Oktoberfest has now wound down, but it seems those in the German Sprachraum world aren’t yet giving up on the delicious golden liquid.
That is because Austria’s Beer Party is now polling at 12 percent ahead of the Vienna state election.
It means if results were taken as they are today, the party would come in third and secure a place in the halls of power.
Founded in 2015 by Dominik Wlazny, whose stage name for the popular punk band Turbobier is Marco Pogo, he is looking to woo voters over with a number of unorthodox campaign policies.
Perhaps the most popular for the Viennese is the promise of installing a beer fountain in the capital city — but the outlandish pledges don’t stop there.
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The Beer Party are also promising a new 50 percent tax on Radlers and “other atrocities”, as well as a Radler buyback programme, in which people can exchange their Radlers for “real beer”.
More outlandishly is the vow to give all Austrian households a monthly barrel of beer — 50 litres to adults, and 20 litres to children.
It also wants to create a gastronomy network to encourage better relations between local restauranteurs and local politics, the abolition of mandatory closing times for bars and restaurants and a “live and let” philosophy, except for Radler drinkers
The party began as a satirical outfit in reaction to perceived corruption and a lack of transparency in Austrian politics but has since morphed into a serious player.
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Pogo, who studied and practised as a medical doctor before his band found success, says he got the name and idea from a line in one of his songs: “If you like to be fat and drink a lot every day, then vote for us now, the Beer Party, we’ll abolish the alcohol tax.”
Although, the party’s official website notes that “nobody can really remember the exact events of that day”.
While many of their policies are tongue-in-cheek, some more serious ideas have proved to cut through to the public.
The party has advocated for investment in Vienna’s public transport and sports facilities and has recently adopted a progressive stance on trans rights and the environment, also calling for the safe housing of Ukrainian refugees in Austria.
During last year’s Austrian presidential elections, the Beer Party managed to secure 8.31 percent of the vote, meaning around 337,000 people got behind the party.
The most recent poll has put them on track to become the third biggest party in the Vienna election due to take place in 2025.
Beer parties exist all over the world but are mostly confined to Eastern Europe.
Many of them were short-lived, like the Ukrainian Beer Lovers Party, the Beer Lovers Party in Russia and Belarus, the Friends of Beer Party in the Czech Republic, the Polish Beer Lovers’ Party, as well as the Lower Excise Fuel and Beer Party in Australia.
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