This Forum

In the EU, there are many small parties that fail to meet the threshold of the sperrklausel. Many citizens feel that they are not being addressed by the established parties.

This forum aims to:

  • Educate and inform
  • Question the electoral system
  • Abolish the sperrklausel

For more grassroots democracy and political diversity. The vertical politics discuss top and bottom instead of left and right!

The democratic obstruction leads to political depression, and in the advanced stage of the disease, the diagnosis is non-voter.


Chat GPT about Sperrklausel part 1


The introduction of an article on the electoral threshold should provide readers with a clear overview of the topic. Here are some points that could be addressed in the introduction:

Definition of the electoral threshold: Explain the term "electoral threshold" and provide a brief definition. Describe it as a provision in electoral systems that limits the attainment of a seat or mandate for political parties or candidates.Background and purpose: Provide a brief background on why electoral thresholds were introduced and what purpose they serve. Explain that the electoral threshold aims to limit the number of smaller parties in parliament and promote political stability.International relevance: Highlight that electoral thresholds are used in various countries around the world. Mention some examples of countries where electoral thresholds exist or have existed.Significance of the topic: Illustrate why the electoral threshold is an important issue and how it influences the political landscape and the functioning of elections. Mention that the electoral threshold has both supporters and critics and has sparked controversial debates.

The introduction should be concise and succinct to give readers a good overview and prepare them for the following points of the article.

Functioning of the Electoral Threshold

In the second section of the article, the functioning of the electoral threshold can be explained. Here are some pieces of information that could be covered in this section:

Minimum percentage or number of votes: Describe that an electoral threshold sets a specific threshold that a political party or candidate must reach to obtain a seat in parliament or another elected body. This threshold can be either a minimum percentage of votes that a party must achieve or a minimum number of votes.Application at the national or regional level: Explain whether the electoral threshold is applied at the national or regional level. In some countries, the electoral threshold may vary depending on whether it is national elections or elections at the regional or local level.Impact on seat distribution: Describe how the electoral threshold influences seat distribution. Explain that parties or candidates that do not reach the electoral threshold do not receive seats, and their votes may be lost.Number of affected parties: Discuss the impact of the electoral threshold on the number of parties represented in parliament. Mention that the electoral threshold can help reduce the number of smaller parties and favor larger parties.Differences between countries: Note that the specific design of the electoral threshold can vary from country to country. Mention that some countries have high percentages or threshold values, while others may not have an electoral threshold or set a lower threshold.

It is important for the explanation of the functioning of the electoral threshold to be clear and precise so that readers understand how this provision works in practice and its impact on elections and the political landscape.

Objectives and Advantages of the Electoral Threshold

In the third section of the article, the objectives and advantages of an electoral threshold can be explained. Here are some points that could be addressed in this section:

Avoiding fragmentation: Explain that one of the main objectives of an electoral threshold is to limit the number of smaller parties in parliament. By favoring larger parties, it aims to prevent the fragmentation of the political landscape, which can contribute to more stable government formation.Enhancing government efficiency: Discuss the advantage of an electoral threshold in increasing the efficiency of the government. Larger parties that receive more seats due to the electoral threshold may have a greater chance of forming a majority and governing more effectively. This can facilitate legislation and governance.Limiting extremist influences: Emphasize that the electoral threshold can help prevent extremist parties or those with extreme positions from gaining seats in parliament. This can help keep the political discourse moderate and prevent extreme views from gaining too much influence.Strengthening stability: Mention that an electoral threshold can contribute to strengthening political stability by promoting the formation of stable governments and preventing excessive fragmentation of political forces. This can facilitate long-term planning and effective implementation of political measures. Simplified government formation: Discuss how the electoral threshold can facilitate government formation by reducing the number.

Simplified government formation: Discuss how the electoral threshold can facilitate government formation by reducing the number of parties involved in negotiations. With fewer parties to negotiate with, the process of forming coalitions and reaching agreements becomes more streamlined and efficient. This can help prevent prolonged periods of political deadlock or instability.

Promoting accountability: Explain that the electoral threshold can contribute to increasing accountability within the political system. With fewer parties in parliament, it becomes easier for voters to identify and hold parties accountable for their actions and policies. This can lead to a clearer connection between voter preferences and the policies implemented by elected representatives.

