Feeling Imperatorial

Today I found in my letterbox a large envelope sent by the municipal administration. It contained a red envelope, a blue envelope, and three pre-printed forms.
One is a Merkblatt, an instructions leaflet, that explains detailed what I have to do. The second is a long leporello listing forty political parties or groups of people, who want to become members of the European Parliament., while the third is the official Wahlschein, already provided with the official Dienstsiegel of the municipality. This is not “just a stamp”, but the imprint of the official Siegel / seal or sigil, what makes it an official document. It needs additionally my handwritten signature to become fully effective.
Isn’t it fascinating that we still today, in the middle of the digital age, need to sign papers with our own hands to make them legally working ?
In medieval times kings and emperors sometimes had graphic representations of their names at the end of important contracts, charters etc. and it was enough when the man made a scratch with the pen – mostly likely the quill – somewhere : Then he had it signed manu propria, with his own hand, regardless of the fact whether he could write or not.
I, of course, will put there my whole name, by my own hand, in all its grandeur, with a biro.

As already mentioned, the leporello (roughly 95 cm long, so a little short of one meter) lists forty groups of people, who want to become members of the EP (Ger., Eng.).
There are the usual suspects, as the conservatives, the social democrats, the greens, the (so called) liberals, all traditional German mainstream parties. A Bavarian speciality are the “Freie Wähler” and the “Bayernpartei” – that makes six.
At the far right we find old Nazis, new Nazis (twice), and the fascists who camouflage as bourgoise party – makes four. On the left we have old communists, a Marxist-Leninist party (true survivors !), socialists, and the leading left party – adds another four. Then we have a so-called “fun”-party run by a group of satirists, they already have a seat in the EP (!).
The other 25 parties or groups stand for more or less specific interests, like feminists, ecology & animal rights (at least another eight groups), the interests of older people (“Die Grauen”, the Greys, hopefully not from outer space), humanists, common happiness etc. Some seem to be a bit cloudy. I vaguely remember that somewhere in the East (Slovakia ?) a beer-party gained success.
Because it is time consuming (& a bit boring) to work through all the groups’ manifestos, programs etc. I used the “Wahl-O-Mat” of the trusted Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung to help me form my decision.
Now you may be witness to the historical moment, when mago “makes his cross”, sein Kreuzlein macht, and the official document signs – ah, well done : What a signature ! What a cross !
Now my voice is heard, even when it’s just a lousy “Piep”.
The leporello goes into the blue envelope (seal up – slurp ? ; ; ! bah, tastes like paste. Obviously because it is paste). Then the blue envelope goes together with the official Wahlschein (signed !) into the red envelope (not again, gargl …), and the red one goes into the mail, no stamp required.
The deed is done, the sovereign spoke.
On this day, 74 years ago, the Second World War ended. Seventy years ago the Parlamentarische Rat (Ger., Eng.) accepted the Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Ger., Eng., pdf). There is no way back, not for the commies, not for the nazis.
No more war, that’s what the Union is all about, NATO too. All this is the result of the damn bloody twentieth century. One can only hope, and pray, that the dams hold against the waves of abysmal stupidity..

12 thoughts on “Feeling Imperatorial

  1. Are you saying that you have to sign your voting paper? Or does your signature go in a different return envelope?
    Yes, I am looking forward to the European Elections – the mind boggles as to what the UK is going to come up with.

  2. Yes LẌ, the pirates were listed, and pretty high, under the first ten I think. I guess that chances are better when a party / group is listed on top of the roll.
    Sorry no, there was no dotted line where I would have been able to vote for myself. – or could have written in any other name. I think if I would write something on the list, be it a name, a slogan or a political manifesto, the “Wahlzettel” would be invalid. It is pretty forward in this respect : One has one vote ; to the right of the party’s name is a circle – if you want to vote for them, make your cross in this circle. Nothing else.

    *blushes* You have it with them words Mr Peenee, these are those SanFranciscan ways …

    I sign the Wahlschein with date and name, dearest MsScarlet. On this I declare that I voted, and nobody else (in fact it is an affidavit) – because I do it at home (or somewhere else), but not at the given date at the local place in the booth, I have to declare that I followed the formal things and that it really is actually me. This “Wahlschein” goes with the glued blue envelope into the red one. The blue envelope contains only the actual vote. the leporello, “Wahlzettel”, ballot paper. If I’d sign the Wahlzettel it would become instantly invalid, and my vote would we wasted.
    I think it is enough when “Farage” is printed on the ballot, all will be better under PM Nigel !

  3. Not only do they want your signature Scarlet, they also want your date of birth! I defaced the local election one, I won’t say what with, but I will say this about the postal voting statement, it is not as absorbent as Andrex. If you are going to follow suite remember to scrub out the ballot number first on the reverse.

  4. Oh but I like a trip out! We have a very quaint polling station, and I enjoy flirting with the nice young men handing out the voting forms. We had a very jolly time the other week :-)

  5. I had to search for “Andrex”, I first thought it would be the name of some plastic explosive. It seems to be a trusted product, dear Mitzi.

    A quaint polling station stuffed with nice young men – ha ! Here you stand in the local sports hall, dear MsScarlet – in all its well used seventies’ glory. Some old geezers will mark your name on the voters’ list and shuffle the papers over the wobbly plastic table. You vote sitting at another plastic table on a plastic chair in a claustrophobic “booth”. It all has the charme of a visit to the evil dentist. When you finally put the ballot paper into the “Wahlurne”, the voting box, it always reminds me of throwing paper into the scrap paper container. One expects the sound of the shredder. This central democratic act could easily use a little bit more decorum !

  6. What happens when the electricity is off ? It will run on batteries for some time, and the data will be stored, but, you know, what can go wrong, will go wrong. Of course, sooner or later, but it will.
    i would really like to see the user interface, how it is designed etc.
    From the picture I guess it is a portable “booth” with the side panels folding up ? Do you have to identify yourself at this machine ? Or is it for electing only – like what we do here with paper and pencil, just in digital form. I am identified before I am handed the ballot paper, then I do my business secretly, and it is finished when I throw the paper in the bin.
    I think You are identified, then have access to the machine, and when You press a button, it is over, the machine shuts down, and you can leave. Is this correct ? I really have no idea how this works LẌ.

  7. One has to register to vote at least 30 days prior to an election. Early voting at designated early voting sites prior to election (I did this for 2016 election) or at designated location on election day.

    Show voting registration card or ID card to election officials. Officials verify. Sign registration document. Officials give voter paper slip with a four-digit numerical access code. Go to any voting machine, enter code. Use machine controls to scroll through ballot and make selections. Press button to finish voting.

    Manufacturer info.

  8. Your postal vote systems sounds terribly grand and official. I don’t imagine ours is anything like that.
    When I remember to vote, I, like Ms Scarlet, like going to the quaint village hall in the hopes of flirting with nice young men, Invariably, though, the nice young men are always replaced with officious old bags just before I get there…

  9. Thank you for the clarification LẌ. So the impossible is managed – the anonymous vote of a known (and verified) voter.

    Some gals have all the luck, dear IDV

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