- Liberal Forum
party_name = Liberales Forum
party_articletitle = PAGENAME
February 4 1993
position = Centre
European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party
Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
yellow( light blueuntil 2001)
headquarters = Dürergasse 6/10
website = http://liberale.at
The Liberal Forum ( _de. Liberales Forum, LIF) is a small liberal party in
Austria. It is currently led by Alexander Zach, and is a member of the Liberal Internationalorganisation and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party.
It was founded on
February 4 1993, when liberals within the FPÖ, including five members of the National Council ("Nationalrat", lower house of the parliament), seceded from the party. The five "Nationalrat" members were Heide Schmidt, Klara Motter, Friedhelm Frischenschlager, Hans Helmut Moser, and Thomas Barmüller. Heide Schmidt (who was 3rd president of the "Nationalrat" until 1994) became the party's first chairperson.
The reason for the split within the FPÖ was growing disagreements between the liberal wing and the nationalistic camp.
Jörg Haiderlaunched a petition-drive against foreign immigrants in Austria (the so-called "Österreich Zuerst Volksbegehren" ["Austria First Referendum"] ). This in turn was unacceptable to Heide Schmidt and her followers. The founders of the new party wanted a true, liberal party in the classic sense, which the FPÖ had ceased to be since the resignation of Norbert Stegerand the rise of Haider.
The "Liberales Forum" was the first party in the history of the Second Republic to achieve immediate seats in parliament without prior elections. After some initial confusion, the chairs of the house accepted the new formation as an official party, thereby granting access to public financial means of support. The FPÖ left the
Liberal Internationalorganisation and the Liberal Forum took over that membership in its place instead. The party managed to gain 11 seats in the 1994parliamentary elections, and with 5.51% of all votes cast 10 seats in the 1995elections.
However, following the resignation of Schmidt as chairperson and the elections in
1999, the party's support has plummeted and it failed to gain any seats. In the elections of October 3 1999the party obtained 3.65% of all votes and therefore failed to overcome the 4% mandatory threshold in order to enter parliament. In the elections of 2002it obtained 1% of the vote and got no seats. As a consequence it also lost votes in state elections and is only represented on the communal level. In Vienna it lost all seats on the district level in the elections of 2005.
According to its founding
charterthe Liberal Forum propagates political liberalismand advocates a free marketoriented economy. Only if the economy and business fare well, are the foundations for social welfare of the people provided. Furthermore the party wants environmental protectionand supports world peace. [http://www.liberale.at/charta.pdf]
ome viewpoints of the Liberal Forum
*Decrease of the voting age
Chairpersons since 1993
The chart below shows a timeline of the Liberal chairpersons and the Chancellors of Austria. The left bar shows all the chairpersons ("Bundessprecher", abbreviated as "CP") of the Liberal party, and the right bar shows the corresponding make-up of the Austrian government at that time. The red (
SPÖ) and black ( ÖVP) colours correspond to which party led the federal government ("Bundesregierung", abbreviated as "Govern."). The last names of the respective chancellors are shown, the Roman numeral stands for the cabinets. ImageSize = width:420 height:300PlotArea = width:370 height:250 left:50 bottom:50
DateFormat = yyyyPeriod = from:1993 till:2008TimeAxis = orientation:verticalScaleMajor = unit:year increment:2 start:1993
# there is no automatic collision detection,
# so shift texts up or down manually to avoid overlap
Colors= id:LIF value:yellow
Define $dx = 25 # shift text to right side of barDefine $dy = -4 # adjust height
bar:CP color:red width:25 mark:(line,white) align:left fontsize:S
from:1993 till:2000 shift:($dx,$dy) color:LIF text:
Heide Schmidtfrom:2000 till:2000 shift:($dx,$dy) color:LIF text: Christian Köckfrom:2000 till:2001 shift:($dx,$dy) color:LIF text: Friedhelm Frischenschlagerfrom:2001 till:2008 shift:($dx,$dy) color:LIF text: Alexander Zachfrom:2008 till:end shift:($dx,$dy) color:LIF text: Heide Schmidt
bar:Govern. color:red width:25 mark:(line,white) align:left fontsize:7
from:1993 till:1994 shift:($dx,$dy) color:SPÖ text:Vranitzky III from:1994 till:1996 shift:($dx,$dy) color:SPÖ text:Vranitzky IV from:1996 till:1997 shift:($dx,$dy) color:SPÖ text:Vranitzky V from:1997 till:2000 shift:($dx,$dy) color:SPÖ text:Klima from:2000 till:2003 shift:($dx,$dy) color:ÖVP text:Schüssel I from:2003 till:2007 shift:($dx,$dy) color:ÖVP text:Schüssel II from:2007 till:end shift:($dx,$dy) color:SPÖ text:Gusenbauer I
Parliamentary election results
June 7 2005MEP Karin Resetaritsleft the party of Hans-Peter Martin, following several disagreements with him. She crossed the floor and has now taken her seat with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. Subsequently, she also joined the Liberal Forum and now represents them in the European Parliament.
In the 2006 elections, the Liberal Forum did not stand, but chairman Alexander Zach instead ran for the
Social Democratic Party of Austriaas an independent.
The Liberal Forum will be participating to the 2008 elections, its Electoral list led by the former chairperson
Heide Schmidt. [http://www.austriantimes.at/index.php?id=7746] Shortly before the elections, there were allegations that Zach had lobbied for EADS, leading to his resignation in order to protect the party's integrity; Schmidt took over as interim leader. [http://derstandard.at/?url=/?id=1220458816922%26_lexikaRange=1]
Liberalism in Austria
List of liberal parties
Contributions to liberal theory
* [http://www.liberale.at/ Liberal Forum] official site
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