After Brexit and Trump -Austria got it right

Europe was fearful. Would the triumph of the right-wing extremist continue? Anti-establishment is on the rise all over the world and it seems voters are in an unpredictable mood these days. 

After Brexit and the USA, would the small country of Austria follow the trend? Both of the regular parties had been voted out last year, Austrians were tired of the “same old, same old,” as well and they voted  for the rightwing candidate Norbert Hofer (Freedom Party) and for Alexander Van Bellen (Green party) instead.

The original election was held a year ago, but the result was too close -there were rumors of voting fraud and even though Van Bellen won, another election was ordered.

Who would win in the end? The election process went on for a year, that’s something unheard of in Europe. Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, the candidates went out and asked for people’s vote.

Mr. Van der Bellen asked Austrians to vote for reason over extremes; Mr. Hofer campaigned on an “Austria First!” slogan, said he wanted to lead a country that was secure “for our children and grandchildren,” playing on fears of the tide of migrants and refugees that have entered Europe. (Sounds familiar?)

Austria is and always will be in my blood, that’s where my roots are. I am a European-American -aren’t we all- and today I watched the election in Austria and Italy closely.

I am relieved, Austria rejected the far right candidate for President, and I hope that’s a good signal for many other elections in Europe. Yes, European Union, you can breath -at least for now.

 

Mr.Van der Bellen called the result a vote for a “pro-European” Austria based on freedom, equality, and solidarity”. I call it a victory for humanity and civility.

Austria, it was tight, but you got it right. I am glad! Congratulations!

 

Alexander Van der Bellen.jpg

 

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10 thoughts on “After Brexit and Trump -Austria got it right

  1. I’m glad to read this – I’d heard that the right wing candidate was one of the front runners, but didn’t know the results. It’s a relief that this craziness isn’t happening everywhere, but France has an election coming up, I think, and I have heard the right wing candidate, Marine La Pen is favored to win.

    • That’s what they said, but he lost in the first election, with smaller margin, that’s why they insisted on another election.

      I don’t want to think that Marine La Pen could win the election in France. That would be a disaster. While I understand the fear some have, I don’t understand the hate. That’s never the answer. It hasn’t worked in the past and it won’t work now.

  2. Yeah. It was indeed a relief to see sanity prevail. The way we are slipping into extremism is loathsome. We are practically bringing back the dark ages! Austria gave some ray of hope. Loved what you wrote

  3. Wonderful news. I was so relieved when we heard this last night… though I have just looked at the headlines and see that Italy have voted against their PM in a referendum. We will eventually have an anti-European Union comedian (literally) in power – at least he is pro-immigrant and not right wing.

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