Stuttgart Month of Election - 斯图加特选举月

On May 25th 2014, there will be three elections in Stuttgart: The regional and municipal election and the Europe Parliament election. In the streets, for weeks people have been fed with posters from all parties and certainly amusement is never absent. It is also a good chance to get a feel about what do the people from the Stuttgart region care about. So today I'm going to document some posters I saw in the streets, be the topic serious or funny.

First of all, for those who don't quite know about Stuttgart yet: 

  • according to the Wikipedia article, economically it has the highest general standard of prosperity of any city in Germany, and 
  • according to a Spiegel article, it is also the culturally richest city in Germany.

Here we go. The photos are hosted on Flickr. If you would like to see bigger photos, you can click the photos to enlarge, but remember to click the Backward button on your browser to come back to this entry from Flickr:
S21 Objectors vs FDP
On the left is a small stand for collecting signatures for a petition for a referendum. What will be the referendum about? The text on the upper left tells:

  • No 339 millions of Euro from our civil budget. Deutsche Bahn should, like others (railway companies), pay for her own station;
  • The saved resources can be used for facilities such as kindergartens and schools.

Background: For many years, some people in Stuttgart are persistently against Deutsche Bahn's project Stuttgart 21 (S21). Several referendums have been done in the past years and the results favoured this project. So now the objectors are trying to approach their goal in another way. Without municipal and state financial support, the project S21 will not be possible. I guess they are trying to stop the S21 project by trying to retract the public financial support.

On the right are two candidates from the Free Democratic Party (FDP) for the local election. The liberal FDP is for investment and economic growth.

Posters in front of Stuttgart City Hall 1
This photo was taken in front of the Stuttgart city hall. Posters from top to bottom:

  1. A nonpartisan candidate (Freie Wähler) for the local election.
  2. The Left saying they are against the project S21.
  3. The Left saying: This city belongs to us all. Get rid of the crazy rent! Get affordable living space!

Posters in front of Stuttgart City Hall 2
Again taken in front of the city hall. Posters from top to bottom:

  1. A local organization "Stuttgart Ökologisch Sozial" saying: Stop the project S21, develop better railway transportation.
  2. The BüSo Party saying: We Germans can stop the world war. The new silk road: Berlin --> Moscow --> Beijing.
  3. A Green candidate for the local election.
  4. An SPD candidate for the local election.

Background: The Green party possesses great strength in Stuttgart. In fact, in Germany they won the first mayor election of a "Landeshauptstadt" (capital city of a state) in Stuttgart, in year 2013.

Marktplatz 1
Taken from the weekend open market at the square "Marktplatz" in front of the city hall. Posters from top to bottom:

  1. The Left saying: Who are afraid of gays? Discussion on April 19th.....
  2. A fallen poster of The Left.
  3. The CDU saying: CDU is better for Stuttgart: Solid finance, secure prosperity (left). CDU is better for Stuttgart, with us, the transportation goes better (right).  

Marktplatz 2
Again from the Marktplatz. From top to bottom:

  1. The Left saying: Ban the armor exportation!
  2. An FDP candidate for the local election.
  3. CDU saying: CDU is better for Stuttgart: Parents vote for flexible care for school children.

Funny is, on that CDU poster, someone added the word "without (ohne)" above "CDU", so the phrase "CDU is better for Stuttgart" becomes "Without CDU, better for Stuttgart"

Kirchstraße 1
Taken from the Kirchstraße (Church Street). From top to bottom:

  1. Fritz Kuhn, the mayor of Stuttgart, from Green, is calling for a regional gathering.
  2. An SPD candidate for local election.
  3. We saw this poster already in picture 5. Funny thing is, that slogan "CDU besser für Stuttgart" was covered by an eastern egg.
On the left, in front of the Louis Vuitton store, there is a small stand set by the Green party. The Green party has been setting up a stand at that place for many weeks. On May 3rd, I came across Cem Özdemir passing election flyers to passengers at that stand. On that day, the weather was bleak and cold, there were few people in the market. I did my weekly grocery shopping and passed. Nobody else was around, Mr. Özdemir might be bored and caught me. I did not recognize him, but felt that his face somehow familiar (I do often watch Tagsschau), so stared at him for several seconds. He was very friendly, answered my gaze with a big and warm smile, and shook my hand. Later I looked up on internet and found out who he is. How I regret not having my camera with me!!! In Stuttgart it is just very easy to encounter any biggies from the Green party. If some day you do, don't be surprised.

Stiftstraße 1
Taken from the Johannes-Brenz-Platz on Stiftstraße. Left side from top to bottom:

  1. The Left Party saying: No Stuttgart 21, we are for a city that stays on the ground!
  2. An FDP candidate for the local election.
  3. The Pirate Party saying: free local traffic (that sounds even more left than The Left Party!), instead of dirty particles in the air. (My oh my, as I heard that The Pirates are mostly geeks, internet brings everything,  do they still need any traffic at all??)
On the right side, there is a poster of the SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel.

