Why Hofer lost: Two views
Did the candidate go too soft or was the electorate too indoctrinated?
Pegida's Lutz Bachmann on Monday advised anti-immigration candidates to make a sharp distinction from the establishment and to "Be like Trump" in order to win.
Below is an unedited automatic Google translation from yesterday's article in the Epoch Times titled “Call the police for a strike!”: Pegida boss Bachmann appeals to Ranier Wendt”.
Norbert Hofer had lost Austria because he had become too soft, Bachmann said in his speech. This is a mistake that many conservative and patriotic forces make - they would over time mitigate their cleverness, hoping, however, to allow some of their opponents mild voices. "I've also made this mistake in the past months," said the Pegida founder. Press and politicians would turn their opponents anyway from any knot, no matter whether formulated harder or softer.
He [Bachmann] had realized that one could only win with absolutly clear speech without concessions. That was [the case with] the election of Donald Trump to the US President, said Bachmann. Trump had been "oblique" and "inflexible", was "lined up" [targeted] by the press, and had been chosen by the Americans precisely for this reason. "Our commandment of the hour is: Be like Trump," said Bachmann.
My own first instinct on the shock of Hofer's defeat was the same, but I also have to admit I don't know enough about all the ins and outs of the campaign and the local feedback the Freedom Party was privy to, to make such a decision. A different view comes from an FPOe party deputy Johannes Hübner (right) in this 6 minute video, well worth watching. Hübner says it was an "almost perfect" campaign, but obstacles facing the Freedom Party are still hard to overcome. The opposition joins together to link the FPOe with Nazi names and themes which subconsciously affects the undecided Austrian voter. This along with the single far-left politik taught in the universities and dominating in the cities, makes for an uphill battle for the "blue" party of Austria.
I think the two postponements of the vote played a part too. Those who didn't feel strongly enough got tired of voting the same issue. The final polls that showed an even race mobilized the Left more than the Right. And while the "Be like Trump" advice appeals to me, it's clear that the Strache-Kickl-Hofer team spared no effort in doing everything they thought would help their candidate win. Elections are always unpredictable and that's what makes them exciting.