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Author Topic: Austrian Elections & Politics 4.0  (Read 74830 times)
Tender Branson
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« Reply #25 on: October 30, 2017, 03:35:10 pm »

What's the new governments stance on climate change? Are the FPO denialists?

Some in the FP, but not all. About 50/50. Hofer is actually their environmental speaker and the most "Green" of all FP people (he even has a solar panel on top of his house). Thinking about it, Hofer might actually become Minister for the Environment and Agriculture and VP's Kstinger might become Foreign Minister ...

Austrians are very much in favour of environmental protection (we have a nice landscape after all), so it is very hard to be against it.

The VP and Kurz are very pro-environmentalist (and pro-Paris agreement).
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« Reply #26 on: October 31, 2017, 02:06:27 am »

Here is a map of the peak glaciation in Europe during the last ice age:



If policies return the environment back to what it was a few centuries ago, the cycle of glaciation will most certainly continue unabated, and, all that pretty scenery in Austria will be scraped away by the next set of glaciers. However, if the earth warms slightly, the cycle of glaciation might end, and, Austria, and its very beautiful scenery might be spared.

I never understood the logic of preferring a future in which your country is buried under hundreds of meters of ice to a future in which it might have a future.

I could understand how some nation of reef atolls could be panicked.
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Tender Branson
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« Reply #27 on: October 31, 2017, 12:27:07 pm »

Here is a map of the peak glaciation in Europe during the last ice age:



If policies return the environment back to what it was a few centuries ago, the cycle of glaciation will most certainly continue unabated, and, all that pretty scenery in Austria will be scraped away by the next set of glaciers. However, if the earth warms slightly, the cycle of glaciation might end, and, Austria, and its very beautiful scenery might be spared.

I never understood the logic of preferring a future in which your country is buried under hundreds of meters of ice to a future in which it might have a future.

I could understand how some nation of reef atolls could be panicked.

That would be a long-term problem anyway. Humans would probably go extinct, before a new Ice Age and the return of the massive glaciers here.

The more immediate problem with climate change here is the declining amount of snow in the winters in low to medium altitudes (800m to 2000m): some 40 years ago, when my parents were kids, they used to have frequent winters with single snow dumps of 3 feet in the valley. Today, this is almost impossible. Lake Zell am See would always freeze over for a month or two some 20-40 years ago. In the past decade, the lake has only frozen over in a few years. The area I am living in is built on massive winter tourism (skiing, snowboarding, ice-skating, cross-country skiing, toboggan-rides etc.) - so if the snow coverage and ice coverage is going down (and it is, quickly !), then we'll going to have a winter-tourism problem. Winters here in the next decades are likely going to be wet and with almost no snow. Like in Spain or Southern Italy.
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Tender Branson
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« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2017, 12:47:53 pm »

With the election results certified by the FEC yesterday (there were no changes), the seat count is final and no challenges to the results were filed.

The preference votes were counted as well and the parties will publish their elected MPs tomorrow.

The "Standard" reports that some 85-90 MPs out of the 183 will be "first timers" when the new parliament convenes next Tursday, with the VP and Pilz having the most newcomers.

Only the SP has nominated their choice for 2nd parliamentary President so far: Doris Bures (used to be 1st President until now). VP will get the position of 1st parliamentary President and the FP the 3rd (the current one, Norbert Hofer, could become a cabinet member, so it might be someone else).

Coalition talks will also resume tomorrow with the Labour Market and Sports groups meeting. Kurz and Strache will inform the media about updates in the afternoon.
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Tender Branson
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« Reply #29 on: November 02, 2017, 12:38:14 pm »

With the election results certified by the FEC yesterday (there were no changes), the seat count is final and no challenges to the results were filed.

The preference votes were counted as well and the parties will publish their elected MPs tomorrow.

