Left party adopts election program: tactics of revolt

The Left Party has adopted its parliamentary election program. The debt brake is to go, but realists and anti-capitalists still had to discuss the alternative.

Want to be happy again in 2015: Kristina Vogt and Klaus-Rainer Rupp after the 2011 election. photo: dpa

The program of the Left Party for the May 2015 parliamentary elections is fixed. On Saturday, the delegates met in the Citizens and Social Center Huchting and decided on the previously missing sections. Until then, the chapter on finances, which the party conference in October had initially suspended in order to be able to take into account the results of the Conference of Minister Presidents on the reorganization of federal and state finances, was open.

There are no major surprises in it. The main concern of the Left Party continues to be combating poverty. And that essentially through the public purse. The Left Party demands the remunicipalization of waste disposal and the buyback of social housing by the municipal housing association Gewoba. To finance this, it wants to bring back the property tax.

Because the social projects cost money, which is not present and cannot be borrowed owing to debt brake also. At present, the leftists say, savings are not being made, but "social debts" are being incurred that will be borne by future generations.

The delegates agreed that the debt brake had to go. The only point of contention was the alternative: Peter Erlanson, a member of parliament and spokesman for the "Anti-Capitalist Left" party movement, would have liked to see a debt cut in the program. That was the "anti-capitalist perspective" that the program lacked.

However, the more realpolitik variant prevailed: a debt fund financed from property tax. This is the "more precise instrument for getting the money from those we want to get it from," said state spokesman Christoph Spehr. From the rich, that is. For Klaus-Rainer Rupp, budget expert of the Left Party, this is also the tactically wiser way. While he certainly sympathizes with the radical cut, he said, it makes more sense to tie in with the "developed debate" around the fund.

And even with that, the Left Party in Bremen is pretty much alone. Top candidate Kristina Vogt criticized the red-green Senate for its "anticipatory obedience" to the Stability Council, which has been monitoring Bremen’s budget since 2011. It is wrong for the Senate to claim it has no room for maneuver, Vogt said. "Karoline Linnert is neurotic in this respect," she said of the Green finance senator.

After a few hours, the program was passed with one vote against and one abstention. However, things seem to be less harmonious in the state audit commission, which was supposed to report on the party budget afterwards. Due to personal disputes, it was not possible to agree on a joint report, said commission member Anke Meyer. But that is necessary to relieve the party budget. Meyer resigned in favor of another position. However, it is apparently not a matter of content. This is an annoying personnel matter that the next party congress will have to deal with, Spehr told the taz.

The Left Party has taken on the next project directly after the holidays: Sofia Leonidakis’ call to show solidarity with the labor struggle in the social professions and to support Ver.di in collective bargaining, including a daycare strike, was unanimously adopted. The union had terminated the collective agreements at the end of the year.

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