The Austrian presidential election, that is.
…which was quite interesting, mostly for these reasons:
None of the candidates of the conventional party were even close to progressing to the second round
The high lead of alternative-party and independent candidates
A very high lead (far higher than the already high prediction) of the candidate of the right-wing party FPÖ
…which of course spurred a whole new lot of all kinds of debates. People from the left calling people from the right stupid and uneducated, people from the right calling people from the left unrealistic and pretentious. Sadly, the normal political discourse in Austria these days. Then, of course, lots of calling others Nazis or Communists or whatever. As if anyone would really care.
The presidential election is not so important politically as it is more of a symbolic act; but it sends a clear signal to the conventional parties, a fuck you to the establishment and is also a remarkable observation of the political trend of the last years.
- The conventional parties, the SPÖ and ÖVP (think Democrats and Republicans, or Labour and Tories) have to do some serious reform if they want to stay in business.
- All of the other parties should start listening to the demands and needs of the right-wing voters. Of course they will continue to vote the FPÖ if they are ignored and patronized, as is now the case. They do not care if the people they vote for are part of some clubs with german-nationalistic ideologies, as long as they tell them that they will give them what they want.
Maybe the conventionals will take the chance and make some changes. Maybe they will just continue to do nothing and accept their fate passively. Then, probably, a government with the right-wingers in the lead will take control and they, maybe, will ruin this country financially - as they did before. Who knows.
Anyway, I don’t want to make a big opinion piece of this. We will see on the 22nd May who finally gets the presidency - everything is possible and depends, above all, on the amount of non-voters and how the voters for the other, now disqualified candidates, will decide.
Post-Chaos Edit: What an election! So much (smear) campaigning for one of the most unimportant political positions in the world! It’s hilarious how the rest of this campaign unfolded. After the second round, won closely by Van der Bellen, the right-wingers succeeded into nullify the whole thing! Vote repetition! Voting a third time! But actually not - shortly before election day, the envelopes used for voting-by-mail were found to have a faulty glue attached to them! This meant… A fourth round! Millions of taxpayers money and hundreds of hours wasted… Luckily, the fault was quickly found by the Austrian officials: It was german glue! Those pesky germans, trying to strip our democracy down to its fundaments…
And then we voted a fourth time for our president. Beginning of December… Looking back, this election really dominated conversation and press the good part of 2016 - pretty insane! I guess the same goes for the US.
Politics is a blast!