Egg in My Face

Back in March, I posted “Freedom Egg” in which I lamented about my village’s affection for a certain far-right, anti-immigrant political party . . . 34% of them in the last election!! “How could that be?!” I thought. Suddenly, that number 34 is looking pretty good.

We had the presidential election yesterday. Before any misunderstandings happen – the Presidency here in Austria is a ceremonial office. The person filling it represents the people but doesn’t run the government. That is the job of the Chancellor.

There were six candidates in the running – the two major ruling parties (Socialists and Conservatives), the Green Party, the Blue (“freedomish”) party, one woman – a retired judge – who just ran under her own name with no party backing her, and Austria’s Trump. Or better, what Trump should have been – an old rich guy having fun in the limelight, seemingly delighted with his role as national laughing stock slash embarrassment.

My husband had to take my daughter to a singing gig, so about 20 minutes before they had to leave, he zipped down to the village to vote – five minutes to get there, five minutes to vote, five minutes to get back, an extra five minute window in case of delays which he ended up not needing. Yep. That is how voting works here – fast and easy.

So many things the government runs in this country are equally well done. We have no power outages, everyone has health care, the trains and buses are clean and run on time, the roads are kept in good repair, housing is mostly affordable, the food is very high quality and water drinkable, the schools are generally well kept up and the teachers well-paid, the economy is humming along, the social welfare system is multi-faceted and not punitive, 20+ years of family allowances are paid out to all couples for each child, five weeks of vacation and child-care leave are guaranteed to all workers, the homelessness and crime rates are both low and the country has been neutral – i.e. has not fought in any wars – for over 60 years.

Clearly it was time to raise some fists and shake things up and throw the bums out while yelling “WE’RE MAD AS HELL AND NOT GONNA TAKE THIS ANYMORE!!”

                   Three, Two, and One
Three, Two, and One

By 5 pm the results were in. As expected, none of the six got over 50%, so there will be a runoff election between the top two next month. That means Blue (1) against Green (2). Judge Lady came in 3rd. The two major parties washed out – each strangely getting the exact same 11.18% of the votes. Austrian Trump came in last with a bit over 2%.

This morning, the numbers from every little village in the province – hundreds and hundreds of them -were published in the paper. So I could see, for instance, that 55.2% of my village’s votes were freedomish. I scanned the entire list for places with higher percentages. I only found three.

Maybe I should become an Austrian citizen and start voting here . . . get that percentage down to 55.1.

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5 thoughts on “Egg in My Face

  1. CQI (Continuous Quality Improvement) was big at my last workplace. My take is, sometimes things are as good as they’re ever going to get so “know your stuff and be smart enough to let well enough alone.” Sounds like your villagers could use a sprinkle of that? Well written, 227! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks 42. And you are so right. I just don’t get what all the outrage is about. This country consistently ranks among the top 10 richest, top five safest and top 2 or 3 in “quality of life”. And yet everywhere you look – dissatisfaction! With three out of the four people in my household being foreign-born – these election results creep me out. I’ve got a serious case of the blues.

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      1. Me too! I recently wrote a piece about it for Writerrific. We were to choose a color and write about it in first person, as though we were the color. Enjoy! 🙂

        SINGIN’ THE (NAVY) BLUES

        I’m the middle child of the Blues, a deep but underappreciated color whose name nobody remembers. I had hoped things would change when I won a place on the American flag but found victory empty when I was reduced to a number (70075), the backdrop for the fifty “real” stars. A second chance at fame took a painfully ironic turn when I learned that the “dress blue” uniform of the Navy is actually black. If I really apply myself, I can shrink an ample bedroom to the size of a prison cell, a magnificent parlor trick no one cares to witness. The smallest box of crayons to even include me is the 64-pack, where there is a high probability I will never leave my assigned seat, let alone rendezvous with the built-in sharpener. I envy Teal and Cerulean and Cobalt their flashy popularity, making guest appearances on sports cars and bathing suits and Kitchen Aid mixers while I remain eternally in the shadows, a lackluster hue woven into the pleated tartan skirts of Catholic schoolgirls. Only the most discerning eye sees me for what I am, an enduring classic with potential to steal the show, my smoky voice matching the saxophone note-for-note as I belt out them Birth Order Blues.

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  2. It’s a joke. I couldn’t believe the results. All polls have indicated, that van der Bellen would make it easily, no worries there. Turns out, this only worked in Vienna. What a shame this is, really.

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