To begin with: In the election between Norbert Hofer and Alexander Van der Bellen I am taking no sides. In principle, I stay away from elections campaigns with two camps and, ultimately, this is what this election is almost exclusively about.
However, the most unbearable escalation to date has not come from the right-wing – by way of exception – but from, how can we name the other camp… not left-wing, not quite liberal, anyway not conservatives but still with a fine glimmer of the spirit of ’68 and homeopathic eco traces? Indeed, from the non-FPÖ camp, let’s call this camp “anything other than Blue”.
With a completely negative campaign, Hans-Peter Haselsteiner is canvassing all-out against Nobert Hofer. According to Haselsteiner, he will make us all unemployed and we will become more isolated than the North Koreans because Hofer would leave the EU – totally alone with a defenceless Austria following behind – although as President it would not even be possible but perhaps as a “magician”.
But, mind you, not to come to Norbert Hofer’s defence but rather to criticise the counter-productivity of this campaign: Haselsteiner may be a sharp-shooter but all his artillery miss their mark totally:
1. Fired too soon: Good, Hans-Peter Haselsteiner could not have known this: the election has been postponed. But, whoever acts in such a negative manner will become the subject of ridicule. When he starts his campaign again in November, it will no longer be as effect… My sympathy knows no bounds.
2. Misfired: If Haselsteiner determinedly zeroes in on Norbert Hofer, he will waste all his ammunition twofold because a second time, in the case of parliamentary elections, the campaign will no longer have an effect. Now he wants to use all means possible to prevent Norbert Hofer, who appears tamer and more flexible than Strache, from becoming President, an office which is tame anyway. As such, Haselsteiner is expending all the energy which he, if his policy objective is to prevent an Öxit, should dedicate to another opponent: Heinz-Christian Strache as potential Chancellor. Moreover, it is tactically good for every FPÖ opponent if Hofer is busy in the Hofburg for almost 12 years because then the FPÖ would have a better chance of coming to power with Hofer instead of Strache as a Chancellor candidate.
3. Backfired: Has he not noticed? Nobody is talking about Öxit anymore. Hofer is a clever guy. He noticed some time ago that the earlier Öxit scenarios would be of no benefit to him for electoral purposes and he publicly renounced the EU exit. Now there is only one individual who fills advertising space with Öxit: Of all people it is Hans-Peter Haselsteiner who reminds us of the EU exit. “Don’t think about Öxit!”.. What are you thinking about now?
Austria has experienced many low points in election campaigns. The trench that Hans-Peter Haselsteiner is currently digging is however, the lowest point discovered on the political landscape: A super-rich man, with hundreds of thousands of Euros, is interfering in an election campaign in which he is not a candidate and taking a headstrong, destructive as well as counter-productive course.
Translation from German: Donna Stockenhuber
|3 Shots – 3 Misses||Thomas Fellinger||CC BY-SA 4.0|