Sebastian Kurz put his stamp on our republic – no question about it. Just as quickly, however, the exceptional political talent finally disappeared again. Not voluntarily, of course.
You could call it a turquoise flash in the pan, or, more amiably, a “flare” as Kurz’s party colleague and presumed architect of the Black Counterrevolution, Governor Schützenhöfer, put it.
Because with the ex-Chancellor, not only a single person left the top politics, but a whole network of short confidants was deposed.
A power circle whose strength and base consisted solely in the phalanx around its center, around Sebastian Kurz himself. Without him they had no chance, lost position within the party, their rise and fall inextricably linked with Kurz.
Schallenberg, Blümel, Fassmann, Arnolder, Melchior – for them all ended a path that “had only begun” so recently – if you believe the subjects of the 2019 election campaign. For now, at least.
Because if Sebastian Kurz has shown us one thing, it is that domestic political clocks are running differently today – with a significantly higher rate of beating: in the last four years alone, two national council elections have taken place, six federal chancellors have been sworn in, one of them – again a novelty – by No confidence vote deposed.
Austria saw its first government of experts, led by the first woman in the Chancellery, yes, and the President also has to work much harder today for his salary. Assumptions on the assembly line, they too are part of the new “stability”.
All this and a lot more – let’s just think of various scandals and the associated U-committees – in just four years!
It seems almost grotesque that the legislature only extended the duration of ONE legislative period to five years in 2007.
It therefore seems questionable whether Sebastian Kurz would repeat his assessment of April today and prophesy “cool times” for us? For our country, which is again stuck in lockdown and the worst corona wave to date, the future does not seem bright for the new, old People’s Party either.
After years of a turquoise party mood, the team of Neo-Party leader and Chancellor Karl Nehammer is dominated by the hangover and the insight that you are back exactly where it once began, the turquoise revolution – in second place with around 24%.
But what is true for his party does not have to apply to Kurz himself. He is young, well connected and can obviously still rely on the loyalty of his closest circle. There would be no other explanation for the fact that those who resigned with him and without necessity forego offices and five-digit monthly salaries – just like that.
From today’s perspective, a comeback scenario for the Circle of Friends does not seem to be ruled out. Provided, of course, that the black sovereign rulers who now reign in old glory fail in their attempt to consolidate their people’s party and lead them back onto the path of victory. If you look at the track record of the many chefs in the years before 2017, there seems to be room for improvement.
For Kurz, however, the ongoing investigative proceedings will be more decisive than the development of his party. As an ex-politician, an increasingly likely indictment doesn’t really hurt. It is out of the game, no longer a domestic political factor.
The only important question is whether there will ultimately be a conviction.
If this does not happen, Kurz can be expected to return – but very likely on his own.
Because to rebuild the party that dropped him and his team when things first got tight for Kurz, that will probably no longer work out. “Le Parti populaire en Marche!” Or something like that 😉