Here is the list of the new/old MPs in parliament (they will be sworn in next Thursday in the first session):



---

My representatives (elected on the Salzburg state list or my district list) are:

Tanja Graf (VP - new)



Stefan Schnll (VP - new)



Franz-Leonard Essl (VP)



Walter Bacher (SP)



Conny Ecker (SP)



Christian Pewny (FP - new)

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Tender Branson
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« Reply #30 on: November 03, 2017, 10:30:50 am »

Today was the first joint Kurz/Strache press statement after one week of coalition talks:



Kurz and Strache both said that the climate remains "excellent" and they looked at the budgetary situation for the next year and their target remains a "balanced budget". But the experts from the Finance Ministry also said that policies that were passed by SPVP before the election will likely have a deficit increasing effect next year - if these policies continue (such as additional state funding for the creation of jobs for unemployed aged 50+, state-paid care for the elderly etc.)

Other than that, the 2 parties agreed on several joint plans in a "road map" for future talks:

http://www.heute.at/asset/original/c/1/b/c1bec8c284575b6f371928218778c32e.pdf

Just use Google Translate for the PDF.

http://diepresse.com/home/innenpolitik/5313934/Steuerentlastung-und-Bildungspflicht_OeVP-und-FPOe-nennen-erste-Ziele

So far, it looks as if both VP and FP are very well prepared for the talks and no problems or hurdles have emerged.

Totally different compared to the chaotic, amateurish 2000 negotiations ...
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Tender Branson
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« Reply #31 on: November 03, 2017, 10:45:11 am »

Here is what VP/FP have agreed to after the first full week of talks (using Google Translate, so it's a bit bumpy English, but I guess you get the most points):





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Tender Branson
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« Reply #32 on: November 03, 2017, 12:03:02 pm »

Peter Pilz, who's list just made it into parliament, is confronted with sexual misconduct against a woman who like him was working in the Green Party:

http://derstandard.at/2000067159624/Vorwuerfe-der-sexuellen-Belaestigung-gegen-Peter-Pilz

Could be a revenge thing coming from the Greens (after all, Pilz is their "Ralph Nader" and according to them responsible for their failure to enter parliament). Pilz denies the charges.
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DavidB.
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« Reply #33 on: November 03, 2017, 01:17:57 pm »

My boy David Lasar was elected to parliament? Had completely missed that. Glorious news.
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The Saint
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« Reply #34 on: November 03, 2017, 06:10:59 pm »

Could be a revenge thing coming from the Greens (after all, Pilz is their "Ralph Nader" and according to them responsible for their failure to enter parliament). Pilz denies the charges.

Do you think that this is true?

I would say it's relatively true.
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« Reply #35 on: November 03, 2017, 09:20:25 pm »

Here is what VP/FP have agreed to after the first full week of talks (using Google Translate, so it's a bit bumpy English, but I guess you get the most points):







For retirement age does this mention raising it or maintaining it?  Other question is for taxes, have they said which brackets they will cut.  Will it be all brackets or just middle and lower income.  The 55% top rate for millionaire's seems high but I am not sure you win a lot of votes over cutting that one.
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Tender Branson
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« Reply #36 on: November 04, 2017, 06:03:55 am »

For retirement age does this mention raising it or maintaining it?  Other question is for taxes, have they said which brackets they will cut.  Will it be all brackets or just middle and lower income.  The 55% top rate for millionaire's seems high but I am not sure you win a lot of votes over cutting that one.

VP/FP are against raising the retirement age (65 for men and 60 for women, which will be gradually raised to 65 in the early 2020s) and against raising it with higher life expectancy.

Instead, they want the real average pension entry age to rise, closer to the 65/60 set by law.

Taxes: In Austria, the tax cuts usually benefit everyone - with the income gains being much higher in real terms for low-income earners, but higher nominally for high-income earners. Not sure what VP-FP are going to do with top-earners, which are already taxed at a high rate. This will be part of their coalition talks. Still, I guess that their campaign pledges of a 10-15 Bio. tax cut won't be passed because the budget situation simply doesn't allow such a big tax cut. I guess it will be more like 3-6 Bio. , similar to the one by SPVP last year.
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Tender Branson
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« Reply #37 on: November 04, 2017, 06:10:59 am »

Peter Pilz, who's list just made it into parliament, is confronted with sexual misconduct against a woman who like him was working in the Green Party:

http://derstandard.at/2000067159624/Vorwuerfe-der-sexuellen-Belaestigung-gegen-Peter-Pilz

Could be a revenge thing coming from the Greens (after all, Pilz is their "Ralph Nader" and according to them responsible for their failure to enter parliament). Pilz denies the charges.

