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Alice Weidel talks to disenfranchised German voters. Facebook

AfD’s Weidel outperforms top ‘mainstream’ politicians

It is a small sensation that should ring all the alarm bells among the established players. According to a recent survey by the Wahlkreisprognose platform, AfD federal spokeswoman Alice Weidel is now the favorite for the job of chancellor in central Germany – ahead of incumbent Scholz (SPD).

Published: November 16, 2022, 7:34 am

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    An impressive 29 percent would currently like Weidel to be chancellor. Scholz only gets 23 percent, and CDU leader Merz ended up at 12 percent.

    Notably the poll results of the top AfD woman are also impressive in the western part of the country. There Weidel is in third place behind Scholz and Merz, but has surpassed both Green “stars” Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck.

    Weidel’s popularity is all the more remarkable when one considers the media’s continued propaganda campaign against the AfD and its party leadership.

    The Wahlkreisprognose platform is apparently embarrassed by its own poll results. It tried to hide Weidel’s rise under the headline: “Union’s lead is melting – SPD with the highest value since April”. It is therefore no wonder that voters have become fed up with so much partisanship.

    Twitter ban

    Curiously, the AfD is currently no longer able to access its main account on the short message service Twitter. According to information from German weekly Junge Freiheit, the social network deleted two posts by the party and blocked access for the employees of the federal office. The AfD filed an objection to the deletion.

    In the first post criticized by the short message service, the party appealed to common sense: “Our welfare state must not be a reason for asylum! Whether from Ukraine or Maghreb: benefits in kind instead of money!”

    The second deleted post read: “Tough slip for the traffic-light coalition at the start of the week: The Federal Council has stopped the citizens’ benefit. So first of all, no to this all-round carefree package from which immigrants would mostly benefit. Illegal migration must be contained and not awarded!”

    On Facebook, Weidel explained that “while the immigration of illegal migrants is still not stopped, more and more of them are heading out to participate in the German social system” because of these benefits.

    Bleeding the benefit system

    The current political discussion about the increase and simplification of social benefits (known as Harz IV) is also a debate about the immigration policy of the old political forces. Because most recipients of social transfer payments in Germany have an immigrant background. Currently, 45 percent of Hartz IV recipients are not German citizens.

    According to calculations, the number of foreign Hartz IV recipients rose from 1,3 million to 2,4 million in the same period while German recipients declined markedly. This corresponds to an increase of 45 percent.

    Quite understandably, this serves the purpose of keeping Germany attractive to migrants from all over the world who are poor.

    In addition, many migrants from poverty, whose economic existence is secured by the basic income, are naturalized sooner or later. The red-green parties are evidently relying on the long-term expansion of their electoral base. After all, who should these people vote for, if not the politicians who guarantee their income?

    And anyone who questions this cynical game is berated as a racist and xenophobe or blocked on social media.

    More than 180 000 people follow the AfD on Twitter. The short message service is one of the party’s most important distribution channels alongside Facebook.

    Sharp criticism from Weidel

    The AfD national chairwoman Alice Weidel expressed sharp criticism of the Twitter ban: “Freedom of expression is a fundamental and a human right. It is also an important building block of any democracy. It must not be the case that an opposition party is excluded from public discourse because of factual criticism of the government.”

    After the takeover of Twitter by US billionaire Elon Musk, the network is currently at the center of a debate about freedom of expression online. Musk had announced that he would turn the network into a space for free debate and end the rigid deletion practice of his predecessors.

    But the AfD is not only fighting for its presence on social networks on Twitter. The AfD channel was also blocked on the video service TikTok, against which the party is defending itself legally.

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