WDR reported that the government committee which approves the election listing on parties....completed their episode as of this week. Thirty-one political parties are now listed for the national election. There are a couple which missed the 'mark' and won't be listed. Chief problem for some parties? You need to present a petition with 1,000 folks listed, and for the smaller and minor parties....this is a big deal.
Among the lesser-known parties?
- The Party. Mostly a collection of folks who don't take any of this political stuff serious, and make a parody out of the whole process.
- The BIG Party (Alliance for Innovation and Justice). Basically a party designed for immigrants and migrants of Germany....with the emphasis of perserving your culture. The group also talks about "a interest-weighted economic system within the free market economy".
- The People's vote. Oddly....a party focused on Swiss nationality (don't ask). They want a rise in pension levels (meaning the gov't paying out of the tax revenue pot). They also want a return to the old Deutsche Mark. And they'd like more tax relief for familities.
- The Alliance of German Democrats - AD- Democrats NRW. This group wants the local communal right to vote for all foreign citizens. They advocate a better and simplier tax system, where families with 3 kids don't pay any income tax. With their system, homeschooling would be allowed, and public schools would be forced into competition.
- The V Party³ - for change, vegetarians and vegans. Basically emerged out of nowhere in Munich last year. The party talks about agricultural production without any animals.....no chemistry in food and no genetic manipulation.
- The Beautiful Life Party. Another party that appeared out of nowhere in 2016....from Essen. The chief them is a social-dynamic basic income. Basically, everyone would be paid an income....whether they work or not....welfare would just disappear. The party also talks about having an education for everyone, which conforms to the individual (you could probably study unicorns under their system).
Why so many multi-party players? If you look at the top five or six political parties in Germany....they have a limited platform where they chat or emphasize maybe fifteen to twenty things in a realistic fashion. In the 1990s as technology bloomed in Germany.....no one chatted much about privacy or data collection....so the Pirate Party came out of nowhere and got a lot of attention....then the main five or six parties realized that they had to have a policy, and adapted. The Pirates, because of this change in the landscape....now have problems and are a dwindling political party.
What you tend to see from the 31 parties listed is a lot of smaller parties coming into existence in the last decade, and emphasizing various things that aren't on the top twenty list for most Germans. A good example is the genetic crop situation, homeschooling, and basic income. To be honest....I doubt if more than five-percent of the public has any feeling over those three topics....but you can find enough to register a party and run nationally.
If you go out and talk to working-class Germans....around 50-percent will say that they have one particular party that they vote for, and they rarely vote outside of that party (zero chance for any up-start or minor party). From the remaining half, most will say they have a primary party and a frustration-vote party (typically Greens, FDP, and AfD). Then you come to the ten-percent group who want to always send a message or frustration vote, and go for these 25-odd parties who have no real chance to gather big votes.
The one curious thing is that two of the parties listed of the 31....are aiming strictly at immigrants, migrants and new Germans. A decade ago, you would have said they had no chance in getting votes. So it'll be curious if one of the parties (maybe the BIG Party) might be able to swing two percent of the vote and show some future possibility of growth. One thing to consider is that the vast majority of people who came into Germany since 2013....aren't German citizens yet and can't vote in this election. So I wouldn't figure any high hopes on immigrant votes in 2017 mattering much.