• Germany's news in English
 
German Election 2013
Punks and pirates: the oddest political parties
Photo: DPA

Punks and pirates: the oddest political parties

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.

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
German-Turkish group against far-right talks
Protesters in Munich rally against the PEGIDA organization. Photo: DPA

German-Turkish group against far-right talks

A Turkish community leader in Germany warned on Sunday against proposals by mainstream politicians for "dialogue" with a far-right populist movement that has drawn thousands to anti-Islamic street protests. READ  

Merkel calls for truce talks over Ukraine crisis
Angela Merkel and Ukranian President Petro Poroshenko. Photo: DPA

Merkel calls for truce talks over Ukraine crisis

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday welcomed a prisoner swap between Ukraine's government and pro-Russian rebels but expressed regret about the stalling of truce talks. READ  

Germany warns Greece over reforms as left rises
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble has said he expects Greece to honour its debts. Photo: DPA

Germany warns Greece over reforms as left rises

Germany's finance minister has warned Greece that any new government must respect commitments made by its predecessor, as the country moved closer to early elections that EU officials fear would be won by a radical leftist party. READ  

LG offices raided over suspected vandalism
A Sumsung washing machine. Photo: DPA

LG offices raided over suspected vandalism

South Korean prosecutors raided the Seoul headquarters of LG Electronics on Friday following allegations that the firm's executives vandalised their rival Samsung's washing machines at a trade fair in Germany, company officials said. READ  

Neuer cautious over Ballon d'Or prospects
Photo: DPA

Neuer cautious over Ballon d'Or prospects

Germany's World Cup winning goalkeeper Manuel Neuer on Friday played down his prospects of securing the World Player of the Year award over holder Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. READ  

News Feature
No Boxing Day football tradition for Germans
Germans football fans will have nothing to watch this Boxing Day Photo: DPA

No Boxing Day football tradition for Germans

Defying national stereotypes, it is British footballers who will be braving the freezing cold to take to the pitch on Boxing Day, whilst Germany's players are already sunning themselves on their winter break until the end of January. READ  

Germans hit back at anti-immigrant movement
Demonstrators protest against PEGIDA. Photo: DPA

Germans hit back at anti-immigrant movement

Business leaders, the political class and average Germans are pushing back against a growing anti-immigrant movement, saying it threatens the values and image the country fought hard to establish since the war. READ  

German president urges refugee compassion
Photo: DPA

German president urges refugee compassion

Germany's president appealed in a Christmas message for compassion and openness towards refugees coming to the country, which is grappling with a growing anti-Islam movement. READ  

Reward offered for €150k homing pigeon
A female homing pigeon. Photo: DPA

Reward offered for €150k homing pigeon

A breeder in Düsseldorf has offered a €10,000 reward after thieves stole a homing pigeon worth €150,000 from his aviary. READ  

Royal palace restored to glory after €4.5m refit
The vestibule of the Schloss Charlottenburg, which reopens on Boxing Day Photo: DPA

Royal palace restored to glory after €4.5m refit

The royal palace of Fredrick the Great in Berlin is to fully reopen to visitors on Boxing Day after a 4.5 million euro refit. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Willy Brandt at his inauguration in 1972. Photo: DPA
National
Willy Brandt: the man, the chancellor... the airport?
Dresden skyline and river by night. Photo: DPA
Politics
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
Sponsored Article
Why are these International Baccalaureate students cheering?
Germany's national football team lifts the World Cup trophy
Gallery
Germany's most-Googled words of 2014
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Sponsored Article
Top ten gifts for an expat Christmas
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Stuff your face with these festive German cookies
Photo: DPA
Culture
What do beer, breakfast cereal and dildos have in common?
Culture
The Local's guide to German Christmas markets
Sponsored Article
Top five quirky Christmas jumpers
Photo: DPA
Culture
Get ready for Christmas like a German. We tell you how.
Photo: DPA
Munich
She did what with her dead mother?
Photo: DPA
National
Germany still paying for crisis fall out
Photo: DPA
Culture
Saxon wurst is the worst, Christmas market declares.
Photo: DPA
Politics
Can 'sorry' ever be enough for the Linke?
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Photo: DPA
Gallery
See how Berlin has changed in 22 photos
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,056
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd