I tried to register to vote for the buyback of the Berlin energy grid and then I got this letter back informing me that I cannot vote.
I already knew that I cannot vote for national German elections and I don’t care much for them anyway. That I can’t vote at the local level where I live and where I am taxed is however somewhat annoying. Especially given the number of new entrants to the city, the fact that none of them receive any representation for their taxation is a outrageous.
There’s a Turkish man who cycles around Berlin with a placard about this very fact1. He has a cassette tape to make his point and looks rather funny but the issue that he protests is real for many people. A lot of people who live in Germany for a long time have no say in what happens there. During the most recent elections the statistic was posted that a quarter of people living in Germany are not allowed to vote (because they are foreigners) and another quarter do not vote. This means the government has a shaky mandate based on half the inhabitants.
It could also explain why mainstream politics is so broken and boring. Maybe it’s time for some democracy in Germany?
- I’ll try to get a picture of him next time I see him. ↩