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..