I’ve found myself having quite a few conversations recently with people about one of Austria’s newest political parties, Neos. Many of these chats have been in the coffeehouse (in keeping with the Viennese tradition of political discourse), in the pub or over dinner. Some, however, have been in my favourite public forum twitter.
One question that keeps arising is ‘What type of political party is Neos?’ In various interviews and articles the Party is described as drawing activists and support from the (conservative) ÖVP, the Greens, LIF (Liberal Forum). Its ‘pitch’ has also been described as a party for ‘homeless’ liberals, as well as other progressives and centrists.
As you can see from the picture below I was recently engaged in (another friendly) chat with @Vilinthril of the Austrian Pirates, where I disagreed with the idea that Neos was a ‘neoconservative’ party. To me Neos seem to include…
Both wings of the British Liberal Democrats, Social Greens, and Liberal Conservatives
The discussion was added too by @veitdengler (a Neos co-founder) who tweeted:
‘if we want a center party in Austria it will have to be a Big Tent. Hence #NEOS’
My comment with regard to the breadth of Neos membership/support was later retweeted by both @matstrolz (Neos party Leader) and @joseflentsch (Founding Board member of Neos). While retweets are not an automatic endorsement I rather assume that on this occasion they weren’t disagreeing with my impressions of their party.
One point I made to @Vilinthril was that if the Austrian Pirates see themselves on the progressive side of the political argument then energies ought to be put into building alliances and attacking the Right – there is plenty their to challenge. My point was added to by the @neos_eu twitter account:
Link to Neos website: http://neos.eu/