• Berlin
  • John Riceburg: Crowdsource my vote!


John Riceburg: Crowdsource my vote!

John is allowed to vote for the first time – but all the parties seem pretty awful. Can you help him out?

Image for John Riceburg: Crowdsource my vote!
Photo by John Riceburg

Dear German political parties,

Let’s be honest: you’ve never been too interested in me. And I’ve never cared for you much, either. Up until now, I wasn’t allowed to vote – and didn’t want to anyway. But now, I’m Deutsch – I got a German passport to prove it. So I’ve got something you want: a Stimme. A vote. A piece of the political pie.

And I only have six weeks to decide what to do with it. With that in mind, I’m not going to mince words. I think all of you are awful. Let me explain why I dislike each of you, in descending order of terrible-ness:

1. AfD: You are just a bunch of bitter old men trying to turn back the wheels of progress. I like refugees and queers and antifas and single mothers. So fuck off.

2. CDU: You are the status quo. And I am definitely unzufrieden with the entire situation. I don’t like low-paid, unsecure jobs. I don’t like the Bundeswehr fighting for Germany’s economic interests around the globe. I don’t like Greece bled dry by austerity (you might think I’ve forgotten about this, but I know that Greece’s hospitals are still in bad shape). Oh, and I don’t like that you’re going to the mat for the auto industry while accepting huge bribes.

3. FDP: Your chic black-and-white-and-yellow-and-pink posters don’t fool me. Despite all the talk of digitalisation, you are just a clientele party trying to get tax cuts for the four A’s: Ärzte, Architekten, Apotheker and Anwälte (yes, that is literally how political scientists refer to your party base). And on top of that, you want to keep an old airport open? Not interested.

4. SPD: You are presenting yourself as an alternative to Merkel. So why have you been in government with her for most of the last decade? If I wanted more Große Koalition, I would just vote for the CDU directly instead of for its little sibling. The not-enough-to-survive-off minimum wage you gave us just wasn’t enough.

5. Greens: You talk a good line – I also want us to eliminate coal power and diesel cars. More bike lanes would be great. But are you going to deliver? In Baden-Württemberg, a Green government is defending Germany’s planet-destroying car industry – while also voting for more deportations. Plus, I will never forget how you tried to murder refugees in Kreuzberg just to break their protests for human rights. I don’t trust you.

6. Die Linke: I want to like you. My local candidate in Neukölln is running with the slogan “People before profit”. I could sign up for that. Except: You’ve been in government for most of the 15 years I’ve been in Berlin. And you tend to do the exact opposite of what you promise. A few months ago, you just stood there as feral police officers let loose on demonstrators at the evicted social center Friedel54. I think I’d feel pretty dumb if I gave you another chance. You’re just not left enough.

So far, I’ve only seen one poster that spoke to me. The satirical party Die PARTEI announces: There is such a thing as clean diesel. And it shows a Mercedes engulfed in flames. That combines all my favorite themes: Environmentalism, direct action and a deep dislike of big sedans.

What should I do, readers? I’m lost. So I’ve decided to crowdsource my vote. All the parties are awful. But I feel like I should use my right to vote somehow. So which party do you think sucks the least? Let me know in the comments – or I’ll have to vote for Die PARTEI.