Pilz has delivered a press statement an hour ago, in which he announced he would not take his seat in parliament next Thursday, when it convenes for the first time.

He called one allegation against him a "fabrication by the Greens out of revenge" and that he'd take legal steps against them.

But today, another allegation from 2013 emerged in the "Falter" and "Presse" newspapers, which Pilz says "he cannot remember". But he said he has "high standards for himself on these issues and he's not error-free" and takes responsibility until the matter is cleared in court.

http://derstandard.at/2000067189399/Nach-Vorwuerfen-der-sexuellen-Belaestigung-Peter-Pilz-deutet-Ruecktritt-an

The "Pilz List" will now likely re-name itself and choose another leader.
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Tender Branson
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« Reply #38 on: November 04, 2017, 06:22:00 am »

Image of the Day:



Peter Pilz leaving after his press statement, in which he said he will not take his seat in parliament because of a series of sexual misconduct allegations against him from two women.
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« Reply #39 on: November 04, 2017, 06:26:46 am »

Apparently FP is promised the Ministry of Education.

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Tender Branson
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« Reply #40 on: November 04, 2017, 06:32:03 am »

Apparently FP is promised the Ministry of Education.

Like you, the German and Austrian satire or left-wing newspapers (Titanic, Heute Show, Tagespresse, Standard, Falter & Co.) are all trying to ridicule Kurz and the FP recently. But nobody here cares really and nothing really sticks.

In fact, it is the Austrian Left that is in full destruction mode right now - whereas VP and FP are sailing through their coalition talks in harmony ...
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« Reply #41 on: November 04, 2017, 08:36:04 am »

The "Pilz List" will now likely re-name itself and choose another leader.

Is there any future for them without Pilz?
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« Reply #42 on: November 04, 2017, 08:37:41 am »

Image of the Day:



Peter Pilz leaving after his press statement, in which he said he will not take his seat in parliament because of a series of sexual misconduct allegations against him from two women.

I strongly suspect the Greens sent the guy with the SpongeBob shirt.


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Tender Branson
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« Reply #43 on: November 04, 2017, 09:36:52 am »

The "Pilz List" will now likely re-name itself and choose another leader.

Is there any future for them without Pilz?

There's always a future. But it doesn't look to bright for them. Shades of BZ and Team Stronach.
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Tender Branson
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« Reply #44 on: November 04, 2017, 10:12:04 am »

The Austrian Left is in full destruction mode right now - whereas VP and FP are sailing through their coalition talks in harmony ...

Another fact about the Greens, who are not represented in parliament any longer and will lose millions of in annual public funding because of that:

The Greens are 5 Mio. in debt after the election campaigns last year (President) and this year and filed a bankrupcy and reconstruction request at their main bank, who offered them loans in the past.

http://diepresse.com/home/innenpolitik/5313181/Gruene-legen-der-Bank-einen-Sanierungsplan-vor
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Tender Branson
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« Reply #45 on: November 04, 2017, 10:50:06 am »

With Peter Pilz not taking his seat in parliament on Thursday, the woman-share will rise to 50% - because Martha Bimann will replace Pilz as representative.

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Tender Branson
Mark Warner 08
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« Reply #46 on: November 04, 2017, 10:55:30 am »

Reuters article about the Pilz resignation:

Austrian party leader quits parliament over accusation of sexual assault

Quote
VIENNA (Reuters) - The fallout from the Harvey Weinstein scandal spread to Austria on Saturday as one of the countrys best-known politicians said he would give up his seat in parliament over an allegation of sexual assault.

Veteran left-wing lawmaker Peter Pilz, 63, has been a fixture in Austrian politics for decades, having made a name for himself railing against arms deals with countries accused of human rights abuses and leading investigations into corruption like one this year connected to Austrian fighter-jet purchases.

He also recently pulled off a political coup - leaving the Greens this summer to form his own party, Pilz List, which not only beat the Greens in last months parliamentary election, it also passed the 4 percent threshold for entering parliament, which the Greens fell just short of.

