There was an excellent article over at Focus (the German publication) this morning....over the Pegida (the anti-immigration crowd that is gathering steam now) in Germany. It covers the nineteen points that Pegida is now pursuing with it's membership and stressing to political parties across Germany. The nineteen points?
1. Pegida is for the admission of people under the umbrella of war refugees, or those who've been politically persecuted or threatened against their religion. Curiously, this goes hand-in-hand with the Basic Law (Germany's Constitution). This shows them on a positive light, at least in my opinion.
2. Pegida wants the Basic Law changed to include the right and duty to integrate. Currently, the closest you get is the right of asylum. There's some basic understandings and mandatory items written down for integration....but it's not exactly a "duty".
3. Pegida wants this temp "dumping-station" mentality to cease. Even they admit it's pretty bad when you throw some people into some warehouse or old building for months....with no clear idea over a more permanent situation. Of course, they didn't say who'd pay for this or how it would be paid.
4. Pegida wants more distribution and fairness built into who accepts the refugees/immigrants. Currently, the numbers show Germany having MORE than their fair share, and they'd like for these folks to be shifted around. Of course, the immigrants/refugees might not want to live in Spain or Sweden. And I doubt that the EU wants to sit there and mandate who lives where or why you have to get on a bus to Belgium.
5. Pegida wants to see less support personnel for the refugee homes/depots. To some degree, everything over the structure now is unplanned and not well thought out. You see this from the weekly news media reports. The guards at the gate? A necessity? No one from the government has explained this....other than saying it's to protect the immigrants within the secure compound. On the other side of this.....the immigrants don't speak German, and have virtually no idea of how the system works.
6. Pegida wants to see the processing paperwork time cut. They've suggested models of other countries. I would suspect that the Germans....ever brilliant at creating more and unnecessary paperwork....could find ways to trim the time involved in getting approvals for asylum.
7. Pegida wants the police funding improved. What this has to do with immigrants or refugees is unknown.....although cops are spending more time patrolling train stations and travel points.....looking for immigrants sneaking into the country.
8. Pegida is interested in developing the rules for deportation. If you failed, and don't qualify under the umbrella of exceptions.....they want you out at the earliest possible point.
9. Pegida wants a zero-tolerance policy. This is a broad type umbrella that they are suggesting. If you ask me.....there's probably a dozen ideals or projects which might fit under this concept....which is probably more geared against Muslims than anyone else.
10. Pegida wants to resist a ideology that revolves around violent or political ambitions. The Basic Law says men and women are equal.....any ideology (hint: religion) that suggests otherwise....is conflicting with the direction that Pegida is going on this. Of the nineteen points, this is the one blunt one against the Islamic religion. It is a broad umbrella which probably appeals to a large segment of German society.
11. Pegida wants an immigration program that is based like the one in Canada or Switzerland.....which basically means you ask questions, determine the value of the person and his background/education, then prioritize. It means if you have a guy with a marginal education and his chief talent is driving a taxi.....he probably won't get immigration papers. If you went to Australia and tried to immigrate......they'd ask you what your value was to society and you'd best have a good answer. This concept is another broad appeal item for Germans.
12. Pegida is for full sexual determination. An explanation? If you wanted to have certain sexual partners or some preference for your personal satisfaction....nothing should limit you. Hint: a strict Islamic code against such behavior would have to be tossed. Again, this is a broad appeal item across all societies in Germany.
13. Pegida is for the preservation and protection of Christian society and culture, which has been part of the big picture for roughly 1,400 years. Anything threatening that culture and tradition....is a problem. Again, this would gain broad popularity with the bulk of German citizens.
14. Pegida wants ballot measures open to the public....as they do in Switzerland. If you have some topic of serious debate....rather than talk it up in the Bundestag and let representatives vote on it.....Pegida wants it open on a ballot. In general, this might mean two or three ballots run on a yearly basis....maybe one single topic.....maybe five or six topics....all resulting in a public forum and vote. People in Switzerland are happy with the measure. German political parties are very negative about this. It'd basically put the political parties into a corner, and create a public thirsty for honest talk on matters. If you discussed this at length in a pub or open forum....most Germans like the idea. Selling it to the Bundestag is a totally different issue.
15. Pegida is totally against selling military arms to illegal organizations (hint: PKK of Turkey). The question would arise....who is illegal or who is legal. This question of who is allowed to buy German military hardware comes up yearly. The Bundestag argues a good bit over selling to even legit countries (Egypt or Saudi Arabia for example).
16. Pegida will be totally against some parallel society existing. The emphasis here is Sharia law or courts....they simply won't be accepted to exist in Germany. There are various attempts going on in the UK to allow such courts and laws to exist, as layers across society. Pegida probably has strong German society support on this idea....with more than ninety percent of Germans likely supporting this fundamental idea.
17. Pegida wants gender equality to be guaranteed. It's to say if this is related to the immigration/refugee issue, or some broader issue affecting German society. They generally think that the political push is to take all gender issues....blend them into some batch where there's only one single gender and pretend that society is gender-less. It's a complicated ideal and will be hard to sell across to Germans.
18. Pegida is against radicalism....whether is politically-induced or religiously-induced. Defining radicalism....might be difficult. Of course, they'd say that if they recognize it.....then that's it. You can see this issue as a problem.
19. Pegida is against preachers of hatred. This is a hard fast slam against Islam and would attract a large segment of German society to the ideal involved. Defining this for legal purposes? Well....it's not that simple.
It's an interesting group of political ideals, which the bulk would be of interest to the typical German. Where does this lead onto? Political forums will be forced to pick up the nineteen items and discuss in some public setting. The political parties of Germany for the most part.....won't like the discussions. The only party that might be very keen on getting active with the ideals....is the AfD.
Would the nineteen items have a presence in the 2017 general election? That's an interesting question. I could see six of these being really pressed hard across in forums and getting attention. For the AfD.....if they addressed the bulk of these and made the other parties take a negative view.....they might gain more votes. Right now, if a general election were held.....most folks anticipate the AfD folks would take ten-to-twelve percent of the national vote. In a hyped election with the nineteen ideals stressed? I'd give AfD a higher percentage near twenty-two percent of the vote.
So, it's on the table....nineteen fundamental ideals that Germans can preview and discuss. Some have merit.....some are difficult to imagine working in a modern society.....and some would mean a fair amount of change for German political figures to accept.