Fostering stronger political parties: Highlight that the electoral threshold can encourage the development and strengthening of political parties. With the need to reach a certain threshold to gain representation, parties may be motivated to build broader coalitions, improve their organizational capacity, and articulate clear policy platforms. This can lead to the emergence of stronger and more robust political parties.

Critiques and Concerns

In the next section of the article, it's important to address the critiques and concerns surrounding the electoral threshold. Here are some points that could be covered:

Limiting political diversity: Discuss the argument that the electoral threshold can stifle political diversity by excluding smaller parties from representation. Critics argue that this can lead to a narrowing of the political spectrum and limit alternative voices and perspectives in the decision-making process.

Disproportionate representation: Explain the concern that the electoral threshold can lead to disproportionate representation. In some cases, a party may receive a significant percentage of the votes but fail to reach the threshold, resulting in the exclusion of a substantial portion of the electorate's preferences from parliamentary representation.

Exclusion of marginalized groups: Highlight the concern that the electoral threshold can disproportionately affect smaller or marginalized groups, making it difficult for them to gain representation. Smaller parties representing specific communities or interests may struggle to overcome the threshold, potentially marginalizing those groups from the political process.

Democratic legitimacy: Address the argument that the electoral threshold can undermine the principle of democratic legitimacy. Critics argue that it goes against the idea of equal representation and can distort the will of the voters by excluding parties with significant popular support.

Alternatives and variations: Discuss alternative approaches to the electoral threshold that some countries have adopted. For example, some systems use a variable threshold based on the number of votes cast or allocate compensatory seats to ensure proportional representation.


In the conclusion of the article, summarize the key points discussed and provide a balanced perspective on the electoral threshold. Acknowledge that while the electoral threshold has its objectives and advantages, it also faces criticisms and concerns. Highlight the importance of striking a balance between promoting stability and efficiency while ensuring fair representation and political diversity. Conclude by emphasizing that the design and implementation of an electoral threshold should consider the specific context and goals of each country's political system.

It is crucial to note that the decision to implement an electoral threshold should be based on a careful consideration of the specific political, social, and cultural context of each country. What works in one country may not necessarily be suitable for another. Additionally, the threshold should be regularly reviewed and adjusted if necessary to address any unintended consequences or evolving dynamics within the political landscape.

Ultimately, the electoral threshold is a tool that aims to balance stability, efficiency, representation, and political diversity within a parliamentary system. Its effectiveness in achieving these goals may vary depending on the specific circumstances. Therefore, it is essential to continuously evaluate its impact and consider alternative approaches or variations that may better suit a particular country's needs.

Furthermore, it is worth mentioning that the electoral threshold is just one aspect of a larger electoral system. Other factors, such as districting methods, the size of the legislature, and the allocation of seats, can also significantly influence the representation and functioning of a political system.

In conclusion, the electoral threshold is a mechanism that can have both positive and negative effects on the political system. It can contribute to stability, efficient government formation, and stronger political parties. However, it may also limit political diversity, disproportionately represent the electorate, and exclude marginalized groups. As with any electoral system design, striking the right balance is crucial to ensure that the threshold effectively serves the goals of democracy, fairness, and representation.

In order to strike the right balance with the electoral threshold, it is important to consider some key factors. First and foremost, the threshold should be set at a level that allows for a diverse range of political parties to participate in the electoral process. This ensures that multiple voices and perspectives are represented in the decision-making process.

Additionally, it is crucial to consider the potential impact of the electoral threshold on marginalized groups and minority representation. In some cases, a high threshold can disproportionately exclude smaller parties, including those representing specific communities or interest groups. This can lead to a lack of representation and a diminished pluralism in the political system. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the threshold does not unduly restrict the ability of marginalized groups to participate and have their voices heard.

Another consideration is the potential for strategic behavior by political parties in response to the electoral threshold. Parties may choose to form pre-electoral alliances or merge with other parties in order to meet the threshold requirement. While this can promote stability and larger coalitions, it may also lead to the consolidation of power and limit the choices available to voters. Therefore, it is important to carefully monitor the behavior of political parties and assess whether the threshold is encouraging healthy competition and genuine representation.

