What are the benefits of voting

Membership decisions in parties: Pros and Cons

In recent years the membership decision in parties has become more and more important. But what are the advantages of such a decision? And are there any disadvantages? Here is an overview of the pros and cons.

Pro-arguments for the membership decision

Not only the SPD has already made member decisions and, for example, had its base voted in 2013 on the coalition agreement with the CDU. In Schleswig-Holstein, too, the FDP and the Greens asked their members after the state elections in 2017 whether they should join the so-called Jamaica coalition. The FDP NRW also used a member's decision.

"In the usual written procedure that would have cost us two weeks. With the online voting, we were able to shorten it to one week." - Ralph Sterck from the FDP NRW via their online membership decision.

Read the report from the FDP NRW now!

But what are the pro-arguments for the membership decision?

  • The membership decision promotes internal party democracy
  • The grassroots sense of belonging to the party is strengthened
  • The membership decision can also be used as a tactical element in the coalition negotiations, because the finished contract must ultimately please the party base
  • The party executive can strengthen its position
  • The topic of the vote - usually a coalition agreement - receives additional legitimation
  • The party gets media attention

The FDP Schleswig-Holstein also made its membership decision online with POLYAS.

Read the experience report now!

Contra arguments against the basic vote

The party's internal membership decision is not undisputed. The opponents believe, for example, that the public image of the party and its board of directors could decline if they fail to negotiate a contract that convinces the base. The counter arguments in this case are:

  • If the basis is against a plan by the board of directors, many will demand that it resign
  • If the member's decision is about a coalition agreement that does not come about, the negotiation is also deemed to have failed. In the extreme case, this can mean new elections
  • Opponents argue that party members should not be given the opportunity to question the sovereign's voting decision
  • A membership decision can also be perceived as if the board of directors were rolling important decisions on the basis
  • Voting by letter takes some time

Advantages of the online membership decision

At least the last negative argument, that a membership decision would take too long, can be invalidated if the vote is carried out online. Both the organization in advance of the vote and the actual casting of votes are less time-consuming than the survey by letter. But that's not all:

  • With the online decision all members can be reached, no matter where they are. Your party can easily achieve the required quorum!
  • Take on a digital pioneering role in the German political party landscape
  • Save a large part of the postage costs for sending the voting documents with the online membership decision

“An uncomplicated state uses all the possibilities offered by digitization in order to become faster, more user-friendly and cheaper for its citizens. In this respect, parliamentary elections will be online at some point. " - Jan Voigt, state manager of the FDP Schleswig-Holstein

Not only membership decisions can be made online - live voting and board elections are also possible online with POLYAS.You can also read the experience report of the CDU-Hessen on their online board election>