First of May. Labour Day. Not a tradition for me, although you could call me a socialist. Well, commie for you Americans 😝
At the moment, the “left” in Austria is fractured and powerless, like everywhere. We know, we’d need a big, communal effort, a thing that’s socialism’s forté, in order to save this dying planet. National efforts won’t work. We need coordination on global scale. World order, but peaceful.
No wonder that the other side thrives. It’s so much easier to kindle hate and distrust, to lie about what we all know, to pretend that the problems don’t exist, to deny any action at all. Voters like it too. They love hearing that everything’s ok, everything has been like this all the time, and slow change and weak memory are a deadly combination.
Our Social Democratic Party is currently paralyzed in its in-fight between the current female leader who can’t lead, a slightly nationalist policeman who desperately wants to lead, and the mayor of a small town who threw his hat into the ring, because he could. The party mostly stands behind the current leader.
The policeman and party head and governor of our smallest and poorest federal country has wide appeal, but probably with the wrong people. He definitely wants to tackle immigration, but given that this would require a European effort, I fear it is just cheap populism.
If there’s one thing Austria does not need at all, then it is a shift to the right. Much to the contrary, and people recognize this. In two communal elections in Graz and Salzburg, the Communist Party, the most unlikely of all, the party always shunned in Austria since the Russian occupiers left in the fifties, was a big winner. In Graz, they even won the mayor.
Andreas Babler, the mayor of Baden bei Wien, is also successful, within the Social Democrats, but on their left wind. People recognize him as leftist, and so far, it didn’t hurt him. Well, he may even be more left than Eisenhower, which is pretty left in today’s terms 😄
I’m not a member of the party. I have no idea if I could enter and vote, but it’s likely too late. In any case, I’d go for the Babler.