Furthermore, it is worth exploring alternative mechanisms that can complement or replace the electoral threshold in achieving the desired objectives. For example, proportional representation systems, such as the Single Transferable Vote (STV) or Mixed-Member Proportional (MMP) systems, can provide greater opportunities for representation while still ensuring stability and efficiency in government formation.

In conclusion, the electoral threshold is a complex and nuanced aspect of electoral system design. It requires careful consideration of various factors, including political diversity, minority representation, strategic behavior, and alternative mechanisms. Striking the right balance is crucial to ensure that the threshold promotes a vibrant democracy, represents the will of the electorate, and provides a fair and inclusive political system.

In addition to the factors mentioned earlier, another important consideration when determining the electoral threshold is the size and structure of the electorate. Different countries have varying population sizes and geographic distributions, which can impact the effectiveness of the electoral threshold.

For smaller countries with a limited number of constituencies, a lower threshold may be more appropriate to ensure a diverse representation of political parties. A higher threshold in such cases could result in a limited number of parties being able to meet the requirements, potentially leading to a lack of representation for certain segments of the population.

On the other hand, larger countries with a higher number of constituencies might require a higher electoral threshold to maintain a manageable number of parties in the political landscape. This can help avoid fragmentation and instability in the government formation process, ensuring a more efficient decision-making process.

Furthermore, it is important to regularly review and reassess the electoral threshold to adapt to changing political dynamics and societal needs. Over time, political landscapes evolve, and new political movements and ideologies emerge. Therefore, it is crucial to have mechanisms in place that allow for periodic evaluation and adjustment of the threshold to reflect the current political landscape and ensure its continued relevance.

Public consultation and engagement with political stakeholders can play a significant role in determining the appropriate electoral threshold. By involving citizens, political parties, and experts in the decision-making process, a more inclusive and informed approach can be taken to strike the right balance.

It's worth noting that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to determining the electoral threshold. Each country will have its own unique context and considerations. Therefore, it is essential to carefully assess the specific needs and dynamics of the country in question and tailor the electoral threshold accordingly.

In summary, determining the electoral threshold requires considering factors such as political diversity, minority representation, strategic behavior, alternative mechanisms, size and structure of the electorate, and regular review. By taking these factors into account and engaging in a consultative and inclusive process, countries can establish an electoral threshold that promotes a fair and representative democracy.

Once the electoral threshold is determined, it is crucial to ensure that the electoral system is designed in a way that encourages fair and proportional representation. Different electoral systems can have a significant impact on the distribution of seats and the representation of political parties.

One common electoral system used in many countries is the proportional representation (PR) system. In PR systems, seats are allocated to parties in proportion to their share of the vote. This system can help ensure that smaller parties are represented and prevent the domination of a few major parties. However, the specific method of seat allocation within the PR system can vary. Some countries use party-list systems, where voters cast their votes for a political party, and seats are allocated to parties based on their overall vote share. Other countries use mixed-member proportional systems, which combine elements of both direct constituency elections and party-list proportional representation.

Another electoral system is the plurality/majority system, also known as the first-past-the-post system. In this system, candidates compete in single-member constituencies, and the candidate with the most votes wins the seat. This system tends to favor larger parties and can lead to a disproportionate representation of parties with concentrated support in specific regions. It may not be as effective in providing representation for smaller parties or minority groups.

There are also alternative systems such as ranked-choice voting and single transferable vote, which aim to address some of the limitations of traditional electoral systems. Ranked-choice voting allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference, and candidates are elected based on a series of vote redistributions. Single transferable vote systems enable voters to rank candidates within multi-member constituencies, and seats are allocated based on a quota system. These alternative systems can promote greater inclusivity and choice for voters.

Additionally, it is important to consider other aspects of the electoral process that can influence representation, such as campaign financing regulations, equal access to media and resources, and measures to combat electoral fraud and corruption. These factors can impact the ability of different parties to compete on a level playing field and can influence the overall fairness and legitimacy of the electoral outcomes.

In conclusion, determining the electoral threshold is just one part of designing a fair and representative electoral system. It is crucial to consider the broader context, including the electoral system itself, to ensure that the voices and choices of voters are effectively translated into political representation. By carefully assessing the various components of the electoral system and continually evaluating and adapting them, countries can strive to achieve a more inclusive and representative democracy.


