Division, agitation, defamation: last weeks of Austrian election campaign were marked by dispute between Social Democratic SPÖ and conservative ÖVP. Some people spoke of a "political unculture". The fact that this was to be condemned was in last TV duel before election, top candidates of parliamentary parties agreed.
"The election campaign was not always dominated by factual discussion – and I'm not talking about dirty campaigning yet," moderators heralded debate and talked about political culture of country. The moderators asked how candidates wanted to regain trust of people after election campaign had arrived at "its nadir".
Christian Kern of SPÖ replied first: "We could have saved this election campaign." It is a matter of direction to decide what change one wants for Austria, Chancellor said. His challenger Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) said he was trying to shape election campaign with a new style. He did not want to insult ors, but to discuss subjects. But election campaign of past few weeks, "This is a good objection to many people," said Chancellor candidate.
Heinz-Christian Strache of right-wing FPOe was raised on why he was so gentle in election campaign. Wher he was surprised by "bad style" of campaign? Strache called campaign methods of political competition a "political unculture". He would have wished that one or or responsibility for so-called dirty campaigning was taken over and perhaps even said apology. The green politician Ulrike Lunacek also spoke of a "political unculture".
What followed was a emphasized factual debate. The candidates of parliamentary parties opted for five issues that y wanted to discuss in evening: Lunacek wanted to talk about climate protection, Strache chose topic "Stop immigration", briefly "secure social system" and core topic "Full employment". On outside, issues such as security or Europe remained in debate.
In discussion about immigration – subject which frequently dominated debates in recent weeks – Chancellor Kern spoke of fears of people. It is important to improve security, which means to strengn police and Federal army as well. There was widespread agreement that social systems should be less attractive to migrants in future.
Lunacek criticized frequent and wrong blending of topics of flight and immigration as well as Islamisation. Instead, green politician called for a European asylum system.Legal coalition of ÖVP and FPÖ conceivable
In brief ' ÖVP ', surveys can be expected to be more than 30 percent and strongest. With a consistent legal course, 31-year-old seems to have managed to capitalise on political discord of many voters – from bor with Eternal grand coalition, fear of immigration, discomfort with Islam.
According to polls, social Democratic SPÖ of Chancellor Kern can be ranked number two – a disgrace for party, which in Austria since 1970 – with interruption from 2000 to 2007 – constantly posed Chancellor. In campaign final spurt, Kern has to contend with scandals, revelations about filthy tricks of a SPÖ campaign adviser against briefly dropping poll values.
's FPOe is also hoping for second place, which according to polls can count on about 25 percent of votes. After more than ten years of opposition, she wants to return to Government – and observers consider a legal coalition of ÖVP and FPOe to be quite conceivable. A brief coalition statement has been avoided. Both parties want to limit immigration, push back EU's influence, cut taxes and reduce Austria's rampant bureaucracy.
The four-percent hurdle in election should also skip liberal NEOs – just like Greens and list of ex-green Peter Pilz, who had separated from his old party in dispute.
The election had become necessary because in mid-May coalition of Social Democratic SPÖ and conservative ÖVP had broken.
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