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Until this episode, the conventional wisdom (well, Politico.eu) was presenting Kurz as the Wunderkind of European "center-right" politics, the epitome of "generational change" (Kurz is 31).

And many EPP parties across Europe have been looking at his coalition with the extreme right, a move that may become inevitable, despite all claims to the contrary: between loosing power and allying with fascists, they are not going to drop power.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sun May 19th, 2019 at 08:36:06 AM EST
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Kurz is was 31 when he formed the coalition. It's pretty funny, really. All the paid opinion havers on the TV tell me he has a great political talent and great message discipline. But in practice that just means he sticks to his prepared talking points and doesn't engage with questions, similar to Maybot3000. That's also the most likely reason that he hid out for close to two days. Had to practice the speach. Although rumor(from FPÖ sources) has it that he initially wanted to grab the interior ministry and keep going.

In his speech he plainly states that there is no political convergence with the SocDems, he was a victim of (former SPÖ campaign manager) Siberstein like campaigning and he had been very happy with the coalition. Apparently he just didn't notice that they were working at the Orbanisation of the Austrian media landscape? Yet it seems the state broadcaster did notice, they were incredibly careful in not putting any blame at the Kurz's doorstep. There was one truly bizarre episode when their domestic policy chief wanted to detect increasing anger and aggression in the crowd that reminded him of the time the first far-right government had to sneak into the Hofburg through a tunnel. His younger colleague only found a "party mood", the police guy had "no incidence" and all the while he was talking you could see a little kid sitting on someone's shoulders right behind him in the crowd, but what do they know.
True to form in Russian election interference scandals we are again mainly looking at some idiots getting scammed by fake oligarchs.
And talking about election interference: In a curious coincidence, their "very good Israeli friends" arrested Silberstein right in the hot phase of the last election.

by generic on Sun May 19th, 2019 at 11:41:54 AM EST
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A few additional things I, or possible a random Twitter user, picked up:
They were handing out infrastructure projects well in advance to formal coalition talks. Just like they knew they'd get the ministry after the election.
Austria's oligarchy can't be happy of getting named in connection with illegal party financing.
The Kronenzeitung will probably stop pushing the FPÖ for a bit, but I think they have been on the Kurz train for  a while anyway.
This will probably turn out pretty expensive for the republic, also very on brand for the far-right. Haselsteiner, the oligarch behind the NEOS party and the one Strache wanted to explicitly cut out of infrastructure contracts will have an easy case.
The SPÖ still seems very unprepared for elections.

by generic on Sun May 19th, 2019 at 12:48:31 PM EST
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Austrian Chancellor Kurz ousted in no-confidence vote
A new election is already planned for September, and President Alexander Van der Bellen now needs to appoint a caretaker government to serve until then.
[...]
Kurz loses the advantage of campaigning as an incumbent chancellor but remains popular and his center-right party finished first Sunday in Austria in the European Parliament election with 34.9% support, a gain of almost 8 percentage points over 2014.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon May 27th, 2019 at 04:35:32 PM EST
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And the large majority of print journalists is pretty mad at the Socialists for it. Entirely unrelated there is a noteable tendency for the necessity for full page ministrial information to arise in the runup to elections. Supposedly the "expert government" will have more trust in the voters abilies.
by generic on Mon May 27th, 2019 at 09:01:14 PM EST
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I didn't find a good source, but the number for government inserts seems to total around 24 million a year. The legal limit that a party can spend on an election is 7 million. Though there really aren't any consequences except a minor fine. The conservatives officially spent twice that on the last general.
by generic on Tue May 28th, 2019 at 12:01:56 PM EST
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