Party politics satirized with panache
Germany goes to the polls on September 26. It’s a Sunday. Shops are closed. Nobody works except bus drivers and train drivers and airline pilots and bakery staff (half-day) and of course police and firefighters. After all, Germans love fresh bread rolls and sweet buns for Sunday breakfast!
Welcome to Germany. Rational and serious, and yet there is a registered political party that you can actually vote for if you are so inclined – Die PARTEI – that satirizes the whole process and the other political parties with incredibly intelligent posters and internet campaigns. In the spirit of the late great George Carlin (who in my opinion would appreciate their humor greatly) they deliver truth wrapped in motley (as did Shakespeare BTW).
A sober (and for Americans, sobering) fact is that ballot information and your invitation to vote is delivered to each individual over 18 who has citizenship. It comes automatically for the first election after your 18th birthday. You don’t need to register with any party or as an independent. Voting is a basic right. Since your address is registered at your local community administration office – a process you (or your parents) go through when you rent an apartment or buy a house – the voting information is delivered to your mailbox at least a month before the election. The letter tells you that if you want a mail-in ballot, please inform the authorities now and they will send you one right away. And it really arrives within a day or two after you apply for a mail-in ballot. And all voting is by paper ballot. No electronic voting!
The political landscape in Germany is as fragmented and dangerously tilted to the right as everywhere else in the world at the moment. And so, the existence of the Die PARTEI is a breath of fresh air in the debate which has lately turned into a bland imitation of Corporate Democrat policies from the SPD and Greens, to neo-liberal hardline capitalist policies from the FDP, and shrill anti-democratic yelling coming from the CDU, CSU and AfD about the dangers of the socialist communist immigration policies of the so-called leftists (SPD & Greens) who are more center-right than anything else. But since the Overton Window has shifted so far to the right, even the Linke (nominally a Leftist party) is included at the leftmost edge of the window. In actuality, though they do have some genuinely leftist members, the bulk of the party espouses the program of the 1960s SPD, social-welfare and inclusiveness. Over the years the Linke have shed most of their image as leftovers from the old DDR (German Democratic Republic). But they are still shouted down as radical revolutionaries who would lead us all back to Soviet-style slavery.
Die PARTEI cannot take the other parties seriously because they can see, as we can all see, that the capitalism these parties worship has brought us to the edge of ruin. War, pestilence and poverty are on the horizon for everyone, and the policies espoused by the toadies of the corporations will not hold back the imminent destruction of rational society.
And so the posters and the program of Die PARTEI. They are serious, like George Carlin was serious. But like George Carlin, they are intelligently funny as well.
Die PARTEI program for the Bundestag elections 2021
1. Wirecard for everyone!
People without income & assets can use it to pay for whatever they want. We finance the project through reserves, which of course do not exist. This works, because balance control by the federal authorities does not take place.
2. Existence maximum 10 million
Wealth above the 7th zero is systematically capped. And redistributed from the top 1% to the 99% of the social underclass (congratulations, you are one of them!). If you don’t enjoy life with 10 million, you don’t deserve life.
3. 2% target for education
53,030,000,000.00 for the broken Bundeswehr (armed forces). Every year. We don’t want to put the money into steel helmets (or like the Greens, into environmentally friendly killer drones), but into the minds of young people. Nothing could boost our “resilience” (Annegret Scheiß double name) more!
4. Fare evasion must remain affordable
The “crime” of fare evasion is reduced to a misdemeanor (€1.99). Every year, around 7,000 German citizens go to jail for “fare evasion,” some of them on foot. The 200,000 proceedings per year keep our courts from more important matters: bribery of CDU politicians, mask affairs of CDU politicians, illegal possession of weapons by CDU politicians.
5. Promoting the elite
Bologna, Bachelor, Master? Will become history. We feel more committed to the educational ideals of European intellectual history than to the exploitation interests of European industry. Students should again study for 15 semesters in peace and have time to take an interest in politics and society. Note: Under the age of 30, one should avoid regular work!
6. Unconditional basic income? Yep!
A welfare state instrument whose time has come. 70% of EU citizens are for it, us too. Two members of the PARTEI in the Bundestag & EU-Parliament have been testing a BGE (basic income) for years at a significant level – and so far have not been able to discover a single disadvantage.
7. Shut down Amazon!
Unfortunately, we have to shut down Amazon due to sustained market failure. In 2020, the losers, with 44 billion euros in record sales (EU) generated a loss of 1.2 billion euros (but only in their tax haven Luxembourg, smiley!). Tax due: 0 billion.
8. Photoshop ban now!
Anyone who knows Volker Bouffier – known through the PARTEI poster “How sexy can politics be?” –, Annalena Baerbock, Frau von Strolch or Philipp Amthor only from posters, could, upon a surprise meeting in reality, be fatally frightened. Especially in the case of Amthor, who actually looks like he does on his posters.
