Part of my series of essays....this time over the upcoming political campaign and the general platforms from which the Linke Party are attached to.
1. For more democracy. It's hard to say where you max out on democracy.....there is probably some line. But for the Linke Party....this theme goes with the idea that democracy isn't a product which which comes from the state....it comes from the people. So there is a party emphasis on the EU, Germany, and it extends down to local regions and their economy.
Via some unspoken concept (one of the mystery ideas).....there is supposed to be some people-driven method where they directly influence local economics. If you have money....you can directly influence economics....if you don't have money, you can't influence economics. There is some connector between "A" and "B"....but that's left out of the campaign talk.
There's also some suggestion under this 'more democracy' topic where you need to have marches, protests, and strikes.....with some suggestion of friendly conversation. Where the dividing line exists....well, that's left out.
2. For a fair-caring sociable society.
This platform mostly revolves around a nationwide and legal minimum wage....which does exist to some degree today (8.84 Euro per hour). The hint by the Linke Party is that there are various exceptions to where it is mandated and where it is NOT mandated. On this item....the Linke Party merely wants it clear across all lines, and everyone playing by the same rules.
Another piece of their platform is the ban on labor leasing or contracting out. It's a practice which works in a number of companies with ease and isn't abused. In other companies? It's abused to a fair degree. Most people do agree....something needs to be done to prevent problems.
The Linke Party would like to flip mini-jobs into full-time jobs.....something that most employers won't agree to. Also on the list is a suggestion to shorten work-hours....which would perfectly fit with mini-jobs as they exist today.
The Linke Party would like to rewrite some welfare rules to help long-term unemployed.
The Linke Party wants the increased retirement age deal (age 67) to be tossed, and the restoration of the old pension formula. One should note however, if you used the old pension formula.....the pension program would be destined to bankrupt itself in a matter of two to three decades.
The Linke Party wants pensions high enough to overcome welfare living as exists in numerous cases today. How you'd fund the extra cost? Unknown....other than more taxation on someone. The thing is that over half the country agrees that welfare-retirement is now a problem and needs to be dealt with. This is probably the one single platform that gets positive marks for the party.
The Linke Party wants the millionaire tax back on the discussion table, where a significant amount of your income after the million-Euro point is taxed (well above fifty percent) would be taken by the government and redistributed.
The Linke Party wants the tax burden on low and medium earners to be marginalized. It might be worth noting that low wage earners mostly pay only a VAT tax at present, and almost no income tax.
3. One Europe for All.
This is the pro-EU statement often spoken. A lot of the talk under this umbrella is about bank reorganizing or creation of more banking regulations.
This statement is left mostly open-ended with comments against nationalism, right-wing, or populist values.
4. War is not a political tool.
The Linke Party is against all foreign military engagements, period. This would have included the Balkans crisis in old Yugoslavia, and the Ukraine crisis as well.
Worldwide disarmament and nuclear weapon scrapping are part of this campaign theme as well.
5. The energy policy.
The Linke Party will emphasize affordable energy should be the right of every citizen. This policy is also attached to more renewable energy....which often conflicts with the affordable idea just mentioned (but don't tell the Linke Party guy this).
The Linke Party wants gas prices monitored by the federal government. In this suggestion, there can only be X-amount of profit, period. If a company decides there is not enough profit and eases production? The Linke Party doesn't really say how they'd handle lack of production.
Shift away from fossil fuels? Well, it is part of the campaign philosophy, but left mostly as a mystery how you will arrive to that point.
The Linke Party emphasizes a fair and just education system where every kid has the same chance or opportunity. Generally, all of these items under education revolve around more funding.
That's the six main campaign items that are connected to the Linke Party. From the last election, they were able to get 8-percent of the vote.....roughly 3.5 million votes. It's safe to say that it's a party that is mostly maxed out and probably will never clear the 4-million vote with the current party platforms or leadership.
At one point last year, in the Pfalz campaign for the state election.....the Linke Party chatted up the topic of free bus and railway tickets....that the state would just pay for transportation itself. No one really asked many questions, but you'd sit there after a while and think.....well....who pays the government? You. So these free tickets would be paid via your regular taxation. It was a gimmick for people to feel enticed but it fell apart once you thought about it. That's the general feeling with most of their campaign platforms, they sound good but lack any substance.