What does it mean to choose yourself
This is how elections work: general, immediate, free, equal and secret
Elections are direct processes for the participation of citizens in politics. They take place by casting a vote (e.g. for a party or a candidate) as part of an election process. In the Federal Republic of Germany, as in most democratic states, the elections follow five basic principles, laid down in Article 38 of the Basic Law. The people's representatives are elected in general, direct, free, equal and secret elections. This applies to the Bundestag, the regional parliaments and the local parliaments. The democratic right to exert influence on politics in this way is by no means a matter of course, but the result of long and difficult political disputes.
Why is voting? How do elections work? And who can vote anyway?
In this clip from poliWHAT ?! (As of 2014) it's about elections. Why is voting? How do elections work? And who can vote anyway?
General elections mean that every citizen can cast his or her vote regardless of class, wealth, tax revenue, gender, ethnicity, school education or political convictions and no voter is unjustifiably excluded from the election. However, people who have been incapacitated or convicted of certain criminal offenses can be excluded. Exercising the right to vote requires a certain minimum age. In democratic elections, it is assumed that voters have a minimum of insight into the political processes. Only then can the voters make their own political choice. The constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany sets a voting age for this.
Immediate elections mean that only one direct candidate or one party can be elected. This affects two aspects: On the one hand, it excludes the electorate from giving their vote to an intermediate authority (such as the electorate in the USA). On the other hand, it prohibits deputies from voting. Every eligible voter must cast his or her own vote at the polling station. Postal voting is an exception.
Free elections mean that no pressure, such as bans, sanctions or discrimination, may be exerted on the voters, for example to force them to participate in the election or to vote for a certain party. The electoral law therefore prohibits any influence on the voters through word, sound, writing and images as well as any collection of signatures for the time of the election in and on the buildings in which the election takes place.
Same choices mean that every voter has the same number of votes that have the same count and success value. The principle of equality also includes equal opportunities for the parties.
Secret elections mean that every voter casts his or her vote in such a way that nobody can check how he or she has decided or has decided. The voters must therefore be unobserved when they cast their votes. The electoral boards in the polling stations take appropriate precautions for this. There must also be no subsequent control of voting behavior, for example by means of marked voting slips or a compulsion to disclose. A voter who, for example, cannot read or is prevented from doing the voting on his own due to physical disabilities, can ask another person for help or, by means of a power of attorney, authorize him to carry out the election for himself.
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