Banning Germany’s NPD – Not a Very Bright Idea

The NPD is Germany’s oldest surviving Extreme Right party. It has been around for about five decades. After merging with its long-time rival German People’s Union (DVU, the ruling mentioned in the post was finally squashed), it is also a serious contender for the coveted title of Germany’s daftest party (see exhibit number one). While it has been electorally successful occasionally, for most of its history it has been confined to the lunatic fringe. While parties such as the Front National, the Freedom Parties in Scandinavia or the Austrian FPÖ have thrived, the NPD has, apart from a brief period in the late 1960s, always been at the very margins of German politics.

This is not to say that the NPD is not a dangerous, racist and outright nasty party. Therefore, the idea of banning the NPD has surfaced time and again, becoming its own Doppelgänger after the 2001-2003 disaster. Upon granting the matter due consideration, I think the plan is largely bonkers. If this kind of concise verdict does not impress you much, you can read my full analysis of the proposed NPD ban at the extremis project, the go-to site for all thing, well, extreme.

Twitter and Exit Polls in Germany

Believe or not: in Germany, it is illegal to publish results from exit polls before the polling stations close (at 6pm – we’re German) on polling day. Last Sunday, state elections were held in three Länder, and someone leaked alleged results on twitter while the stations were still open. The political class was outraged and suggested just about anything from banning exit polls to suing twitter, which inspired me to rant against these draconic and silly proposals over at Andrea’s and Thorsten’s Wahlen nach Zahlen blog (in German).

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]