Austria’s Beer Party Shakes Up Politics In Vienna

, Austria’s Beer Party Shakes Up Politics In Vienna

(The Beer Party came in third in Austria’s 2022 presidental elections)

When you think ‘beer party’, we’d bet a political movement isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But that’s what’s happening in Austria, where the Beer Party is gaining real traction.

And it sees its posibilities as “glass-half-full” as it approaches a run for parliment in 2024.

Founded by Dominik Wlazny, a comedian, doctor, brewer and musician, the Beer Party of Vienna is beginning to be taken seriously in Austria. In the 2022 Austrian presidential election, party leader Wlazny (who goes by his stage name of Marco Pogo) gained 8.31% of the vote, with 337,000 citizens.

Inspired to run for office by the song Bierpartei, which he performs with his punk band Turbobier, Wlazny founded the Beer Party in 2015. The song, which includes the lyrics ““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,” has become an anthem for disenfranchised beer voters in Austria.

In addition to calling for a beer fountain in the Austrian capital, the Beer Party’s proposals include (but are not limited to) the following…

  • “For the purpose of better networking between local restaurateurs and local politics, the creation of a gastronomy network.”
  • “The long overdue banning of all mixed beer drinks like Radlers from public spaces…”
  • The abolition of mandatory closing times for bars and restaurants.
  • The abolition of taxes on drinks in bars and restaurants (compensated for with a new 50% tax on Radlers and “other atrocities”.)
  • “Live and let live (except Radler drinkers).”

“The popularity of these drinks-focused policies makes sense, when one considers that, per capita, Austrians are (as of 2020) the second biggest beer consumers in the world, knocking back an average of 96.8 liters of the stuff per annum, ” according to the Drinks Business

The popularity of a beer-themed political party is not without precedent. The now defunct Polish Beer-Lovers’ Party won 16 seats in Poland’s lower house in the 1991 elections, similar parties also sprung up in Norway, Russia, Belarus and Czechia, though none achieved quite the same success.

Recently, the party seems to have evolved into something more serious, according to the Brussels Signal. “It now advocates for improved traffic infrastructure, easier-to-understand language in official publications and changes regarding existing health care and child care. It also backs “trans” rights and protecting the environment.”

Having come in third in Austria’s 2022 elections Marco Pogo’s Beer Party of Vienna’s following is growing, as is its long-held opposition to Radler drinkers.

But rather than wait till 2025 to make another presidential run, the beer party has decided thow its hat in the ring for a parliment position in 2024.

“Yes, the Beer Party will run in the coming parliamentary election.” Wlazny, 37, said in a statement to the media. “The support we have received is massive. That gives us the motivation to go through with it.”


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