Sunday, 19 October 2008

Die Linke presidential candidate calls Germany undemocratic

Germany's left-wing party Die Linke, presidential candidate, 72-year-old Peter Sodann, a former TV cop, criticised Germany's "democratic credentials" in an interview with the regional paper Sächsische Zeitung. On Thursday, Sodann said he didn’t like “our current way of life. I don’t think what we have is a democracy.”

Sodann has had his experiences with undemocratic behaviour - a former citizen of East Germany, he had his run-ins with the Stasi. Erosion of democratic, civil and workers' rights, for example. However, the Stasi didn't invade Afghanistan against the will of the German (and Afghani) people, nor did they take billions of dollars of taxpayers money and give it to the real masters of government - the capitalist class and the bankers.

According to news source The Local: "Sodann, who played a police commissioner on the popular TV series Tatort also said he would like to arrest Deutsche Bank CEO Josef Ackermann. “Then they’d toss me out, but at least I’d have done it,” he told the paper."

The position of president in Germany is mostly symbolic and ceremonial, and is elected by the "Federal Convention", which is made up of members of the Bundestag and delegates from state legislatures, rather than by any kind of popular election, so Sodann has little chance of winning in a country where every other party hates Die Linke more than each other, and the media spends its time trying to find ways of slandering Die Linke and linking them with the Stasi.

Possibly the most useful thing Sodann has suggested so far is ditching the atrocious German national anthem, and replacing it with something a bit more suitable: Bertolt Brecht’s Kinderhymne.

Bert Brecht

Anmut sparet nicht noch Mühe
Leidenschaft nicht noch Verstand
Daß ein gutes Deutschland blühe
Wie ein andres gutes Land.

Daß die Völker nicht erbleichen
Wie vor einer Räuberin
Sondern ihre Hände reichen
Uns wie andern Völkern hin.

Und nicht über und nicht unter
Andern Völkern wolln wir sein
Von der See bis zu den Alpen
Von der Oder bis zum Rhein.

Und weil wir dies Land verbessern
Lieben und beschirmen wir's.
Und das liebste mag's uns scheinen
So wie andern Völkern ihrs.

Children's Hymn

Spare no grace or pains of yours
Spare no passion or insight
So that a good Germany flowers
Like many another good country.

So that the peoples do not turn pale
Before us as before a bird of prey—
But that they reach out their hands
To us as to other peoples.

And so that we desire to be
not above, and not below other peoples,
From the ocean to the Alps,
from the Oder to the Rhein.

And because we are tending to this land,
May we love and protect it;
And may it seem to us the dearest,
Just as to others their own land seems.

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