With 5 days to Austrian presidential election, Hofer holds onto narrow lead in polls

Published by carolyn on Wed, 2016-11-30 10:28

Alexander Van der Bellen (left) and Norbert Hofer during a joint appearance on Nov. 26th.

WITH THE RE-RUN ELECTION ONLY 5 DAYS AWAY ON SUNDAY, DEC. 4TH, Norbert Hofer appears to be holding his lead over Alexander Van der Bellen. In some polls, Hofer is at 52% to VdB's 48%.

According to bookmaker Paddy Power as of November 23, Hofer’s odds of becoming the next Austrian President were 4/9; Mr Van der Bellen was just behind him with odds of 13/8 .

It is thought that Mr Hofer has been given a boost by Donald Trump’s populist victory in America and the anti-establishment vote for Brexit in the UK. If he triumphs, he will be seen as Europe’s first “far-right” leader to be elected since the end of the Second World War. Hofer correctly rejects the term “far-right” and says he and his party are mainstream because they are in alighnment with the Austrian people. His party strongly opposes the “Islamisation of Europe” and has proposed a full ban on wearing the burka in public. The other parties are left, with the Green Party, which Van der Bellen led for 10 years, being a far-left party.

Revealing their desperation, the Van der Bellen campaign recently posted a video on his Facebook page featuring an 89-year old Jewess named only "Gertrude" who supposedly "survived a death camp" at age 16. In the video she questions whether Norbert Hofer's policies and speech will bring a return of the "Nazi" period to Germany. Completely similar to Hillary Clinton's anti-"Alt Right" rhetoric that didn't work. You can watch it here.




Hi Carolyn, glad you are posting regularly again...
I read this article written by a left-wing Jew, Glen Greenwald, 'Growing Far-Right Nationalistic Movements Are Dangerously Anti-Muslim — and Pro-Israel'. I hope that Hofer wins the election, but I don't like the sounds of him or the Freedom Party in this paragraph:

But not only does Hofer repudiate all anti-Semitism and insist it has no place in his party — he made news earlier this year by calling for the demolition of Hitler’s childhood home and his party sponsored “a New Anti-Semitism Conference” starring the Israeli spy who captured Adolf Eichmann — but the Freedom Party has, in the words of an expert cited by the NYT, “made it part of their strategy to draw closer to Israel.” In 2014, Hofer made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, laying a wreath at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, and has touted his trip to Israel so flamboyantly in his campaign that he caused a mini-scandal for himself by embellishing a “terrorist” shooting he witnessed at Temple Mount. He vowed to make a trip to Israel an early priority if he’s elected.
Israeli officials have noticed the pro-Israel bent of Hofer’s posture and some have returned the sentiments of support. “They are one of the most pro-Israel parties in Europe,” proclaimed former Knesset member Michael Kleiner, who spoke on a panel at the Freedom Party’s anti-Semitism conference. The Freedom Party’s leader, Heinz-Christian Strache, visited Israel on the invitation of Prime Minister Netanyahu, and he spent his time meeting with settlement leaders, planning how to oppose a movement in the EU to label goods from illegal Israeli settlements, vowing to do everything he could to oppose all boycotts aimed at Israel. A settlement leader gushed: “He supports Israel, he is against labeling and against the boycott. I didn’t hear that from anyone in the U.K.”

A European politician has to do and say these things to get elected, but all the same, it sticks in my craw.
I guess we face a choice between pragmatism and purity.

By the way, Van der Bellen is not even Austrian or German by blood. His father was a Russian immigrant who married his Estonian mother before immigrating. It figures that he wouldn't put any value on Austrian culture and he's said as much.

In the last month, he's been seen wearing the Austrian costume while campaigning when he's never done so before. It looks brand new: