Europe: The Rise of the Fringe Parties Continue (Source thetrumpet.com) Germany’s newest party, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) continued its dramatic rise on September 14. This time last year, in Germany’s federal elections, it fought its for first-ever election campaign. It started strong, but with 4.7 percent of the vote, it fell just short of the 5 percent threshold necessary to enter Germany’s parliament.
In May, it did much better, winning 7.1 percent of the vote in the European Parliament elections. Then, on August 31, the AfD won its first seats in the German regional parliament in Saxony, with just under 10 percent of the vote. This Sunday the party repeated that success, winning 10.6 percent of the vote in Thuringia and 12.2 in Brandenburg. The AfD has officially arrived on the German political scene. The AfD rise shows that a large number of Germans reject the traditional political parties. We saw the same trend with the sudden rise, and then fall, of the Pirate Party. A growing number of voters want a change from business as usual. Europe saw this same process play out in the 1930s. In the ’30s, the extremist groups took power. It won’t necessarily play out the same way today, but the same instability is there. So is that same desire for a new way of doing things, a new type of politics with new leaders. Europe has been a relatively stable and prosperous place for the past 70-odd years. But that prosperity stopped growing in 2008, and more and more voters think Europe needs a new way forward. Watch for this dissatisfaction to bring about a political transformation across Europe.