,’ which is a very Catholic way of thinking, but of course the hidden message behind this is that they are against Islam and Muslims.”

 For more on Austria’s elections, watch Peter Oliver’s report for RT.

link to video :
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 23:14:07 PM by anon1984 »

Offline Pond

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 233
Re: Eyes right! Austrian elections follow Europe’s rightist trend
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2013, 00:30:34 AM »
“Their message is about religious values,” says Kritzinger. “They talked about ‘love your neighbor,’ which is a very Catholic way of thinking, but of course the hidden message behind this is that they are against Islam and Muslims.”

Well actually, the FPO doesn't promote or embrace any religious values whatsoever. They just like to use Chrisitan rethoric for their propaganda purposes, knowing a large segment of the Austrian population will feel spoken to. They did so in the past:

(The poster reads "Occident in Christian Hands")

aaand of course

(The red part of the poster means "Home instead of Islam", below it says "WE for AUSTRIA")

And they used the same rethoric in the recent election, only that they chose the "Christian neighbourly love" thingy this time:

Those were the two main posters of this campaign (although there were other topics aside from the neighbourly love theme, of course). The message on both is identical, "Love your neighbour - for me, those are our AUSTRIANS".
The subtitle which had not been translated, but is so important for the message those posters are really conveying.

The purpose of this new approach, I assume, was to try and get rid of the aggressive, hatefilled image which this party has built up over the years, and to make themselves more eligible for women. A post-election overview of voting blocks (from the biggest Austrian tabloid, but still) sums up that there's a division caused by gender as well as by education: while younger, female and well educated people tend to vote Green, the typical FPO voters tend to be less educated and male.

It therefore seems logical that the "love your neighbours" campaign was an attempt to soften their image and to make themselves more eligible for women - all while of course maintaining the xenophobic attitude which is the brand essence of HC Strache's party.  

Austrian religious communities, however, have criticised their terminology being used in this campaign. Cardinal Schonborn publicly announced that "referring to the Bible is wrong if the word [love of neighbour] is being interpreted as an opposite of loving foreigners"  and that "the word does not belong in election campaigns".

Well, not that the FPO cares. Like I said, they're just another right-wing populist party, and
Right-wing populism is a political ideology that rejects existing political consensus and usually combines laissez-faire liberalism and anti-elitism. It is considered populism because of its appeal to the "common man" as opposed to the elites.

And the "common man" isn't that strict on his religious values after all. He's basically Christian, but more because he likes to see it as part of his identity, and this "our AUSTRIANS" thing on the FPO's posters appeals to his identity as well. The FPO lives off nationalism, amongst other things...nationalism: feeling good about yourself based on the pure coincidence of having been born in a certain country, having someone to blame for the country's problems (foreigners), feeling you have an identity that needs to be protected against foreigners. That's what the FPO works with, the red-white-red all over their posters, Websites and the like (Austrian national colours), the deliberate agitation against foreigners (usually muslims, they have picked them as their favourite enemy stereotype - let's not forget about the time when the FPO had a game on their official Website in which the player had to shoot a Muezzin off his Minarett), and of course their constant anti-EU propaganda.

I guess what I'm trying to say is...those people are a problem for Austria. A big one.


  • Guest
Re: Eyes right! Austrian elections follow Europe’s rightist trend
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2013, 13:01:35 PM »
Lol pity that ‘love your neighbor’ is used also by the Muslims. Campaing failed XD