Alliance for the Future of Austria
The Alliance for the Future of Austria (German: Bündnis Zukunft Österreich, BZÖ) is a political party in Austria that was led by Jörg Haider until he died in October 2008. The current leader is Josef Bucher.
Policies[change | change source]
The BZÖ describes itself as "ideologiefrei, aber zukunftsorientiert und wertebewusst" (free from ideology, but forward-looking and conscious of traditional values). Some of its policies, however, are quite different from those of the Freedom Party. They include:
- An increase in direct democracy
- A Europe of nation states
- The establishment of a "Core Europe" within the EU, including Austria
- Support for the social market economy
- Minimum employment and environmental standards for businesses
- The introduction of the Tobin tax
- Support for small businesses
- Increased government spending on research and development
- A minimum wage
- Enhancing the status of vocational education (including an apprenticeship leading to the Matura)
- The introduction of a flat tax
- Tax breaks for childcare expenses
- An EU-wide Green tax shift
- Strict control of immigration
- A "fair and strict" law on asylum
- A referendum on Austrian neutrality
- Comprehensive schooling for children from six to fifteen
- Compulsory pre-schooling
- Compulsory German lessons for the children of immigrants
- Support for organic farming
- The renationalisation of agriculture
- The abolition of inheritance tax
- The establishing of a Canadian like Green card model as part of the immigration process
- Bisection of National Council, Federal government, Landtage and federal state government
- Intermission of compulsory military service and replacement by voluntary army.
Differences and similarities to other parties[change | change source]
Although the party was often designated as a far-right like the Freedom Party, the Alliance for the Future of Austria differs somewhat. Justic Minster Karin Gastinger a former party member of the Alliance for the Future of Austria, wanted gay and lesbian couples to be able to sign a registry and get rights to partners' estates and medical care as she told the Austrian Press Agency in 2005.  FPÖ and BZÖ are both Eurosceptic parties and in the 2006 general election, the Freedom Party as well as the Alliance for the Future of Austria both claimed they would decrease immigration and opposed Turkish membership in the European Union.
In the Austrian legislative election 2008 campaign, the ÖVP saw the lowering of brokerage commissions and the charges for arrears letters of debt collection agencies and winter fuel payments for lower-income households as appropriate economic recovery measures and the Greens sought to facilitate the changeover to renewable energy in order to reduce energy prices.
The SPÖ proposes a stricter controlling of prices in addition to the reduction of brokerage commissions. Both the Alliance for the Future of Austria and the Freedom Party see the main problem in the rising fuel prices; the FPÖ demands a ceiling price for fuel, while the BZÖ in addition wants to reduce taxes on fuels. However the Alliace for the Future of Austria even announced the people's initiative "Preisstop jetzt!" calling for a stop to rising prices to be held; however, due to the necessary timeframe, the period during which people will be able to sign for the initiative will only start after the election, thus limiting its potential impact.
SPÖ, ÖVP and the Greens ratified the Treaty of Lisbon in parliament without a referendum, and only FPÖ and the Alliance for the Future of Austria did not sign. But afterwards the SPÖ stated that for future treaties of the European Union referendums should be held to let the people decide like in Ireland (where they had a referendum). Due to SPÖ's position change on the EU not only the two opposition parties are using the possibility of EU-referendums before a ratification as subject now. The ÖVP and the Greens are against any referendums on the Lisbon Treaty, SPÖ demands there should be referendums on future treaties of the European Union, the FPÖ is for a referendum for the Lisbon Treaty, and even want a referendum for EU-Withdrawal. However the BZÖ differs a bit in comparison to the Freedom Party, as they are for a referendum about the Lisbon Treaty but not, for an EU-Withdrawal.  Due to help of the former FPÖ and till then BZÖ party-leader and Carinthian LH (LH stands for "Landeshauptmann", simply like Gov. for Governor) Dr. Jörg Haider the party achieved 10.7% in the 2008 elections and gained 21 representatives, so that the BZÖ is currently the 4th strongest Party in the Austrian Parliament just after SPÖ,ÖVP and FPÖ and before "Die Grünen" (the Greens).
On 2 May 2010 the party became a new programm, and the rectlange orange colored logo was first used on the annual hold new year's convention, which took place in Velden in Carinthia of the year 2011.  
Trivia[change | change source]
In December 2009 the Carinthian BZÖ branch which was Haiders stronghold lost about 5000 members and the governor of Carinthia (although the party won the state election in 2009)to the split of party FPK (The Freedomites in Carinthia). It now has 800 party members and 4 MPs (Members of parliament) in Carinthia. Also a new website for the BZÖ Kärnten was set up and is available prior too March 2012.
However opinion polls (polling between 2 and 23 per cent) have shown good chances for a return of the Carinthian branch of the Alliance for the Future of Austria into Carinthian State Diet. 
In 2011 the party began an autumn posting campaign and quoted the bible "Denn sie wissen nicht was sie tun.", eng.: They know not what they do! (Lukas 23,34), for criticising SPÖ, ÖVP and the EU "bosses". This caused a little scandal whether politics and religion should be separated or not. 
In total the party has 8000 members therefore having more than the Greens and less than the Freedom Party.
References[change | change source]
- globalgayz.com "Czech Republic, Austria Move To Legalize Gay Unions" by Malcolm Thornberry, 16th December 2005
- Program of the BZÖ since 2nd May 2010
- krone.at BZÖ Club loses another mandatory
- New website of the Carinthian Alliance for the Future of Austria BZÖ Kärnten
- Wahlumfrage Kärnten: SPÖ 35-37, FPK 25-27, GRÜNE 14-16, ÖVP 12-14, BZÖ 9-11 (Gallup/oe24.at: n=300), neuwal.com
- BZÖ nimmt Bibelzitate als Wahlslogans, kurier 09.09.2011