NCT is one of the candidates for the 2017 SORIBADA MUSIC AWARDS so here’s a thread for those who don’t know how to vote! This is very important and the boys deserve it! Please let’s work hard for them!
On September 24th 61.5 million German voters will decide on the central decision in their democracy: who should represent them in Parliament and eventually govern the country? Elections to the German Bundestag (like our House of Representatives) are held about every four years, with the last election having been held in fall of 2013.
In grade school, most Germans are taught about the five principles in the Basic Law which stipulate that the members of the Bundestag be elected in “general, direct, free, equal and secret elections”. “General” means that all German citizens are able to vote once they have reached the age of 18. The elections are “direct” because citizens vote for their representatives directly without the mediation of delegates to an electoral college. “Free” means that no pressure of any kind may be exerted on voters. “Equal” means that each vote cast carries the same weight with respect to the composition of the Bundestag. “Secret” means that each individual must be able to vote without others learning which party or candidate he or she has chosen to support.
Where Do You Vote?
Germans have the options of voting at polling stations for example in community centers or schools, or sending in their vote by mail.
So. Many. Parties.
Germany has a lot more political parties than the United States. This is due to the fact that the German electoral system uses a proportional system, which means that all parties get a share of the available seats that reflect their share of the popular vote. However, not to have too many political factions which would make the decision making process nearly impossible – and Parties can get pretty specific as to what they stand for – Germany implemented the “five per cent clause” which means a party needs at least five percent of the votes cast to be represented in the Bundestag.
According to the German Research Institute the following parties are likely to be represented in the next German Bundestag, as they are expected to satisfy the five per cent clause:
CDU/CSU (the Union parties): a political alliance of the two parties
representing conservative Christian-democratic policies, political home
of the current Chancellor Angela Merkel and part of the governing “grand
SPD: the center-left social democratic party promoting “socially just”
policies, the other member of the currently governing “grand coalition”
Die Linke: “the left” party – a democratic socialist and left-wing populist party
BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN: the green party which traditionally focuses on topics such as environmental protection
FDP: the “free democratic” party - a (classical) liberal political party
AfD: a right-wing populist and Eurosceptic party newly founded in 2013
First and Second Vote
Voters actually have two decisions to make when they go to their polling booth. This part can get tricky.
The first vote is for the representative of your district. There are 299 electoral districts in Germany and the winner of each district gets a seat in the Bundestag.
The second vote is debatably the more important vote, which is cast not for a person but for a party. The number of seats a party gets in the Bundestag is based on what proportion they get of the second votes. Since the first votes for district representatives take up 299 seats of the Bundestag, the remaining 299 seats are filled up by representatives of each party until each party is proportionally represented.
And now it’s going to get really complicated (also for Germans, believe it or not): In case a party gets more directly elected candidates by the first votes than proportional seats by the second votes, these candidates nonetheless remain part of the new Bundestag. This is called an “Überhangmandat”. The other parties then get seats added proportionally which makes the Bundestag even bigger. The last four years, because of this phenomenon there were in total 631 Members of the German Bundestag instead of the legally foreseen 598.
“Coalition” is not a word used in American politics. Coalitions are alliances formed by different parties in the Bundestag to end up with a group that makes up more than 50% of the seats. Traditionally the party with the most votes tries to form a coalition first. Typically coalitions have been comprised by two parties in the past, but in the future coalitions of three or more parties could be a reality. Why do this? Due to the voting system which is a proportional and not a majority one, this is in most cases the only way to create a majority in the Bundestag which is necessary to pass laws. The coalition parties tend to negotiate a coalition agreement at the start of their cooperation which lays out their policy goals for the coming legislative period. Though the majority party within the coalition typically has more sway in what stance the coalition will take on certain issues – such as who the Chancellor will be – the smaller party benefits from the coalition by typically receiving several Minister positions (think Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, etc.) which are filled with members of their party. They might also enforce some stances on their core political issues as long as they can get the “bigger” coalition partner to agree in the negotiations.
German elections are general, direct, free, equal, and secret
Germans vote in person or via mail
There are a bunch of parties to choose from representing the full political spectrum from far left to far right
Two votes: a first vote for a specific candidate representing your
district and a second vote for your party determining the number of
seats per party
A Coalition is formed after all votes are in to create a group that holds more than 50% of the Bundestag seats
Got more questions? Shoot them to us in the comments below!
YOU DO NOT NEED YOUR POLLING CARD TO GO AND VOTE TOMORROW
Please do not let it put you off going to vote if you have lost your polling card or one was never sent to you.
The last few times I have voted it has been without a
polling card. As long as you have registered to vote, you simply go to your
polling station, explain you do not have a card (they will have dealt with many
people with the same issue) and you will be asked for your address. Once you
are confirmed as being on your local register, you can then vote.
Do not let this put you off going to vote, if you are registered,
you can vote no matter what.
The commission is charged with examining “vulnerabilities in voting systems” that could lead to fraud, but critics say they see something far more nefarious brewing behind the massive national data request.
Even Connie Lawson, secretary of state in Pence’s own home state of Indiana, says she won’t comply with the commission’s ask. Read more (6/30/17)
Magnus and Alec are officially competing against the unexpected powerhouse of Isak and Even from Skam in the final round of our TV’s Top Couple tournament, and we are currently losing. So come on Malec fans lets vote and get Malec over the line.
Los Angeles (PST): noon, March 6th
New York (EST): 3 pm, March 6th
London (GMT): 8 pm, March 6th
Sydney (AEST): 7 am, March 7th
How long ~ the voting party will go on for approx one hour, but please keep voting afterward.
Voter turnout in the 2016 election was lower in states with racially targeted, suppressive voting laws such as strict photo ID requirements and advance registration cutoffs, according to a new national report.
The report, titled “America Goes to the Polls,” includes a ranking of all 50 states by turnout and shows Texas and Mississippi saw the largest drops in turnout or were ranked near the bottom.
Texas and Mississippi are notorious for adopting voter regulations that have been blocked in federal courts due to their discriminatory impact on blacks and Latinos
“We know that the Obama voters didn’t all turn out and that’s understandable — but I think that kind of drop [in turnout] is really due to the change in the law, the confusion around registration and the fact that a lot of voters don’t have the required ID,” George Pillsbury, senior consultant for Nonprofit VOTE and a primary author of the report, said in a phone interview. Read more (3/16/17 4:05 PM)
I wonder from where so many Americans get the idea that voting is supposed to be some expression of your deepest, most beloved values and virtues rather than a pragmatic, political move meant to shift your country as much closer to your ideal as possible. This strikes me as another example of extreme individualism. Voting isn’t about *you*. It’s about your city, state, and/or country. It doesn’t have to feel transcendently good deep down in your bones. It just has to *do* as much good as you can do, in this particular moment in time.