• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Punks and pirates: the oddest political parties

The Local · 20 Sep 2013, 10:44

Published: 20 Sep 2013 10:44 GMT+02:00

On the very edges of the country's political spectrum we have found some political alternatives off-the-beaten-track. From the unorthodox to the bizarre and the dangerous, here are a few of Germany's strangest parties.

APPD - The Anarchist Pogo Party of Germany

The APPD was formed in Hannover in 1981 by a group of punks - the name comes from the punk dance the pogo - with a manifesto of radical changes for Germany.

The party campaigns for the right to unemployment with full salary, the breaking up of Germany into small states, and the total transformation of society aimed at rescuing people from "disease-causing civilizing pressures".

Among the pogo-anarchists' most controversial ideas is their plan for a secure "violence-allowed park" in which "criminals, Nazis, rapists and psychopaths" would be allowed free reign.

Their materials often feature a picture of a gorilla or ape, referring to their key policy of the "stultification" of mankind.

The APPD argues people should revert to the human "primal state", eschewing such modern trappings as social media, compulsory education and policing.

The APPD also ape far-right parties' talk of restoring Germany's "true" borders by advocating a return to how Germany's borders stood in 1237- at the height of the Holy Roman Empire.

Die PARTEI - Party for Work, Rule of Law, Protection of Animals, Advancement of Elites and Grassroots democratic initiative

Die PARTEI was formed in 2004, the brainchild of Martin Sonneborn and his colleagues at the German satirical magazine Titanic. The party's name is a play on words, since the German for "Party" is Partei, and their manifesto is just as tongue-in-cheek.

Key policies include building a wall around Germany to protect against globalization, restricting managers' wages to a mere 25,000 times that of their employees, banning all pub crawls, and commissioning scientists to cross the German tax system with string theory to make it more complicated.

They also plan a Faulenquote (Quota for lazy people) in government, a pun referencing the ongoing discussion about a possible Frauenquote (Quota for women).

The PARTEI attracted attention recently with a public protest against allowing tourists into the country - satirizing the views of far-right groups on immigration and terrorism.

Die Piraten- The Pirate Party

They have become well-established in Berlin, but to outsiders the idea of a Pirate Party remains bizarre. Bernd Schlömer's party is the German department of an international political movement centred on a campaign for freedom of the internet.

Die Piraten have been called a single issue party, since their core values are all built around the idea of a growing "digital society" and policies securing freedom of information, anonymity and protection of personal data on the internet.

This focus has also become a point of satire, with opponents homing in on the Pirates' call to legalize free software downloads and file sharing, branding them computer nerds.

More recently, though, they have developed a wider set of liberal-progressive social policies such as campaigning for separation of church and state and a rethink of Germany's drug laws.

They have also attracted attention for their open method of developing policies. Users on their online discussion platform, Liquid Feedback, can submit ideas, and if they get support from ten per cent or more of the site's users, the party members will vote on adopting it as policy.

While still a very minor party in electoral terms, the Pirates have gained some support and momentum in recent months, however many of their more wide-ranging policies have been criticized as populist, vague and unrealistic - for example their call for free public transport.

NEIN! – The "NO" Party

The idea of Jens Martinek's 'NO' Party is essentially what it says on the tin. They reject the current system and mainstream parties. Their only policy is giving voters the right to vote negatively (in addition to normal voting or spoiling their ballot).

They believe this will allow voters to send a stronger message to politicians, not just abstaining but actively voting against all candidates. It's not clear, however, how they plan to implement this option in the German electoral system.

As a small, single-issue group, the 'NO' Party is a long way from gaining any electoral success. But cashing in on the current anti-political sentiment could ironically win them votes from Germans who feel the mainstream parties have betrayed them and make decisions over their heads.

Story continues below…

Bergpartei/Überpartei – Mountain Party

Collectively known simply as "B", and formed by Hauke Stiewe, they are perhaps the most unorthodox party on The Local’s List.

This group formed from the union of two regional parties based in Berlin, and has roots in a variety of political traditions and groups, in particular Berlin's squatter community.

"B" identifies itself as somewhere between eco-anarchism and Dada – the surreal artistic and social movement from the beginning of the 19th century, which valued absolute individuality and refused to follow accepted norms or ideals.

Their campaigns centre mainly on ecological policies, like promoting cycling, but they also advocate the total deconstruction of modern civilization, welcome economic bankruptcy (because "poverty brings us together") and plan to convert the defence ministry into the “ministry of sharing”.

Stiewe's party is best known, however, for a regular protest it organizes in Berlin - which takes the form of a giant vegetable fight.

The Local will be running a live blog on Sunday from 5pm (German time) covering all the latest election developments and bringing you the results as they come in. Check our homepage from Sunday afternoon to follow it.

READ MORE: Reasons why the election matters to non-Germans

Alex Evans

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Munich pulls together after shopping mall shooting
Photo: DPA

In the chaos after the Munich mall shooting, city residents spontaneously offered shelter to strangers - a move that Chancellor Angela Merkel said showed that Germany's strength lies in its values.

Merkel deplores 'night of horror' in Munich
Photo: DPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday said Munich had suffered a "night of horror" after a shooting spree in the southern German city left nine people dead.

Munich shooting
Munich attacker was shy video game fan
People laying flowers at the site of the shootings. Photo: DPA.

David Ali Sonboly was a quiet, helpful teenager who loved playing video games. His neighbours say there were no warning signs before his deadly rampage at a Munich shopping mall.

Munich shooting
Munich gunman inspired by rightwing Breivik: police
Photo: DPA

The lone teenager who shot dead nine people in a gun rampage in Munich was "obsessed" with mass killers such as Norwegian rightwing fanatic Anders Behring Breivik and had no links to the Islamic State group, police said Saturday.

Munich shooting
Turks, Kosovans and a Greek among shooting victims
Photo: DPA

Three Turkish citizens were among the nine people killed in Germany's Munich mall shooting. Three Kosovans were also among the nine victims.

Munich shooting
Munich gunman was likely not Isis terrorist: police
Flowers laid at the Olympia Shopping Centre underground station. Photo: DPA

According to initial investigations by Munich police, the young man who went on a shooting rampage in Munich on Friday evening was a lone gunman without motive, not a terrorist.

Munich shooting
'Lone' Munich shooter kills nine, commits suicide
Photo: DPA

A teenage German-Iranian gunman who killed nine people in a shooting spree at a busy Munich shopping centre and then committed suicide had likely acted alone, German police said Saturday.

As it happened
Nine dead in shooting rampage in Munich
File photo: DPA

Nine people are dead after "at least one person" went on a shooting spree in a Munich shopping centre on Friday evening. An attacker is believed to be among the dead.

German Turkish community split by unrest after coup plot
Pro-Erdogan protesters in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Hatred between supporters of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and those opposed to him has exploded on social media in Germany in the wake of a failed coup attempt last Friday.

Germany stresses defence of Baltics after Trump comments
Photo: DPA

Germany on Friday stressed its promise to protect its NATO allies after White House hopeful Donald Trump called the commitment into question.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Analysis & Opinion
Nice was an attack on France, not on Germany
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
10,713
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd