a dollar for a free song

Who would like to make a buck? Maybe five, or five hundred? How about a million? all you have to do is vote. You heard me! It’s just a little over a fortnight until Germany elects its new federal parliament, and Germans are as sick of politics as they have ever been. Voter turnout is expected to fall to an all-time low.

So, the political parties in Germany have started a more aggressive voting campaign: They will outright pay you to vote for them!

I’m not making this up. But the Radio station I listen to at work (yeah, the one I don’t particularly like) did. They inserted ads for vote-buying in all major German newspapers, and gave us the bitter truth: for a Million Euros per Vote, the right radical parties could get up to 59% of German voters to elect them. Right, that is a government-constituting majority!

That sounds harsh, but it doesn’t mean we are all Nazis. If the CDU – the christian democratic union, Angela Merkel’s party – offered a Million per vote as well, the Far Right would still fall short of 5%, which is the threshold for entering the parliament in Germany. To thwart a far right government, the CDU would only have to offer 500 Euros per vote, and according to the radio station’s figures, and my analysis, Angela Merkel still has most of Germany on her side.

So, even though Germans, and probably all humans, are immoral, self-serving, greedy bastards, we are immoral, self-serving, greedy bastards with standards, and the far right doesn’t meet the German standards.


5 thoughts on “a dollar for a free song

  1. Oh my! I often heard people saying they would only vote if someone paid them, because there was no candidate to whom they wanted to give their vote, but it’s the first time I ever read about a political party willing to take advantage of this state of mind! I can’t belive my eyes…

    In France, I think the government would rather go the opposite way – asking people to pay to be able to vote – since we’re so indebted, but alas, we’re a democracy. (I guess if the voting fee were tax-deductible it would be fair, and maybe less people would “forget” to pay their taxes…)

    At least, with this system, people wouldn’t feel like the government doesn’t care about them – “of course they care, they bought your vote!” – and it’s sort of a given that the most powerful parties are often the richest ones – so I’m sure they could afford to pay voters to counter smaller fish. Still… Woaw!

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