Weeks ago, I watched AfD's number two guy/gal.....Bjorn Hocke.....on a national chat forum. He has some cleverness and can articulate to some degree.....but he comes across in the right-wing themed political party (AfD) as two steps away from some Nationalist Socialist guy from the 1930s.
When I came back from my NYC trip yesterday, I sat down to read some commentary about an internal fight going on in the past week with AfD and their current chief.....Frauke Petry....wanting Hocke to quit the AfD.
The topic centers around ideology that Petry wants the party focused on for the next 100 days....for the three German state elections in mid-March of 2016.
The problem is that AfD hopes to take voters away from both the CDU and FDP....but to do that.....they need to hustle up a theme that avoids any connection to some Nationalist Socialist agenda.
No one says much about how many people are drawn to the Hocke political talk. I would speculate that maybe ten-percent like this kind of image, and it's mostly people tired of the NSU (likely to be banned in 2016 as it looks right now).
Why all of this matters? Well.....in this odd election period....if you had bad feelings over Chancellor Merkel's immigration, asylum, and integration strategies.....it's hard to find any political party that goes against the strategy. The Linke Party, the FDP, the Greens, and the SPD Party are all supporting the policy.
Some CDU members are voicing negative talk and critical comments against the Merkel policy but it's hard to say if regular CDU members will go along with this (staying with their normal voting patterns) or try to send a frustration vote to Berlin. The vote for AfD.....would be a frustration vote. But no one really wants to vote for some radical party which Hocke might be demonstrating a 1930s-like theme.
What happens if Hocke leaves the party? I'm guessing he'll restart a political party along his themes. It's pretty simple in Germany to have a minor political party and I'd take a guess that a minimum of forty exist around the country.
Bottom line? AfD has a limited amount of time to impress people and come up with big numbers in March of 2016 (the three state elections). If they barely clear five or six percent, then it's been a wasted effort.