Planie 1
Taken from the Planie. Posters from top to bottom:

  1. Local FDP candidates
  2. BüSo again (We've seen from picture 2)
  3. Yet another FDP candidate.

What's interesting is the left side of the picture. The plastic bag in the old man's hand is from maybe the most expensive food store in Stuttgart "Feinkost Böhm". And right to his bag, the ad on the bus body is about a cheap flight company German Wings. So, exquisite food, cheap transportation, that is indeed "più libertà, vota anche tu".

Photojournalists 1
On May 10th there was an organic food fair in Stuttgart, you see politicians around in such a month of election, and the photojournalists dutifully doing their job around the politicians.

Seeing their bulky gears I feel good about my lightweight yet very capable Sony A7. :-)

Photojournalists 2
They are shooting some Green politicians I suppose. Don't know why they needed that kind of flash in such an overcasting weather.

Photojournalists 3
Dutiful photojournalists again. And their flash never really fired....why did they mount???

Königstraße 1
Mr. Fritz Kuhn again (We've seen him on picture 6). These two ladies in the picture came to that place every week, to teach people about bible.

Railway Station 1
It looks like that "Anti Stuttgart 21" stays on the top of The Left Party's program. On the right poster, it reads: (We are) for a city that stays on the ground (S21 is trying to move the central railway station underground).

Martin Schulz 1
Posters of Martin Schulz and some local FDP candidates.

Königstraße 2
On the poster: The Left Party saying: Love and respect for all.

Sonneborn nach Brüssel 1
Mr. Martin Sonneborn on the poster is a German satirist. He is again making fun of the whole thing of Europe Parliament Election. That poster is actually an ad of his new show. He made the ad looks like an election poster.

Sonneborn nach Brüssel 2
Sonneborn again.

Königstraße 3
Posters in this picture are again from BüSo, they want to stop the 3rd world war, and they have an opinion about Russia. The building with the Mercedes wheel on the roof is the Stuttgart central railway station. taken from the Königstraße.

Martin Schulz 2
Martin Schulz again.

Schloßstraße 1
Poster on the right is from The Pirate Party. They want promise on education. They think everybody has the right on free access to information and education. The poster on the left is from the famous AfD Party. They want more direct democracy on that poster.

Schloßstraße 2
CDU says a stable Euro helps all. The Left Party wants more referendum. The Smart on the left is the famous Stuttgart Car2Go.

Schloßstraße 3
Another poster from the Pirate Party on the right. It says: Markets need rules, people need freedom. (Finally some good rhetoric from all the posters!) There is a Porsche on the picture. In Stuttgart you see Porsche very often on the streets.

Lonely FDP
Empty street, lonely FDP. The one on the FDP poster is the party leader Christian Lindner. He is very young and he looks cute. I hope that can stop the German FDP from sinking....According to the poster, he would be in Stuttgart on May 21st. The poster on top of the FDP poster, is from "Stuttgart Ökologisch Sozial". We've seen them on picture 3. On this poster they say: Stuttgart self-made: No parties, think further. So they do not want any parties....

Bolzstr. 1
Oh faces!!! From left to right: Mr. Richlings Valentin is a very famous German comedian, who often imitates German politicians, including Merkel and von der Leyen, and makes fun of them. Haha, you also see Mr. Lang Lang....On the right, that cartoon figure is actually an ad from Nintendo....In the middle of the funny faces, you find something serious: The Pirate Party is saying "Transparent government instead of transparent citizens." Hey I find that Pirates are good at rhetoric!

Bolzstr. 2
On the blue poster, a small party is saying "Stop the lobby politics!". Behind it there is Lindner again....

Königstr. 4
On the fallen poster is a nonpartisan candidate. People on this shot look so indifferent and detached from the election events, which quite reflect the reality here....

Königstr. 5
A Green candidate.

Königstraße 6
The Pirate again. On that poster, they want: freedom, participation, participation in decision making, and transparency. On the right is the BW Bank. Its mother institution LBBW is the biggest state bank in Germany. Text on the window glass says: Typical BW Bank customer: Are not only impressed by accumulating and investing of special values. I am very unsure about my translation. This is a confusing sentence, I find it more difficult to grok than R. M. Rilke's poems.....

Finally Angela Merkel! Turn left? Turn right? Or straight ahead towards US installations? Her poster says: Together successful in Europe. The poster on the bottom is from the Green. It says: Even the black chooses green! (CDU's colour is black, btw). I find those five signs on a stack particularly funny.....

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