What are the advantages of a non-party democracy

elections

In addition to succession, appointment and drawing lots, a process by which people are assigned a specific task. Free elections are the basis of all true democracy.
In democratic states, the people choose their own government - directly or indirectly. Regularly recurring elections express popular sovereignty, the people's right to self-determination. Those persons and parties are selected from competing offers, of whom a majority of the people thinks that they should rule the country in the future - for a limited time. Elections are also held in dictatorships. But with them there is nothing to choose from. They are only intended to demonstrate the solidarity of the population with the leadership.
In addition to elections to the European Parliament, general elections are held in Germany for the Bundestag, the parliaments of the federal states and the parliaments in cities, districts and municipalities as well as direct elections for district administrators, mayors and mayors (local elections) in numerous federal states. Since the election dates are different everywhere, people vote somewhere in Germany every year. The public then likes to interpret the results as a general political barometer of sentiment.

Electoral principles

The elections to German parliaments must under Article 38 of the Basic Law
- be general (in principle no citizen is excluded from the right to vote),
- directly (without intermediate instances, such as electors),
- free (without state coercion and with free choice between competing parties),
- equal (all voters have the same number of votes and all votes have the same weight) and
- secret (prohibition to determine how the individual voted. Openly cast votes are invalid).

Only Germans who are at least 18 years old are entitled to vote (active right to vote) and eligible (passive right to vote) in federal and state elections. In local elections - just like in elections to the European Parliament - foreigners from EU countries are also entitled to vote. In local elections in some federal states, the right to vote can already be exercised at the age of 16; in the state of Bremen, this also applied to the state elections for the first time in 2011.

Electoral systems

In Bundestag and Landtag elections, the members of the various parties usually decide which candidates for a parliamentary seat to offer to the voters. The votes cast by the voters can then be converted into parliamentary seats either according to the principle of majority voting or according to the principle of proportional representation.

In a majority vote (person voting), the candidate in a constituency wins the parliamentary seat who either received the most votes (in the case of a relative majority vote) or the candidate who received at least 50% plus one vote (in the case of an absolute majority vote). If an absolute majority vote is required and none of the candidates achieves the required absolute majority in the first ballot, a second ballot (runoff) between the two best-placed candidates follows.

Advantages of majority voting: Clear majorities that make it possible to form a government quickly. Close connection between the elected MP and his constituency. Disadvantages: Many votes cast are ignored.

In the case of proportional representation (party / list election), parties submit lists of names of candidates. The votes cast for a party are added together in all constituencies. Then it is calculated how many parliamentary seats she is entitled to based on her share of the vote. Anyone who has won 20% of the vote gets 20% of the parliamentary seats. They are distributed to the candidates in the order in which they appear on their party's list.
Advantage of proportional representation: No vote is lost. Disadvantages: fragmentation of votes. In order to form a government, coalitions must be formed that the voters may not have wanted at all. Little connection between MPs and voters.

Federal and state elections take place in Germany according to different electoral systems. In some cases, voters in local elections can, through cumulation and variegation, have a stronger influence on which specific people - despite voting on lists - get into the local parliaments.

Bundestag election

The Bundestag election is essentially a ratio (party) election with a five percent clause, combined with elements of majority (person) election. The federal territory is divided into 299 constituencies. Each voter has two votes. With the first vote, he elects - in a relative majority vote - one of the direct candidates in his constituency for the Bundestag (direct mandate).

The second vote is intended for the state list of a party (proportional representation).

A further 299 members move into the Bundestag via these state lists. The two votes can be cast for the candidates by different parties (vote splitting). The number of second votes determines how many seats a party is entitled to out of a total of 598 in the Bundestag. The direct mandates obtained are counted towards this. If a party has won more direct mandates than it is actually entitled to after the second votes, it retains these as overhang mandates. Starting with the 2013 Bundestag election, these overhang seats will be offset by so-called compensation seats so that the second vote result is not distorted. The number of members of the Bundestag will then increase accordingly.
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Source: Thurich, Eckart: pocket politik. Democracy in Germany. revised New edition Bonn: Federal Agency for Civic Education 2011.