Saturday, January 10, 2015


Germany's liberal party, the Free Democrats (FDP) had their annual party congress as usual at Epiphany (Dreikönigstreffen) in Stuttgart. The congress opened in a somewhat depressed mood because in all recent state elections the party got less than 5% of the votes. That means the FDP is no longer presented in those parliaments.

When posters with: Keine Sau braucht die FDP (No hog needs the FDP) appeared last fall during the electoral campaign in the State of Brandenburg party officials pasted these words over with magenta-colored stickers: Jeder Brandenburger braucht die FDP. It did not help. On the evening of the elections on September 14, 2014, the Free Democrats had earned a meager 1.5% of the votes.

The next state elections will take place in Hamburg on February 15. At the Dreikönigstreffen young party chairman Christian Lindner (38) aligned the delegates to the liberal core values of the FDP impressing them with an one hour free speech. At the same time Lindner officially introduced a new color for the party: magenta.

New FDP logo (©FDP)
Among the party delegates present in Stuttgart was Katja Suding. She is chairwoman of the parliamentary group of the Free Democrats in the Hamburg state parliament and FDP hopeful for the February elections.

Chairwoman Katja Suding (©ARD)
Will Our Man for Hamburg turn the tide and harvest more than the necessary 5% of the votes for the FDP?

Our Man for Hamburg (©FDP)
Some readers of my blogs will remember FDP Brüderle's dirndl-gate. The follow-up in Stuttgart was a leg-gate when German television made a pan shot of Katja's legs.

Leg-gate (©ARD)
In a first reaction Katja called the cut sexist. The director of the news department sent his excuses and even went a step further calling the cut an Altherren-Schwenk (Dirty old men pan). He continued: This is the proof that we need more camera-women than cameramen. Katja accepted the excuses; well recognizing the odd publicity for herself and her party.

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