Ok now I do remind what was one of many reasons I started to write in a blog. Gettings annoying things out of the head. Tomorrow is German election and I had a talk with a non-voter today. His opinion sounds like “I anyway can´t change anything as the bigger parties do win again like always”. I know this guy and he often complains about the political situation in germany. Well, in fact many do since the euro currency.
But talking with a non-voter is strange, really strange. I mean, how can he say that he can´t change anything when there are 34 parties at choice in the german elections? I mean I do get it… he is right as the winner is always either the CDU with the FDP in coalition or SPD with the Greens in coalition and if there is not a majority of votes, then they do form simply a big coalition. Well, that´s indeed crazy and people start to think that this can´t be called democracy.
However, if he does not go to the elections, he will help the parties he dislikes. It´s that easy. It´s because of the 5% hurdle. The big parties are already established and get mostly votes from pensioners who are indoctrinated by the german media (which are by the way biased and full of journalists who are members of the bigger parties). But if somebody does not go vote, then he indirectly helps the established parties because they have already their voters. So what the non-voter is doing, he withdraws mathematical seen an alternative vote from the elections. It´s fractional arithmetic… Partie result is equal to the amount of votes divided by the reference base multiplied with 100%.
Also there is a predetermined price for each elections and the price will be disbursed to the parties who get into the parliament. The more people don´t go vote, the more money the established parties will get, I mean those who always get into the parliaments like that guy mentioned correctly. Also this is indirect support. To be honest, in a democracy it is allowed to stay home on elections and everybody can do it. But if I hear people who are unhappy with the things that happen in the country stay at home, then somebody must tell them, that it is plain stupid. He won´t hurt the established parties if he does not go to the elections. He supports them indirectly.
And now comes the big problem. Germany has a lot of non-voters. Mostly people who are dissatisfied with the big parties. The amount of non-voters was always over 20% in germany since 1990. In 2009 we had 29% non voters. It might not be that different for the 2013 elections tomorrow. Let´s assume there will be again 29% of non-voters. It would be mathematical seen a lost vote potential of 29%… only this number could help a few parties jump over the 5% hurdle. I asked the guy who said that he anyway can´t change anything, if he get´s it and he said again “Nothing will change”. I thought I must draw a deep breath. He does not get that the 29% have a lot of value. It´s his right to stay home but it must be said that some people in other countries still have to fight for the right of voting! So, how can an unhappy person in a democracy say, he can´t change anything? Isn´t it dull to have that kind of thinking?
Then he wanted to tell me that all the parties in germany want to do the same. Wow, he basically puts 34 parties in one bag! He must know a lot about politics. Really, that was the end of our discussion because it does not make sense. I rather think he is too lazy to get his feet to the election office. Because there is no substance in his opinion. He might be right that many of those 34 parties in germany have similar concepts. That does count mainly for the establishes big parties. But to say they all are same, is pretty crazy. There are for example parties like the “Alternative für Deutschland”. They do not want to support the euro currency which is something other parties want to support… if anybody in germany is against the euro currency, he has the possibility to support a partie with the same opinion. The mentioned partie is for example conservative. But there are also left alternatives like “Die Linke” and so much other parties.
It would be hard for me to talk about all 34 parties. But let me say summarized that there never have been so much political alternatives in germany like this time in 2013. There are parties from the left to the right and in between. To say that there is no alternative to the establishes parties, is simply a bad excuse and can´t be considered as a serious argument. I had to stop discuss with that guy.
Myself, I will go to the elections tomorrow because I do think it is important in a democracy to make use of my rights. To show my vote, my opinion. This all had to be written because I do think that somebody who won´t go vote, will at the same time lose legitimation to cry in the future about the bad political situation in the own country. It might be a right to stay home… but it is irrational in my opinion. I´d say… don´t cry if you don´t vote.
2 thoughts on “German elections 2013 and the non-voters…”
Interesting, your political problems are very much the same as ours in America. It seems those who complain the most, or at least lots, sit on the side lines and refuse to do anything. Sad to know that people would rather complain than at the least go out and vote. Hard to change something without getting involved.
I agree a lot with what you said. If they want a change, then they must be involved. If they won´t, then why do they cry later on? I don´t get it.
And I simply can´t hear “I can´t change anything” anymore. That argument and the argument “The parties are all the same” is everything non-voters have to offer and anyway not true. And they do not get that elections and democracy works different…
It does not depend if you want to change anything, it does depend if you and many more want to change anything…. and if so, then we have the posibility to enforce our demands, we can do that change together with our votes. And if it didn´t help… then we did at least try it. The rest is called democracy which is pretty great, as we all are allowed to have our voice. But there can be just some winners.
I have a better feeling with my try and with my voice, rather than staying at home.
The german elections yesterday were a great example (The following will be just one example about posibilities euro critical non-voters would have, and not so much about the partie I mention in it). I am not a euro currency supporter as I do think that we had a better life with our own german currency. I could explain why and I found a partie which supports my opinion (Name: Alternative für Deutschland). The partie has been founded six months ago. Many friends and me voted for them yesterday. But they failed on the 5% hurdle with 4.7%. But it does mean at the same time that there are two million germans who rather would go back to the own currency. Two million voted for a six month old and new partie. We had a chance and nobody knows about the estimated number of unknown cases (non-voters). I hear many speaking against the euro currency but if you ask them if they went to the election, many say “No, I can´t change anything”. The 4.7% should teach them that they could change anything. It was close to have our voice at least as oposition in the “Bundestag”.
Ok even 4.7% was a success. The name of the new partie got out there an let´s see how it is in four years. Euro economy critism is now again socially acceptable in germany when you realize the numbers and that even with the hurdle of massive disavowment campaigns of the media tv channels (They called the partie nationalistic, because they prefer own currency and because they would support immigration law adapted to the canadian model). What I want to say… the guy I talked with was against the euro currency too and he also disliked the massive give away of german citizenship without requirements. 4.7% and one guy who supports what the mentioned partie supports as well, means that he wants to stay at home as he thinks there are no alternatives to the german established parties. I guess there were many who had the same opinion like the guy… voter participation 71.5%….. 28.5 % wanted to stay at home. 0.3% and the euro critical partie would have been at least in. Who knows where the 28.5% would have been distributed if they all would have voted?
As said there were also other alternative parties. Above was just one example to the “I can´t change anything anyway” argument, non-voters have. 28.5 % thought they had no choice. But they had… 34 different parties. Not voting is resignation in my opinion.
One last example how good democracy works… My mother voted for a different partie than me. I liked that partie as well but choosed the mentioned above. For me it was a hard decision between two parties. But my mother had much more luck with her vote. Her partie got 8% and is therefore at least in the “Bundestag” as oposition. This is why voting is cool and exciting. There is always a chance. That´s what many don´t get. Democracy is something great and there is no reason to throw away the own right to vote. Non-voters should learn it or need to stop crying (for example about the euro currrency and the expansive life of the last years).
I stop discussing with people who just cry but don´t go vote.