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The Left presents blueprint for party platform

DDP/DPA/The Local · 21 Mar 2010, 10:26

Published: 21 Mar 2010 10:26 GMT+01:00

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Representatives from a 16-member commission led by The Left party leaders Oskar Lafontaine and Lothar Bisky unanimously adopted the draft programme earlier in the week before presenting it in Berlin on Saturday. The completed platform will not be put to a vote until autumn next year.

Bisky said the coming debate of the party programme would help establish what “defines the core of The Left’s identity.” Fellow party head Lafontaine said the leftists would use the new platform to stake out the party's ambition to govern – even at the federal level, under the right circumstances.

The new document outlines three principles meant to guide the party’s work, which include achieving a “society united in solidarity” and putting that goal before economic concerns.

The party’s immediate aims include guaranteeing the right to decent jobs, access to quality, tuition-free education and a fair tax system that takes pressure off of low- and middle-income earners.

The programme also recommends that the country's power, telecommunications and railway companies be turned into state collectives, though Bisky denied the party would use East Germany's political system as a model. The draft programme outlined the party's support for voter referendums and political strikes, which are currently not allowed in Germany.

Hans-Peter Friedrich from the Bavarian sister party of Merkel's Christian Democrats said the draft programme revealed the leftists’ “true face” and opposition to freedom and democracy in German society.

The Social Democratic Party's general secretary Andrea Nahles described the document as “hodgepodge” of contradictory information. “You can’t make a state out of East German nostalgia and narrow-minded delusions of power,” she said.

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But the Left Party saw the criticism as a sign the party is moving in the right direction. “If there were no outcry from our political opponents, then we’d have done something wrong,” Left Party deputy leader Klaus Ernst said.

The Left was founded by the union of the successor to the East German communist party and disgruntled western German trade unionists that had once supported the Social Democrats (SPD). Under the leadership of Lafontaine, once the head of the SPD, the hard-line socialist party has started to establish itself across western Germany.

DDP/DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:46 March 21, 2010 by Talonx
To say only that die Linke was founded by 'the successor to the East German communist party', is a bit of an oversimplification. These particular 'communists' were mostly Gorby-style communists, as everyone well knows, a man responsible for the liberation of most former communist states in the Eastern Bloc. They also house anarchists, other former SPD members, and unionists of all stripes.

Saying that there grounded in an ideaology that desires a return to East German institutions and organizations is like saying that any politician that wants to expand public infrastructure in germany is a Nazi, because Hitler expanded infrastructure.
20:37 March 21, 2010 by Eagle1
The guy on the left looks like he should be wearing an adult diaper.

"The new document outlines three principles meant to guide the party¦#39;s work, which include achieving a ¦quot;society united in solidarity¦quot; and putting that goal before economic concerns. . . . The party¦#39;s immediate aims include guaranteeing the right to decent jobs, access to quality, tuition-free education and a fair tax system that takes pressure off of low- and middle-income earners."

Typical socialist doctrine of wealth redistribution. Also, the concept of a "right to decent jobs" is laughable. Who wrote that thing, some child?
06:42 March 22, 2010 by Talonx
Eagle1, FDR could've wrote it, given what the goals are.

Poverty and stress cause both lower IQ and social dysharmony (this causal chain is well known and understood), why is it a laughable goal to try and eradicate that. Poverty is a burden on everyone, except the few immoral d#cks that make their living off of others suffering.
15:55 March 24, 2010 by Beynch
You esteemed Germans ought to know better than most what the 'Left' is capable of. Unless Winston Churchill has been eviscerated from history, here's what he said. Learn from it:

¦quot;No socialist government conducting the entire life and industry of the country could afford to allow free, sharp, or violently worded expressions of public discontent. They would have to fall back on some form of Gestapo, no doubt very humanely directed in the first instance. And this would nip opinion in the bud; it would stop criticism as it reared its head, and it would gather all the power to the supreme party and the party leaders, rising like stately pinnacles above their vast bureaucracies of Civil servants, no longer servants and no longer civil.¦quot;
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