non-voters: part of democracy

Before every election, the appeals come to be part of the democratic process. They are directed at eligible voters to take up on their right to vote. These appeals are spread by politicians, artists and acquaintances.

Still, there is the question if it is in the interest of the democracy that all non-voters vote. If those, who have no interest and no background information, should really be able to influence politics. What about those with extremist tendencies?

Democracy makes no difference

Democracy means that people can participate in politics. Even though there are different grades how far the influence can go.

In Germany, elections can influence the direction of politics. Furthermore, electoral integrity is important. One electoral principle is that elections have to be general. This means that every person over 18 years is allowed to vote and cannot be excluded because of sex, ethic origin, religion or political convictions. However, there are a few exceptions.

People can only be excluded if they committed a political crime like high treason. Still, this exclusion just lasts between two and five years and under special circumstances.

Ignoring non-voters is unworthy of a democracy

Some argue that non-voters, who have potential extremist tendencies, should not be encouraged to vote. Yet how should this work in a democracy? Should there be no campaign rallys at political questionable places?

Ignoring non-voters has nothing to do with protecting democracy but choosing the easiest solution. Since it is easier to hope that the “wrong people” do not vote, than sharpen the political profile, inform voters, get closer to people and make politics accessible. Thus if democratic forces ignore non-voters, extremist forces will find their place.

Should as many people as possible vote in the democratic process and should politicians and media encourage the vote? The answer in this case is definitely yes.

A democracy only functions when citizens are participating. Whoever hopes that certain people do not vote, does not prefer a democracy but rather a particular form of oligarchy. Concluding, it is the duty of democrats to inform the people so that there is no fear of many people voting.