The parliamentary elections in Austria on the 15th of October brought a remarkable result.
The Socialist Party (the “Reds”) had been in government since 1945 until 1966 as the junior partner in the Conservative/Christian Democrat (the “Blacks”) coalition. A four-year government by the Blacks followed. Due to the personality and the political cleverness of Bruno Kreisky, the Reds formed the government from 1970 until 1983. Then they were the senior partner in a coalition with the then very small Freedom Party (the Blues) until 1986, and then again the leading partner in a coalition with the Blacks until 1999. Then followed six years of a shaky ‘Black and Blue’ coalition and from 2006 until now again, the Reds being the dominant partner in a coalition with the Blacks. The Socialists had thus been in government for 62 out of 72 years.
The Austrian political system was characterized by the strong influence of the “social partners”, within one single trade union on the one side and various chambers of commerce, industry and free professions with mandatory membership on the other. The social partners not only concluded tariff agreements but had a dominant influence not only on labour law but most fields of law, including the system of social security. In the beginning, a fine system steering the relation between capital and labour away from class struggle into reasonable negotiations – strikes have been practically unknown in Austria since the 1950s – it became more and more sclerotic, and a system increasingly administering only itself.
Black and Red had been the dominant parties (“the great coalition”) for a long time, and liked to divide nearly every area among themselves. This system was called Proporz, meaning that a Black or Red party membership was most advisable in many areas – not only the public sector.
The “Blacks” had been a conservative-minded Christian Democratic party – with roots in the Christian social reform movement since the 1880s – with some ‘ordo-liberal’ (libertarian in use of language) elements who since the 1980s lost the feeling for cultural and political hegemony and became a satellite party for the Reds.
The Reds, having their roots in the 1880s in the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy, had for a long time been an Austro-Marxist party which emphasised the necessity of a large nationalized segment of enterprises, mostly in the steel and aluminium industry, and banks. That system went through socialist mismanagement, and went bankrupt in the 1980s. Due to their Marxist breeding, the Reds always thought that once in power, they will always stay in power, by hook or by crook.
Socialist dominance should have ended in the 1980s. But the Reds, following Antonio Gramsci’s advice quite diligently, through their influence in the media, with artists, in universities, schools, administration, an intense political clientele, and their cultural and political hegemony.
The Reds practically dropped their economic positions and reduced themselves to cultural Marxism and harvesting the spoils. And everyone criticising this was of course either ‘racist’ or ‘Nazi’. If outworn, they changed the head of the party, and trusted that the voters would give him, credit which they did after an astonishingly long time.
Then we had, since the 1980s, the “Green Alternative” movement, which had understandable roots in the various movements for protecting the environment. They very soon turned sharp left and also advocated cultural Marxism. They also served as satellite party for the Reds.
Finally we have the Freedom Party, i.e. the “Blues”. They have their roots in the “National-Liberal” movement in the Austrian part of the monarchy pending between (German) National and liberal positions. Many years ago, they changed to Austrian patriotism, strongly criticising uncontrolled immigration, the abuse of asylum and aggressive political Islam. They also emphasize more and more ordo-liberal positions, and resolved to an interesting economic reform program. For many years, they had also been the only ones fighting cultural Marxism. Of course, that made them “Nazis” to the Reds, forgetting conveniently that if they needed them in the past, they suddenly became respectable – opportunistic power politics at is best. They also tried to split the Blues, creating a left-liberal party which conveniently also served as a satellite party.
So the Reds had two and sometimes three satellite parties at hand and for many years isolated the real ‘blue’ opposition by the usual phrases of demonization.
But that led to the Blues becoming stronger and stronger. In the election for the office of federal president last year, their candidate got nearly 50 percent and in the polls they received around 35 percent, with the Blacks being strongly reduced. The catalyst for a strong change of mentality and opinion had been the ‘refugees crisis’, an uncontrolled influx of aliens and a systematic abuse of asylum rights and generosity, supported only by a lunatic left and red politicians eying for cheap voting cattle.
Suddenly a great change within the Blacks happened: a young politician, Mr Kurz, took over the nearly sinking ship, reformed it, emphasized a strong stance on security, immigration and economic reform, and repainted the old party in turquoise colours. Basically, the appearance is ‘blue’, but using some nicer words. They stopped being a satellite party.
Before the elections, the Greens split and went into the elections with a most unattractive team of two overly-PC women.
The result of the elections is a political earthquake. The “Turquoise”, the Blues, and a small centre liberal party (“the lilacs”) received about 64 percent of the vote, with the “Turquoise’ being strongest with about 32 percent. The Blues also made a strong showing and gained 26 percent. These three parties together have a 2/3 majority in parliament and may therefore together make changes to the constitution or make laws possessing the legal power of constitutional laws.
The socialist gained 26.9 percent; they did not lose but they lost all their satellite parties as the Greens had been voted out of parliament.
A coalition of Turquoise and Blues with a strong reformist agenda, especially in economics and labour relations, is to be expected. But also the socialist system of left wing cultural patronage is expected to end. The political will for definite change seems to be strong. The socialist dominance maintained through a long time has suddenly ended. With quite a big bang. Repercussions into the German politic are also to be expected.
Right is right and left has lost. A good chance for freedom and economic reform. Mises and Hayek would like this result.
On the 24th “Turquoise’ and “Blue’ officially announced to start coalition talks immediately as both sides show a strong will to change. The “Reds” are foaming. The general secretary of the Austrian ‘Hayek institute’ is own expert advising the negotiating parties and on demand of the ‘Blues” the whole thing starts with a very detailed taking of stocks, meaning going through all public expenses and incomes in the budget.