Electoral threshold

A sperrklausel, also known as a "threshold" or "legal barrier," is a provision in a proportional representation electoral system that excludes parties or lists from the distribution of seats if they receive below a certain percentage of the total votes. Its purpose is to prevent the "fragmentation" of the parliament.

In addition to the "explicit" sperrklausel, there is also an "implicit" (or "de facto") sperrklausel. This refers to the minimum number of votes a party needs to qualify for the first seat. This minimum is determined by the number of seats to be filled and the specific seat allocation method used.

In the case of an explicit sperrklausel, the specific threshold is prescribed by law (e.g., 5% of the votes cast). When referring to a "sperrklausel" without further specification, it typically means an explicit sperrklausel.


4% threshold in Austria

This threshold refers to a rule in the Austrian electoral system that requires political parties to receive at least four percent of the valid votes in a national election in order to be eligible for proportional representation in the parliament.

"The Vier-Prozent-Hürde (Four Percent Threshold) in Austria is a provision in the electoral system that establishes a minimum threshold for political parties to be represented in the National Council, the lower house of the Austrian Parliament. According to this rule, a party must obtain at least four percent of the valid votes cast in the entire country or one of the federal states in order to be eligible for proportional representation in the parliament.

The Four Percent Threshold was introduced in Austria in 1985 with the aim of preventing the fragmentation of the political landscape and ensuring stability in the parliament. Its purpose is to limit the number of small parties and to prevent the proliferation of splinter parties that could hinder effective governance.

This threshold has been the subject of debate and criticism over the years. Critics argue that it restricts political pluralism and excludes smaller parties from representation, potentially limiting the diversity of voices in the parliament. Supporters, on the other hand, claim that it promotes stability, prevents extreme or fringe parties from gaining seats, and facilitates governability.

The Four Percent Threshold has been a significant factor in shaping the Austrian political landscape. It has affected the electoral strategies of parties, coalition formations, and the overall composition of the parliament. Over the years, some parties have failed to meet the threshold and, as a result, have been excluded from parliamentary representation.

It is important to note that the Four Percent Threshold applies at the national level, but there are also separate thresholds for regional elections in the federal states of Austria. These regional thresholds vary and can differ from the national threshold.

Overall, the Four Percent Threshold in Austria has had a significant impact on the electoral dynamics and party representation in the country's parliament, influencing the formation of governments and shaping the political landscape."

No Threshold for the 2019 European Parliament Election

No Threshold for the 2019 European Parliament Election

The absence of a threshold for the European Parliament election in 2019.

The European Parliament election is unique in that it does not have a threshold requirement for political parties to obtain seats. Unlike some national elections where parties need to surpass a certain percentage of votes to gain representation, the European Parliament allows for a more inclusive system.

The article highlights the importance of this lack of threshold, as it allows smaller parties and grassroots movements to participate and have a chance at representation. It emphasizes the democratic nature of the European Parliament election and its aim to give a voice to a wide range of political views.

The absence of a threshold means that even parties with a lower percentage of votes can still secure seats, enabling a diverse and pluralistic representation in the European Parliament. This approach is seen as a positive step towards encouraging political participation and fostering democratic principles.

This absence of threshold in the European Parliament election challenges the common practice in many national elections, where thresholds are used to limit the number of parties and promote stability.

direct mandate

If a party wins a direct mandate in the National Council election, it will be considered in the second (regional lists) and third (federal lists) calculation procedures regardless of the nationwide votes it receives. Thus, it is not necessary for a party to overcome the 4% threshold, which is typically required to enter the National Council if they have won a direct mandate. Therefore, a direct mandate can be significant.

Since the introduction of this regulation with the NRWO (Nationalratswahlordnung) in 1992, no party that failed to overcome the 4% threshold has managed to enter the National Council through a direct mandate. Conversely, parties have entered the National Council by surpassing the threshold without obtaining a direct mandate.

