Germany's party spectrum is quite colored as I explained in a previous blog. It started with the success of the Green Party (11%) taking away quite a number of votes from the Social Democrats (SPD). The left wing party Die Linke (at 9%) meant another drain such that the historically grand SPD now stagnates at about 24% of the votes while the other major party, Chancellor Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), is going strong with 41% having absorbed a good part of the liberal Free Democrats (FDP presently at 2%).
Recently a new party, the Alternative for Germany (AfD at 6%), was formed. In poaching votes at the right wing of the CDU the AfD made it into a number of state parliaments. This populist party would like among other things quit the euro. They advocate a national instead of a European foreign policy, ignore the climatic change, and demand compulsory German lessons for immigrants. So far nobody has chosen brown as color code for the AfD; they are presented in charts by a light blue instead.
The CDU and in particular its Bavarian wing, the Christian Social Union (CSU), do not like to have the ground cut under their feet. In moving their party platform to the right the CSU hopes to stop the drain of votes to the AfD avoiding the depletion the SPD had suffered from Die Linke.
|CSU party leaders old and new: |
Edmund Stoiber and Horst Seehofer with their wives (©dpa)
The demand of the CSU started a shitstorm. Even the secretary general of their sister party CDU wrote on Twitter: Ich finde ja, es geht die Politik nichts an, ob ich zu Hause lateinisch, klingonisch oder hessisch red (I think it is not the business of policy whether I talk Latin, Klingon, or Hessian dialect at home).
Other parties used stronger wording: Nicht auszudenken, hätten die Amerikaner einem Thomas Mann verboten, daheim deutsch zu reden (That the Americans had put a ban on Thomas Mann to speak German at home is unthinkable). A Green Party member used a hefty German expression defying translation: Was ich zu Hause spreche geht die CSU einen feuchten Kehricht an (It is none of CSU's business what I speak at home). and he continued referring to Germany's past: Welcher Blockwart soll denn das kontrollieren? (Where is the "block leader" to check this?).
P.S.: Today (December 9, 2014) the CSU modified their demand in changing the phrasing: shall be urged to speak German in public places and in their families to shall be motivated to speak German in public places and in their families.