So, here's the curtain being pulled and why politicians are worried a year ahead of time in Germany.
There are 630 seats in the Bundestag in Berlin. 254 of those seats belong to the CDU and 56 belong to the Bavarian CSU Party. You can refer to them as the right-of-center group.
The SPD Party (the left of center group) has 193 seats. Together with the right-of-center group.....they run the Bundestag and the German government.
The Linke Party (the former communist party) has 64 seats and the Green Party has 63 seats.
All of this was established in 2013.
For several decades, the CDU, CSU and SPD could count on their seats coming up and possibly going up by 10-percent or going down by 10-percent. There are guys who've been either in Bonn or Berlin for thirty years of their political life. They've got friends in Berlin.....associate with jornalists on weekend parties.....and live the good life.
The pay for each member? 8,300 Euro each month.....roughly (2014 figures). On top of that, they get 4,200 Euro (roughly $5,000) a month for travel and hotel expenses (tax-free, I should add). It's a fairly big chunk of money.
When we come to October of 2017, and the election results get spread around.....there's to be this shocker moment.
Let's say that the AfD does win 20-percent of the vote (right now, the polls put them generally at 14-percent). I'm willing to say that the state elections in the spring, along with the French elections (two of them), along with the Dutch election....will likely help to push the AfD to 20-percent in this national election.
So from the 630 seats.....with a 20-percent 'cut'....their tally would go up to around 126 seats. The AfD would then subtract 126 seats from the SPD, CDU, CSU and probably even the Linke Party.
In real words.....126 members of the SPD, CDU, CSU and Linke Party are probably going "home". Yes, they will convene private meetings and try to iron out who to give the bad news to.
You can figure that out of the 64 Linke Party seats....there's probably six people minimum who are leaving.
My humble guess from the SPD Party? Forty people minimum.....are leaving.
My humble guess from both the CDU and CSU? At least fifty of their members in Berlin....are leaving.
Now, if you were just sitting around and making making 8,300 Euro a month, and another 4,200 Euro in tax free money for train-fare and hotels a month.....HOW happy would you be if you got asked to come in and were told that there aren't any more slots for you, and you need to go back home, or retire from the party? Take a humble guess.
Those folks near retirement age? They will be pushed out the door and just told to take the deal and leave. Some party folks who've played up the good times for two decades in Berlin? They are finished.
So, yeah.....the news media is hyped up to help keep the current game going "as-is".
The idea that Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter might reshape the game and help the AfD in some odd manor? Well.....it's disturbing to think that normal politics would be reshaped, and 126-odd people with a desire to hold onto their 8,300 Euro a month and 4,200 Euro in train-fare/hotel costs.....would be denied their golden-egg.
Hostility and frustration? Put yourself in this position. Twenty years in Berlin. Fine life. Parties. Upscale dinners with shrimp and chatty foundation dimwits. Banquets with German entertainers and fancy wine. Ballet and opera visits. French folks occasionally showing up and talk over bad art. And all you have to do is present yourself at some occasional political party conferences and meetings.....hang out at the Bundestag.....and vote on time, and it's a pretty good life. Who would want to leave?
For the AfD folks? I figure roughly 126 folks who never really expected the golden-egg to occur.....will wake up in October of next year.....sit in on some conference deal.....and suddenly get the deal of a life-time.....Berlin and tons of free money. Free coffee. Concerts. Chatty sessions with Berliners.
That's the deal.