The evening "Against Arbitrariness" on 7 October at the Theater Josefstadt is almost sold out, and for good reason.
Many Austrians already suspect that our constitutional state is beginning to falter, but many are not yet able to say exactly where and how this is taking place, what can be done about it, and so on. I can relate to this well when I think about how I lived in southern Styria as a ceramicist. I was not so embedded in NGOs, political groupings, etc. I wouldn't have known at the moment what I could do about it.
Moreover, after many years of very solid democracy, we are all simply shocked at how quickly, how close events are now coming that remind almost all of us of history lessons. For many, facing this is frightening. For others, the day is hectic, family, work, coming home tired in the evening, and so on. We all know these situations.
And yet I wish and urge for a democracy/rule of law discussion in our country.
I wish that many people would realise that it is now simply necessary to take time to think about what is actually going on here. And then the discussion will finally move away from refugees, although this is also an important one. But I would like to mention that we are only talking about 1% of the Austrian population. So it's very exaggerated to hang everything, simply everything, on this topic.
I think it is much more important to have a discussion about how we promote constructive conversations in our country, how we make it possible for citizens to really feel heard and listened to. How do we develop plans that the majority of citizens can live with, without fear, without agitation. How do we finally get to issues like education, care, social services. How do we integrate people who are not as capable into our society and how do we learn to accept that every society has people who live against the rules, against the usual ways. And how and when do we finally ask ourselves how we integrate people who think differently, or people from other cultures, without marginalising them.
What does that have to do with arbitrariness?
Lots of them! Because if those who are politically responsible do not finally take true responsibility, then the division, the harshness among each other, the lack of understanding and the continuation without constructive solutions will grow. If we are not careful, chaos will result, chaos that we will leave to our children, to the next generation. And I am sure that very few parents, aunts, uncles, grannies and grandpas want that.
Now it is time to put our constitutional state and our democracy back in shape.
Many things have taken a turn for the worse. Not only in the BMI, BfA, no, these things go back much longer. The red/black government was also unable to give people the feeling that they are well protected, well represented. These are things we should address. We should talk to the political people again and again, show them ways in which things could still be done. I think many of them are not capable of this vision for various reasons. Club pressure, fighting the other party, career ambitions, strategies, democratic thinking falls victim to this.
Countless letters I receive begin with the question, "What can we do?"
In addition to a fighting spirit, I am also overcome by a certain sadness! How far away so many people are from the idea of shaping. Yes, WE can shape things, each and every one of us. Imagine that the German Chancellor receives 5 million e-mails. Irrespective of the fact that I don't know whether his servers are set up for this, I imagine the excitement in the Federal Chancellery. 5 million Austrians write to the Chancellor that they don't approve of this way of governing in some respects. That would be something.
And I ask at least all those who always write to me or my colleagues, friends, etc., thanking us for being active, please get your act together and write. Join us in shaping the future. It is about all of us, this arbitrariness must not be allowed to spread. If the Minister of the Interior behaves like this, it will go down to the last rows....who doesn't know the saying, the fish starts to stink at the head.
Apology accepted, Mr. Minister of the Interior, but now please dear Mr. Federal President and Mr. Federal Chancellor the consequences! And a true constitutional state for all of us!
Thank you all for writing,