Monday, 23 May 2016

Austrian presidential election on a knife-edge - will Freedom Party candidate win?

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Note: the BBC has now announced that Mr Van der Bellen, the Green Party candidate, has been elected the next President of Austria. 

The election of the Austrian president is on a knife-edge. Neither of the main two parties are in the second round. Mr. Hofer of the Freedom Party is narrowly ahead of the Green, Mr Van der Bellen, but postal votes will decide it and they will favour the Green Party.

The Freedom Party is invariably described by the Homeric epithet 'far right', which they are not. They are Thatcherite, Eurosceptic, Powellite, comparable to UKIP. 

Someone tweeted: 
'Why don't we learn from the past?'
But we do! We have learn exactly the wrong lessons from 1939-45. This is why Mrs Merkel invited millions of people without papers to settle in Europe, which is why Hofer and people far to the right of him win votes.


The BBC describes the Freedom Party as 'far-right' because, I presume, they want to take no more migrants, but does not call the Greens, who want completely open borders throughout the world, as far left.

More highly educated voters are more likely to use postal ballots. Exit polls yesterday showed 81 percent of voters with a university degree backed Van der Bellen and 86 percent of workers voted for Hofer so I expect Hofer to lose.

A respected economist called Professor Pascal Morand has tweeted a wonderfully patronising tweet.
'The fact that 84% of workers voted for Hofer and 81% of graduates for Van der Bellen perfectly illustrates knowledge economy challenge.'
The knowledge economy, if you don't know, is the idea that economic growth in future requires a computer literate workforce used to handling data, developing algorithms and IT processes and systems. How large numbers of Middle Eastern, North African, Pakistani and Afghan peasants, few of whom speak European languages and many of whom cannot read or write, fit into the knowledge economy I am not sure but I think Professor Morand thinks not wanting unlimited numbers of migrants without papers in your country shows that you are out of date and not very bright. 

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