Mar 152015
 

In a recent research paper, I conclude that judging by their EP 2014 manifesto, the ‘Alternative for Germany’ is currently not a right-wing populist party. But I also argue that some members of the party elite “represent less savoury brands of right-wing politics that could ultimately prove more attractive to voters than Lucke’s polite exercises in economic theory. Just how long the party resists that temptation remains to be seen.” It would seem that we may have reached that point.

lucke gauland photo

Going different ways? Bernd Lucke & Alexander Gauland

Photo by blu-news.org

The struggle for the AfD’s heart and soul is of course an ongoing process, but developments have sped up a bit in recent weeks. A month ago, the AfD did well, but not too well, in a regional election in the city state of Hamburg, Lucke’s hometown. Their local campaign had highlighted the pro-capitalist, market-liberal elements in the party’s ideology, avoiding references to Islam and Pegida. At the press conferences, the local party chair was sidelined by Lucke, who applauded this course, as well as by grumbling representatives of the electorally more successful Eastern state parties, who had not been invited to support their Western brethren’s campaign.

Yesterday, a conference of the AfD state party in Thuringia voted for the ‘Erfurt Declaration’, a strong-worded manifesto that expresses concern about the normalisation/moderation of the party. Without naming names, the manifesto criticises ‘technocracy’ (that’s a reference to Lucke), ‘cowardice’ and even – gasp – the ‘selling out of our national interest’ – anathema to every right-winger worth his/her salt, and another not too subtle reference to Lucke’s performance in the European Parliament. The signatories reject the official, sceptical party line on Pegida (a ‘civic movement’, according to the manifesto), demand a ‘fundamental political change in Germany’ and claim to give voice to widespread disappointment within the party, ‘particularly in the East’.

The manifesto even aims to bring together all those who represent a ‘true alternative’ to the established party system (as opposed to the Ersatz liberalism that Lucke is delivering). The authors of the manifesto have also set up a facebook page and website called ‘der Flügel’ (the wing, or tendency) for the manifesto. More importantly, Alexander Gauland, party leader in Brandenburg, party founding father and one of the more prominent representatives of the nationalist wing within the party, has signed up.

So a true (and Eastern) alternative within the Alternative is stirring. Is this the Putsch already? Stay tuned.

Photo by blu-news.org

  10 Responses to “Putsch in the AfD?”

  1. […] month ago, the AfD leadership in Thuringia published the “Erfurt Resolution”, which is effectively canvassing for a more rightist profile of the party. The “liberal” […]

  2. […] select committee memberships and/or has withdrawn the whip from them. Both had refused to sign the “Erfurt Resolution” that was initiated by their leader Björn Höcke (heavy Ümlaut alert), but had rather given their […]

  3. […] week ago, the state party in Thuringia drew up the “Erfurter Resolution”, a manifesto that aims to drum up support for a more nationalist orientation of the party. So far, […]

  4. […] Flügel” (the “wing” or “tendency”) within Germany’s AfD that drew up the Erfurt manifesto, which calls for a more radical rightist approach to politics, claims that more than 700 people have signed the declaration within the first 24 hours. Taking a […]

  5. RT @kai_arzheimer: new blog: Putsch in #Germany’s #AfD? – kai arzheimer http://t.co/LkfFvTjq9u

  6. RT @SLdeLange: “Putsch in the #AfD?” by @kai_arzheimer examining whether #Lucke’s course is too liberal http://t.co/2cUGfRpLhu

  7. RT @SLdeLange: “Putsch in the #AfD?” by @kai_arzheimer examining whether #Lucke’s course is too liberal http://t.co/2cUGfRpLhu

  8. RT @SLdeLange: “Putsch in the #AfD?” by @kai_arzheimer examining whether #Lucke’s course is too liberal http://t.co/2cUGfRpLhu

  9. “Putsch in the #AfD?” by @kai_arzheimer examining whether #Lucke’s course is too liberal http://t.co/2cUGfRpLhu

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