Election Law Europe

A minimum threshold for seat allocation may be established, which, however, may not exceed five percent of the votes cast nationwide. On July 13, 2018, the European Council, with the approval of the European Parliament, adopted an amendment to the Direct Election Act, which includes, among other things, a mandatory percentage threshold of 2 to 5 percent. The minimum threshold applies to constituencies with more than 35 seats and is therefore particularly relevant for Germany and Spain. Member states must implement this obligation no later than the second election after the entry into force of the amendment, which, in a smooth ratification process, would have been the election for the European Parliament in 2024. Because, among other reasons, Germany did not complete the ratification before the European elections in 2019, the mandatory threshold requirement will not come into effect until the earliest European elections in 2029. The amendment to the Direct Election Act must be ratified by all member states, requiring a two-thirds majority of the members in the Bundestag and Bundesrat in Germany to do so.

European election system

Approximately half of the EU member states currently have a threshold in place for European elections. On July 13, 2018, the European Council, with the approval of the European Parliament, agreed to introduce a mandatory threshold for all EU member states that allocate more than 35 seats in a constituency (in Germany, the entire country forms a constituency for European elections, with 96 seats being allocated). However, the amendment to the Direct Election Act still needs to be ratified by all member states, requiring a two-thirds majority of the members in the Bundestag and Bundesrat in Germany. After ratification, the EU member states must implement the electoral law amendment no later than the second subsequent European election. If the ratification happens before 2024, Germany could introduce the threshold for the European elections in 2024, but it must introduce it by the latest for the European elections in 2029.

Chat GPT about Sperrklausel Part 2

The European Union (EU) 

and the sperrklausel (threshold) are two separate topics that are interconnected to some extent. The EU is a supranational union of European countries that promotes political, economic, and legal integration. The sperrklausel, on the other hand, refers to a provision in electoral systems stating that a party must achieve a certain minimum number of votes or percentage to receive seats in the parliament.

Regarding the EU, there is no uniform regulation or requirement regarding the application of sperrklausels in member countries. Each country has the right to establish its own electoral system, including the decision on whether to implement sperrklausels. Therefore, the sperrklausels vary among the individual EU member states in terms of their thresholds and impact on the political landscape.

Some EU member states have introduced sperrklausels in their national electoral systems to prevent parliamentary fragmentation and facilitate stable government formation. Proponents argue that sperrklausels can contribute to political efficiency and stability by limiting the number of parties in the parliament.

On the other hand, there is also criticism of the application of sperrklausels in EU countries. Some argue that sperrklausels can restrict political diversity and the equal opportunities of parties. Critics claim that smaller parties or new political movements may be disadvantaged by sperrklausels, making it more difficult for them to achieve adequate political representation.

It is important to note that sperrklausels in EU countries are regulated at the national level and are not directly prescribed by the EU itself. However, the EU has general principles and values that apply to democratic processes and political participation. These include respect for fundamental rights, promotion of pluralism, and ensuring fair and transparent elections.

Overall, the application of sperrklausels in EU member states is a complex and controversial topic. The decision on their use falls within the jurisdiction of individual countries, taking into account various political and democratic considerations.

Regarding the trend in sperrklausels in different countries, it is diverse and can vary depending on the region and political context. Here are some general trends that can be observed regarding sperrklausels:

Retention of existing sperrklausels: Many countries that already have sperrklausels in their electoral systems tend to retain them. Supporters argue that sperrklausels contribute to the stability and efficiency of government.Adjustment of sperrklausel thresholds: In some countries, changes have been made to the height of the sperrklausel threshold. The threshold can be raised or lowered to accommodate changing political conditions and challenges.Judicial review: In some countries, sperrklausels have been challenged in court and their constitutionality has been examined. Courts can approve, reject, or impose certain conditions on the use of sperrklausels.Discussion on impact: There is an ongoing discussion about the impact of sperrklausels on political representation and party equality. Proponents argue that sperrklausels contribute to avoiding fragmentation, while critics argue that they may restrict political pluralism.Differences between countries: The use of sperrklausels varies from country to country. Some countries do not have sperrklausels, while others apply different thresholds. There are also differences in terms of electoral systems and political culture, which can influence the introduction or abolition of sperrklausels.Alternative approaches: In addition to sperrklausels, alternative approaches to promoting political stability and representativeness are also being discussed. These include, for example, compensatory seats that aim to facilitate access to parliamentary seats for small parties.

If we make a rough estimation of the ratio of elections with and without sperrklausels in Europe, we could assume that approximately