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Wahl-O-Mat blackout in Saxony-Anhalt ahead of March election

The Local · 5 Dec 2010, 12:29

Published: 05 Dec 2010 12:29 GMT+01:00

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The programme, which is produced and administered by state institutes, has to include small parties in the options available to users, according to a court ruling from two years ago.

But the State Centre for Political Education in Saxony-Anhalt’s state capital Magdeburg has refused to include the neo-Nazi NPD in its version, even though the party is running in the election.

A spokesman said its exclusion was to avoid shocking younger voters who might be upset if the programme suggested their attitudes matched the neo-Nazi party. He said it would be better not to run the programme at all rather than risk a court case.

The extremist parties standing in Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate state elections on March 27, will be included in the local versions of the Wahl-O-Mat.

“If the NPD is licensed to stand for election, sadly it also has to be in the Wahl-O-Mat,” said Peter Malzkorn, spokesman for the Rhineland-Palatinate State Centre for Political Education.

Users of the programme in Baden-Württemberg will have the choice of deselecting specific parties from their options before they answer the dozens of questions which the Wahl-O-Mat poses to determine the best match of political party.

“We do not practice a protectionist education policy. One must deal offensively with the extreme parties,” said Karl-Ulrich Templ, deputy director of the centre for political education there.

Story continues below…

Hamburg voters will also have the option of using the Wahl-O-Mat to help them decide ahead of the state election there, which will probably be held on February 20.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

22:59 December 5, 2010 by smaky
Quite ridiculous. One would have thought that "political parties shall participate in the formation of the political will of the people" and the Centres for Political Education just as well.
23:35 December 5, 2010 by bartschaff
Any initiative to curb the influence of extreme parties is welcome, but it's absolutely not clear what the effect of this decision can be, if any. What would be more likely to happen to the few "young voters" who would actually be "shocked" by finding out they had far-right views? To go through some deep reevaluation and change their mind or to become self-assured neo-nazis' voters?

I'd hope for the first, but can't help find the latter more likely - case in which the decision by State Centre for Political Education would turn out not to be so bad, though in any case the influence of such decision should be tiny.
12:09 December 6, 2010 by moreanon
What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.
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