German joke party wins European seat

By Toby Manhire In The Internaut

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Encouraging news for New Zealand’s newly launched Civilian Party: a parody party in Germany has won a seat in the European parliament.

While some might regard the “earthquake” of extreme-right gains across Europe as absurd, the proudy absurd German Party party (Die Partei) have their own small foothold, thanks to the removal of a three per cent threshold.

The Guardian reports:

Final results confirm that Germany’s The Party, a satirical outfit that ran a campaign with nonsense slogans like ‘Yes to Europe, No to Europe’, will be able to send its first MEP to Brussels.

The organisation run by Martin Sonneborn, a former editor of the satirical magazine Titanic, got about 180,000 votes, roughly 0.6%.

Sonneborn last night announced that he would resign as delegate within a month, and that his successors would follow his lead, so that The Party would have a total of 60 delegates sit in the European parliament between now and 2019.

‘We are going to milk the EU like a southern European state,’ he said. ‘I don’t think we are the maddest ones in the European parliament.’

And from the Local:

Die Partei’s leader Martin Sonneborn said: “I will spend the next four weeks in intensive preparation for my resignation … We will try to resign once a month, so that we can smuggle 60 party members through the EU Parliament,” he said. “So we’ll be milking the EU like a small, southern European country.”

Ahead of an unsuccessful run in federal elections last year, The Party’s policies were laid out by Der Spiegel:

• To build a wall around Germany to tackle globalization, financial market turmoil and the euro crisis.

• To limit management pay to 25,000 times an ordinary worker’s pay.

• To use the controversial mining method of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” on Peter Altmaier, Germany’s heavyset environment minister, to release the “tremendous energy resources” within him.

• To ban pub crawls by foreign tourists in German inner cities.

• To further complicate the German tax system so that large companies can no longer find money-saving loopholes.

• To follow the Greek example and shut down public broadcasters like ARD and ZDF and make them repay the license fees and apologize for their output.

• To raise €5 million through crowdfunding to finance the controlled detonation of Berlin’s baroque city palace once it has been rebuilt. And to erect a grand, presumably communist-style “Palace of Die Partei” in its place, or a large swimming pool. “We’d have to run an ideas competition for that,” Sonneborn explained.

• To lower the school leaving age to 10 in order to solve the demographic problem of an ageing society.

 

See also: Earthquake, volcano, big bang: The French headlines on lurch to right

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