How did you get into politics?
Political engagement: How you too can actively help shape our society
Many people believe that they cannot affect that Policy development to have. This is one of the reasons why voter turnout is relatively low, especially among young people. But this thought is deceptive: after all, a voice can only be heard if it is also raised. In times of Brexit, Trump and climate change, that is political engagement of the citizens more necessary than ever. Because politics happens everywhere, at all times and is everyone's business.
The motives to become politically active are different. Some advocate the successful integration of refugees, low-income people and people with a low level of education, while others fight, for example, for women's rights, climate and environmental protection, better living conditions or for more equal opportunities.
But what ways are there to get involved politically? We want to answer this question for you with the help of the following overview.
Join a party
The classic form of direct political involvement is that Joining a party. If you want to become politically active in an organization, you should first choose an organization that corresponds to your values. A question that would also have to be answered is whether you want to get involved locally, at the state level or at the national level. Those who are interested in local involvement will find the right option in district associations or regional groups, for example. The way to get there is very simple:
- You go to the party's website.
- If necessary, you fill out the membership application online (if available).
- You pay the monthly fee. This depends on your income or on the respective region.
With the Membership fee you indirectly support the goals of the party. Membership gives you the opportunity, for example, to take part in member meetings and to have a say in decisions. In a regional group you can, for example, help with the organization of events and information stands. In the case of a long-term commitment, there is of course the option of taking on an official post within the party and actively helping to shape politics.
If you are unsure, you can first take a closer look at them. In addition to the general information on the website, the respective party program gives you detailed information about what the organization stands for, which interest groups it represents and which political goals it is pursuing. If you still have questions, you can of course also get in touch with the party by email or personally (e.g. in a regional office).
Start a party yourself
There is no party for your cause yet? Or your interests are not adequately represented by the existing parties? In this case everyone in Germany has the right to have one to found their own party. According to the political party law, however, a few points must be observed, e.g .:
- The party executive committee must consist of at least three members.
- German citizens in the party must be in the majority.
- The seat of the party must be in Germany.
- The party name must not be similar to other parties.
Now it is important to find as many fellow campaigners as possible and develop your own party program.
Would you like to get involved politically in a very simple way? Give petitions a try! Petitions are letter too political concernsaddressed to political parties and politicians. These are submitted online on petition platforms such as campact, change.org, openPetition and AVAAZ or on the website of the German Bundestag.
Voluntary work in initiatives, lobby associations, NGOs
Politics does not only take place in the Bundestag. Youth associations, environmental organizations and local initiatives are also involved in politics. In every city there are numerous political organizations that are grateful for any active support. Examples of politically active organizations are e.g. Germanwatch, Foodwatch, BUND, NABU or Deutsche Umwelthilfe.
Also on many Universities and colleges there are political initiatives. If the topic of education is important to you, there is also the opportunity to get involved in university politics and, for example, to represent the interests of the students as a member of the student council, the student parliament or the AStA of your university.
Become a member of a union
Whether Deutsche Bahn is on strike or airlines are on strike - they have one thing in common: They draw attention to grievances and stand up for one Improvement of their work situation one, for example for better wages, working hours or more participation. Trade unions arise from a voluntary association of employees and represent the interests of employees vis-à-vis politics, employers and their associations. For example, trade unions are negotiating partners in collective bargaining and, if necessary, lend weight to their demands with strikes. Unions are organized on an inter-company basis and usually represent a specific industry. Examples of well-known employee associations are Ver.di (service industry), IG Metall (metal, wood and plastic processing industry, textile and IT industry) or IG Bauen-Agrar-Umwelt.
Participation in demonstrations
Participating in demonstrations and strikes is another way of making yourself politically strong. We often see in newspapers and on the streets how people protest on a certain topic and actively address the public. You want to be heard and emphasize the urgency of the issue. Regardless of whether it is about animal welfare, environmental protection, climate change, educational justice or other topics: A demo is and remains one powerful instrument, when politicians are not sufficiently committed to your cause.
Attend (local) political events
Here you can open discussion panels participate, make visitors aware of problems and grievances and listen to other lectures. This will give you valuable suggestions and information on topics that are close to your heart and you will get to know like-minded people. There are also lectures on political topics at universities and colleges in which you can actively participate.
Political engagement in everyday life
There is also the chance to get involved politically in everyday life. You can by actively taking your point of view your own environment, be it friends or acquaintances, to sensitize them to important social issues and in the best case to create awareness of the problem. By engaging in a constructive discussion and exchanging views, you may give them food for thought that will broaden their previous perspective.
Would you rather be active in the background and still make a contribution to political commitment? Clubs are up financial support instructed in order to remain as a non-profit organization at all. They are mostly financed through donations and contributions from third parties, as they do not pursue any profit goals, but instead focus on the charitable purpose.
Do you know other options that should be on the list? Then just write us a short email to: [email protected]
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