Cas Mudde Profile picture
Sep 29, 2017 18 tweets 5 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
I don't understand why the replacement of #DieLinke by #AfD as the new "Ostpartei" is not one of the major stories of #BTW17 🤔 #Thread
1. Sure, many media have noted that #AfD won almost twice as many votes in East than West and some great articles were written about "revenge of East"…
2. But main story is Merkel lost to AfD because of her "soft" position on refugees. While this is true, there are two important caveats to this story.
3. First, Union (CDU + CSU) lost substantially more votes to libertarian FDP than populist radical right AfD! Union lost 1.360.000 votes to FDP compared to 980.000 votes to AfD!
4. Second, CSU lost more to AfD than CDU, despite having an almost as populist radical right discourse as AfD. Sure, they couldn't get much policy change, but that at least shows that discourse minus policy doesn't work.
5. But now to most important point. While AfD won most votes from Union, proportionately Die Linke lost most votes to AfD! Union lost 5.4% of its 2013 electorate to AfD, Die Linke 10.7% (!), almost twice as much! 😮
6. AfD replaced Die Linke as the second party in the East. That is of huge significance, for both parties.
7. AfD is now protest party of East Germany. Why did that happen? And why in 2017 and not in 2013?
8. In 2013 the AfD was still a bourgeois, Euro-skeptic, WESSIE party, which was both culturally and economically unattractive to Easterners.
9. In 2017 the dominant issue in the election was "immigration" on which the AfD, not Die Linke, is the protest party.
10. Moreover, for a sizeable portion of Easterners "Ostalgie" will always have had an (implicit) ethnic component, which was triggered by the so-called "refugees crisis."
11. At the same time, Die Linke is becoming normalized, losing its "protest" profile, particularly in the East, where it has become part of the "established parties".
12. This all said, Die Linke has much stronger infrastructure and roots in the East than the AfD and therefore has a good chance to survive, although not perhaps grow, in the East.
13. The AfD is just the newest stick to beat the (Wessie) political establishment with. In 2013 disproportionately many Easterners voted for similar reasons for the extreme right NPD.
14. Neither NPD nor AfD has really strong infrastructure or roots in the East. Rather, they are vehicles for even more extreme rightists to pursue their own politics through, like Bjorn Höcke in Thuringia.
15. This is all not to say that AfD is East problem, linked to post-communism, authoritarian personalities, and other stereotypical "explanations".
16. Rather, it is to complicate the "Merkel lost to AfD because of Willkommenspolitik" narrative, which is dominating the media these days. CSU and Die Linke lost too, bigly!
17. German party politics is changing, AfD and refugees are only part of broader movements, which effect all parties, and in 2017 most profoundly Die Linke. #TheEnd

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More from @CasMudde

Oct 6, 2018
This weekend Brazilians will go to the polls to elect a new president. #Brazil is fifth biggest country in the world, in terms of population, and symptomatic of a remarkable authoritarian turn in the world's biggest states. #thread
1. China is the biggest country and only non-democracy in top-5. But even here General Secretary Xi Jinping has taken the country in a (even) more authoritarian and nationalist direction.
2. India, the world's largest democracy, has been governed by PM Narendra Modi and his radical right BJP-led coalition since 2014. MOstly ignored by international media, India has seen sharp rise of radical and sometimes violent Hindutva activism.
Read 12 tweets
Sep 12, 2018
I have been arguing for a long time that the EU, and particularly the EPP, should stand up to Viktor Orbán, but I feel nevertheless conflicted on triggering #Article7 - let me explain. #Thread…
1. Although triggering Article 7 does not mean kicking Hungary out of EU (more below), it is starting with the "nuclear option".
2. Orbán and Fidesz have been creating an "illiberal state" since regaining power in 2010. That is 8 years of undermining checks and balances, recreating institutions and filling them with cronies, and creating a kleptocracy on Russian model.
Read 21 tweets
Jul 12, 2018
NEW! @pewglobal has just published an interesting and important report on ideology vs populism in Western Europe (full disclosure: I was consulted on it). Here are some of my quick takes. #Thread
You can find the full study here -->…
1. The main takeaway for politicians and pundits should be that populist parties are NOT the voice of the people! In fact, in almost all countries they are BY FAR the least favored party!
2. Favorability gap between populist and traditional parties is massive in North and substantial in much of South! This is even the case with left populist Podemos (less favorable than PP, although poll before govt crisis!) and most normalized populist radical right party, DF!
Read 14 tweets
Jun 29, 2018
Good piece on EPP and Orbán by ⁦⁦@PoliticoRyan⁩ although he is too forgiving on EPP’s incredible hypocrisy. A few comments. #Thread…
1. I honestly don’t see how EPP comes out of EP2019 weaker, except if Macron joins ALDE (big if).
2. S&D will be real loser of EP2019, losing one of its last big parties in big country because of Brexit while many others have recently been decimated.
Read 18 tweets
Nov 26, 2017
This is supposed to be defense of one of too many uncritical “human interest” @nytimes pieces on neo-Nazis and other far right people. It shows depth of ignorance among journalists.
1. First and foremost, it shows media’s tendency to think in clichés - the purely evil bad person and the purely good victim.
2. Second, it shows the enduring problem of white privilege in the media, undoubtedly strengthened by whiteness of newsrooms as noted by @jbouie
Read 27 tweets
Nov 13, 2017
I think this piece, while more nuanced than "60.000 Neo-Nazis march in Warsaw", still misses many points. #thread…
1. Poland always has had a very strong far right subculture, which is quite diverse, from neo-Nazis, to neo-fascist (Dmowski) to orthodox-Christian nationalists.
2. Because of electoral system and big right-wing umbrella parties far right parties and politicians mainly operated within right-wing parties rather than separately (recent exception: LPR).
Read 21 tweets

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