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This Sunday, Berliners vote in three different elections: the Bundestag (German Parliament), Abgeordnetenhaus (Berlin Parliament) and the referendum on the expropriation of the city’s biggest landowners. What’s a left-hander to do?

The very first thing: Demand the right to vote for everyone! One in three people in Berlin are denied the right to vote, mainly because they do not have German nationality. People who have lived in Berlin for decades – who pay the same rents and taxes as citizens – are not allowed to participate. How can this be considered democracy?

The second thing: Ja vote on expropriation! This one is easy. Big real estate companies are raising rents and sucking money out of the city – Deutsche Wohnen, for example, takes € 177 a month from each apartment to hand it over to its shareholders. These 240,000 apartments must be placed under public control, so that the money is invested in maintenance and construction.

But elections are more complicated. After 16 years, Angela Merkel leaves the Chancellery. The captain leaves the ship. Who will follow? All parties are in competition to appear the most “Merkelist”. Each party can imagine entering into a coalition with all the other parties, leaving us with a dizzying number of possible constellations with names like “traffic lights” (red-yellow-green) and “Jamaica” (black-yellow-green) .

Campaign posters in Berlin give the impression that leftist claims are incredibly popular. The SPD demands fair rents; the Greens promise to fight racism; The left wants social justice. So far, so good.

Except: All these parties of the “institutional left” have been in government, and have been for many years. How does their record match their posters?

The SPD, which now calls for “fair rents”, is the same party that privatized up to 200,000 social housing units in Berlin in the 2000s. The Social Democrats gave us the outright racist Thilo Sarrazin as senator of the finances. Without its clearance sale of public goods, rents would not have doubled over the past decade. Now the SPD candidates oppose the demand for socialization, even if even a majority of party members are in favor. The replacement of Sarrazin, Matthias Kollatz, bought instead 14,800 of these apartments for nearly 3 billion euros. In both cases, Social Democratic politicians defend against throwing public money into companies that pay almost no tax.

The German political establishment is incredibly corrupt – with so many dirty deals under their belt, the CDU or SPD would struggle to win an election in Paraguay. Despite this, SPD candidate Olaf Scholz stands out for his corruption. As mayor of Hamburg, Scholz helped banks get away with “Cum Ex” tax evasion schemes that cost taxpayers billions. Now, as Minister of Finance, he has been so helpful to money launderers that a prosecutor has raided his ministry.

This is not a program to stop climate change – it is a program to put a green shine on capitalist devastation.

What about the Greens? As the horrific effects of climate change are felt, at least part is talking about the need to phase out lignite coal mining in less than 17 years. But as Fridays for Future activists point out, Die Grünen are not really a green party. Winfried Kretschman, the “green” Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg, is a good friend of the German automobile industry. The party wants E-Autos, which are terrible for the environment, but good for corporate profits. Meanwhile, Berlin’s “green” transport senator is trying to privatize the S-Bahn. This is not a program to stop climate change – it is a program to put a green shine on capitalist devastation.

The last time the SPD and the Greens were in a national government, from 1998 to 2005, they launched the first German war of aggression since 1945. They also sent troops to Afghanistan, how did it go ? At the same time, they passed the Hartz IV reforms, the biggest social cuts in the history of the Federal Republic. In fact, you could say that the red-green government was the worse government for workers in post-war Germany. Today, those same parties are calling for a higher minimum wage and an end to child poverty. Like the satirical journal Der Postillon In other words, the Greens are lucky that “the majority of their voters are too young to remember their last time in government”.

That leaves us with DIE LINKE, the Left Party of Germany. This party originated from the former ruling party in East Germany and remains a kind of Schmuddelkind (dirty child) of German politics, with all other parties stressing that they would never let them into a national government. “The left”, however, has been in government in Berlin for most of the past two decades, and in government in other countries of East and West Germany. Länder.

The party’s program sounds good: they oppose all German military interventions, call for the opening of the borders and even support the campaign of expropriation of the large landowners.

But their praxis? It is often the exact opposite. Harald Wolf of DIE LINKE was Berlin’s economic senator in the 2000s, and he was, alongside Sarrazin, responsible for the privatization of housing. Wolf also imposed precarious working conditions in hospitals and the public transport company BVG. Health workers are still fighting today against the terrible devastation caused by this “left” politician. It’s not just about that guy either. The Left Party is also responsible for the eviction of a camp for homeless people in Lichtenberg to make way for luxury condos for investors and an expensive aquarium for tourists. Let us not forget the violent eviction of the anarcha-feminist squat Liebig34 or the leftist bar Syndikat.

Rosa Luxemburg has called parties like DIE LINKE “government socialists”: they believe they can build socialism by joining the government of a capitalist state. They claim they can make capitalism more human – and they end up administering an inhumane system.

I don’t think any of these “left” parties deserve a vote. We need a left that sits uncompromisingly on the side of workers, whatever their origin or nationality. This is why I am going to spoil my ballot. Instead of a cross next to a candidate, I say “the right to vote for all” and “expropriate banks and businesses”. I would like to vote for a true left party in Berlin, but such a party remains to be built.