His word carries weight in the SPÖ: in addition to Hans Peter Doskozil in Burgenland (2020 election result: 49.9 percent) and Michael Ludwig in Vienna (41.6 percent), Peter Kaiser in Carinthia is the third provincial governor that social democracy currently appoints.
In this year’s state elections in March, Kaiser in Carinthia lost nine percentage points, but with 38.9 percent he clearly took first place. When Kaiser went to the polls in March, the personnel debate in the federal SPÖ was about to escalate.
In an interview at the weekend, Kaiser is now relieved that “this Waterloo we inflicted on ourselves” has meanwhile been pushed into the background – and instead discussions are being held about substantive political demands such as the 32-hour week, property taxation, 100 km/h or measures against inflation.
Election target 2024: First place
Kaiser names the goal for the SPÖ in the 2024 National Council elections “First place and the opportunity to participate in government”. That’s one “necessity for the welfare state”.
The fact that the current polls, in which the SPÖ is fighting with the ÖVP for second place behind the FPÖ, does not currently point to a red election victory – Kaiser is relaxed about that. He assumes that next year “an immense dynamic will arise. We have a certain basic instability as a new normal and therefore I am convinced that there is still a lot to do.” He gives SP federal party leader Andreas Babler a good chance of doing so.
As the newest in the top positions, he could bring in more fresh content-related considerations. He also has to Hans Peter Doskozil “good contact”. A corresponding degree of unity is now indispensable for the SPÖ, “But that doesn’t mean that there has to be a consensus of opinion on every question at any price”says Kaiser.
That Babeler recently revised the position paper “Escape – Asylum – Migration – Integration” announced, which was developed in 2018 under the leadership of Kaiser and Doskozil, welcomes Kaiser. This is necessary in order to be able to react to changes. In addition to war and economic refugees, Europe will also have to deal with climate refugees, possibly even from European regions, says Kaiser. He also sees this as an opportunity to compensate for the shortage of workers. “I think almost all European countries need immigration.”
When asked about possible coalition partners in the federal government, Kaiser remains cautious: “I think the SPÖ and maybe also the ÖVP are parties that are more in the direction of a concept for society as a whole.” He lacks this in the FPÖ, it’s all about enemy images. The Greens are a party with a relatively clear focus, but also a rather young party.