Why are elections important to democracy 1

1 - The importance of elections in a democracy


As one of the most important procedures in which the sovereignty of citizens and democratic participation come into play, elections have a number of central tasks:

  • Legitimization of the political system, the composition of the Bundestag as the legislative power in Germany and the government as the executive body.
  • Decision about which political goals and topics will prevail in the ideas competition of the parties and thus, indirectly, participation in government spending.
  • Representation of a pluralistic society and the different interests with the aim of bringing about a balance of interests.
  • Involving the population in political decision-making processes and strengthening identification with the parliamentary-democratic system.
  • Review of one's own point of view and critical judgment formation among the population entitled to vote.

Entry into the plenary

The pupils are shown a saying that is intended to motivate them to actively participate in elections: "If you don't make up your mind, I'll leave you. Your democracy"(as a graphic or blackboard). The learners are asked to find out why it means the end of democracy if citizens do not exercise their right to vote. They give reasons for this and describe the consequences for each and every one of them could.

  • The expected answers may mention a takeover of power by extremists or representatives of financially strong institutions, as well as a gradual transformation of the democratic order into an authoritarian system or even a collapse of order. Most people will intuitively understand that elections and democracy belong together, but the reasons for the importance of elections in a democracy are still not very specific.
  • The answers are collected and visibly noted, whereby the teacher can already structure them according to the individual chapters of the teaching unit.
  • The learners are divided into groups of two and do online research on the meaning of elections and become familiar with the arguments that call for active participation in the elections.