Lectures / 23/09/2009 7:30 pmTruth?
Democracy Equals Culture! Election observation
Upper Austria’s capital Linz is of course European Capital of Culture 2009. This would be interesting enough in itself both for the city and the region but the situation is made even more interesting by the elections of mayors/mayoresses, councillors and members of the Provincial Parliament scheduled for 27 September 2009. It is presumably rare in the history of Culture Capitals, which goes back to 1985, for elections to be held in Culture Capital year. Linz09 rises to the occasion by devoting extra attention to the elections. Democracy is after all a part of culture and both the elections and the campaign that precedes them will be registered by visitors from all over Europe. This raises a lot of questions: Will, at a further advanced stage of the election campaign, Linz09 and culture begin to play a role as political bones of contention? Will the fact that the city is Culture Capital make a difference to political controversies in terms of style and the choice of language and subjects?
Linz09 has invited the journalists Michael Frank (Germany), Tina Klopp (Germany) and Barbara Tóth (Austria) as well as the sociologist and communication expert Kurt Imhof (Switzerland). They will be playing the roles of election observers and bring into play their expertise in assessing the relative sizes of the respective constiuencies and their mood. Sending election observers to Upper Austria serves a purpose that is entirely different from the usual one. It is done not to counter a democratic deficit – in the case of Upper Austria there is quite simply no such thing – but to ensure that the elections have a place in the Culture Capital’s programme – and to be able to provide objective feedback based on impressions and analyses.
On 23 September Barbara Tóth and Michael Frank will be reporting on the impressions they have gained both from long distance shots and from close-ups of the election campaign in and around Linz.
- Barbara Tóth: Reifeprüfung. Prag 1989 – 25 Porträts. Czernin Verlag, Wien 2004, ISBN 103707601749
- Barbara Tóth: Karl von Schwarzenberg. Die Biografie. Ueberreuter Verlag, Wien 2005, ISBN 3800071193
- Barbara Tóth, Hubertus Czernin: 1986 – Das Jahr, das Österreich veränderte. Czernin Verlag, Wien 2006, ISBN 3707600882
- Thomas Hofer, Barbara Tóth (Hrsg.): Wahl 2006. Kanzler, Kampagnen, Kapriolen. Lit Verlag, Münster 2006, ISBN 978-3-8258-0147-2
- Thomas Hofer, Barbara Tóth (Hrsg.): Wahl 2008. Strategien, Sieger, Sensationen. Molden Verlag, Wien 2008, ISBN 978-3-85485-235-3