9. Compensate Deutsche Wohnen!
Article 15 of the Basic Law requires appropriate compensation for the socialization of housing. Vonovia and Deutsche Wohnen each receive 1 pack of Merci, 1 extended middle finger and 1 short, honest applause from their former tenants (8 pm, balcony). Apartments are there to live in, not to generate dividends for ominous asset managers in the Caymans.
10. Postpone war with Russia & China
In times of a global pandemic & global ecocide, we really don’t have any capacities for such nonsense as bloc formation, enemy image constructions and trench rhetoric. Those who are keen on confrontation (Stoltenberg, USA, Greens, Spiegel, SZ, Sascha Lobotomie, etc.): Free-fire on Erdogan, Bolsonaro, dictator Orban or baby-Hitler Sebastian Kurz.
11. Beer price freeze
The PARTEI supports a nationwide beer price freeze and the strengthening of the “Bestellerprinzip” (customer principle). For this purpose, a beer price index is to be established. The cap will come into effect as soon as two indicators occur simultaneously somewhere in the economy: a great thirst and a verifiable glass-empty rate. In preparation: kebab price freeze (3 euros)
12. Fuck-off bounty for SUVs
The ugly city tanks are not only an aesthetic imposition, they also make the second largest contribution to the increase in global CO2 emissions. (In Berlin-Kreuzberg alternatively: “Abfuckelprämie” fuck-off reward).
13. Green Point for nuclear waste
Nuclear power plants are included in the Dual System. Operators are obliged to take back fuel rods and packaging and to pay for the disposal of the waste produced.
Global warming must not exceed 1.5° Celsius per year under any circumstances. To this end, Die PARTEI will call on all relevant branches of industry to consider a voluntary commitment within the scope of their respective possibilities.
15. Peace, order, health
To protect the public, road crossings, high-voltage pylons, cliffs, construction & bathing sites, train platform edges, bike paths and banana peels will be secured nationwide by effective signs with the inscription “Karl Lauterbach warns…”.
16. Gendering will become mandatory…
…for all age groups born after 2000. For the others, a transition period until 2090 applies. RepresentatiX of both groups are recommended to be a little more tolerant in the discussion. (After the election: “by decree”). Smiley!
17. Commitment to justice
The PARTEI demands the implementation of all-embracing universal total justice, or at least twice as much justice as the SPD. Complaints about alleged injustices are to be suppressed with all force. In order to underline the social importance of justice, Hamburger SV (soccer team) will be relegated every year in the future, to wherever.
18. Animal welfare
Animal testing will be stopped. Animals are there to be found cute and eaten up. Lip gloss, ass make-up, organic jam and drug cocktails are now to be tested on top athletes, who are used to all kinds of substances. Or in Bibi’s Beauty Palace. Beer testing remains free.
19. Medical care in rural areas
In view of a genetic match of over 90% between pigs and humans in rural areas, it is only natural to transfer medical care in Germany’s manure belt to veterinarians.
20. Moderate Epistocracy
In referendums to leave the EU, referendums to introduce a presidential system, and presidential elections in the U.S., three general knowledge questions will precede them on the ballot. E.g., “What is the name of the capital of Paris?” Ballots with less than one correct answer will be considered “invalid.”
21. Upper limit for refugees
The refugee ceiling will – in keeping with the wishes of the CDU/CSU parties – be redefined every year: Germany may not take in more refugees than the Mediterranean.
22. G1 school system
School-leaving certificate preparations and examinations are far too time-consuming, which is why we are calling for the reintroduction of the emergency school-leaving certificate: students will be tested at the blackboard for half an hour at the beginning of June, and the solutions will be published on the Internet beforehand. Afterwards: chill.
23. Ending the Care Crisis
The shortage of nursing care and the consequences of overwork among professional nurses will be regulated by a rotation model: Nurses who have become incapacitated due to overwork become patients and then nurses again, and then patients again, and then nurses again … Thanks to the ingenious financing system for new nurse positions via health insurance funds, the affected nurses also generate an appropriate share of their salary, which they can then immediately return to the health insurance funds.
24. Corruption & Lobbying
Corrupt parties will no longer be allowed to profit from donations & sponsoring, corrupt politicians will be deported to Azerbaijan. Income from secondary activities for members of parliament will be deducted from their assets – as is the case with Hartz IV [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hartz_concept]. The 290 deputies of the PARTEI in the Bundestag, the EU parliament and the municipalities will sign the politics code of Plattform Pro. Incidentally, we are of the opinion that “profit from lobbying must be destroyed” (Marco Bülow, MdB).
Danny Antonelli lives in Hamburg, Germany.