City elections are coming up in Hessen (my local German state). It often amazes me that they run three different schedules....the federal schedule, the state schedule, and the city schedule. The Hessen city election will occur on 6 March.
This is an election with 17 possible parties in the running....depending on where you live and the enthusiasm of that village or town.
My village? It's roughly 4,400 folks and they will get two votes. One for the village itself, and the second for the town that it's associated with.....Wiesbaden.
In the last election (2011)....the CDU guys in the village got the bulk of the votes, with the SPD coming a close second, and the Green Party having enough to square away one single city council position.
Normally, a city election wouldn't amount to much and probably half the people who could vote.....might actually show up. In this election? It's hard to say if immigration is of such a topic.....that people might show up and cast a vote for the AfD Party....showing frustration with things.
What scares the major political parties? If this city-election business is about immigration and AfD somehow gets more than ten-percent of the vote....it really sends a signal that the public isn't buying into the message.
It's hard to predict this city vote deal. If the vote swings low and only five or six percent go AfD....it gives everyone some breathing room and hope that it's really not that bad. The issue that bothers most is that the people who've worked themselves into the party apparatus.....aren't exactly people who've been around politics or city management much. So....if you do vote that way....what exactly are you getting for regular city or village leadership?
So, when you see the campaign signs up....it's just open advertising for the six week period.