Weekly newspaper Falter reported on Saturday that Pilz had repeatedly groped a female employee of the center-right European Peoples Party during a conference in the Alps four years ago. The article included her description of the incident. She said Pilz was relatively drunk at the time.

Pilz - one of the more colorful figures in Austrian politics, a straight talker fond of singing rock songs like Wild Thing at party events -- said he could not remember what happened.

Not remembering is no excuse, Pilz told a news conference, adding that Falters editor in chief had assured him the report was thoroughly researched.

Because of these accusations, which I take extremely seriously, even though I do not remember, I will not take up my mandate in the coming parliament. I will not be at the swearing-in ceremony on Thursday, he said.

In the wake of the Weinstein scandal and the resignations over inappropriate behavior that have followed, including that of British Defence Minister Michael Fallon this week, Austrian media had begun to ask whether there were previously unreported cases of sexual harassment by influential Austrians.

U.S. movie mogul Weinstein has been accused by numerous women of having sexually harassed or assaulted them in incidents dating back to the 1980s, including three who said they were raped. Weinstein denies having non-consensual sex with anyone.

Pilz said he would work to bring all the facts to light in the accusations made against him. But he also said he rejected separate allegations by a former colleague that he sexually harassed her on dozens of occasions. That case was first reported by Austrian media on Friday.

Pilz said he would support his partys work in parliament from the outside, though he did not say specifically that he was stepping down as party leader.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-austria-politics-pilz/austrian-party-leader-quits-parliament-over-accusation-of-sexual-assault-idUSKBN1D40H5
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Tender Branson
Mark Warner 08
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« Reply #47 on: November 04, 2017, 11:37:19 am »

Age breakdown of the new parliament:

Born in the ...

1990s:   8 MPs (youngest: Claudia Plakolm, VP, 22)
1980s: 29 MPs
1970s: 42 MPs
1960s: 70 MPs
1950s: 33 MPs
1940s:   1 MP (oldest: Irmgard Griss, NEOS, 71)

Of the ones born in the 1980s and 1990s, 13 are from the VP, 9 from the FP, 6 from the SP, 5 from NEOS and 4 from PILZ.

So, NEOS and PILZ both have a 50% Millennial share, while the VP has 21% and the FP 18% Millennial MPs. The SP is last with 11%.
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Tender Branson
Mark Warner 08
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« Reply #48 on: November 04, 2017, 12:00:03 pm »

New parliament by migration background:

Of the 183 MPs to be sworn in next Thursday, 6 have a migrant background (= 3%).

Austria has 8.8 million people, of which 25% have a migrant background. Of the eligible voting population, 9% have a migration background.

The 6 MPs with a migration background are:

* Stephanie Cox (Australia, PILZ)
* Efgani Dnmez (Turkey, VP)
* Muna Duzdar (Palestine, SP)
* Selma Yildirim (Turkey, SP)
* Nurten Yılmaz (Turkey, SP)
* Alma Zadic (Bosnia-Herzegovina, PILZ)
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« Reply #49 on: November 04, 2017, 02:21:10 pm »

It seems the OVP and FPO have a fair number of millennials so quite different than the English speaking world where it seems millennials overwhelmingly favour parties that lean left.  In the last UK election, almost all the millennials elected were in the Labour Party which millennials massively voted for.  Perhaps with Austria having a longer history of social democracy and less on neo-liberalism there is less of a backlash to neo-liberalism than in the English speaking world and income inequality doesn't seem nearly as big an issue.  Not sure a Bernie Sanders or Jeremy Corbyn could gain much traction in much of Continental Europe.

As for top rates, the reason I asked is soak the rich attitude seems to be growing as well in the English speaking world.  Here in Canada, it's quite popular to jack up taxes on the rich and even though our top rates aren't quite as high they are getting close and pushing them above Austrian levels would be quite popular here.  Interestingly enough Trudeau commented on Kurz and said he had more disagreements with him than Trump.  I am guessing he fails to understand that Austria unlike Canada was not built on immigration so the idea of an open diverse multicultural country is a much tougher sell in countries that don't have a history of it.
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