This is about Eastern European country that is the member of EU. Political parties of this country are eligible to receive monetary support from the country budget (taxpayer money) based on the performance on the national elections and the party under consideration has received those funds for past several years.

Now this party performed very poorly at the latest general elections, there were reputation risks and badly prepared election platform etc. Many party members voted against their party, it was against their conscience to vote for it. Party was expelled from the parliament completely. Now some other group of the party members are trying to organize the Congress or executive body to expel the members from the party, if those members have publicly declared that they have voted against their party.

My question is - considering that political parties have special place in the democracies and that they are receiving government funds and can not be private clubs - is it lawful to exper party members from the party if they have voted against their party or have declared publicly that they have voted against their party? Can such decision by the party Congress or the executive body of the party be challenged in the national courts of law and overturned by them?

OK, this country is Republic of Latvia.

  • 4
    It would seem that this would depend primarily on that country's laws. But since you don't mention the country, this would be impossible to answer.
    – amon
    Oct 4, 2022 at 12:11
  • 1
    I added the name of the country.
    – TomR
    Oct 4, 2022 at 12:21
  • 1
    not only that, how would you even know the vote of the person? That's under voting secrecy, which is everywhere in Europe.
    – Trish
    Oct 4, 2022 at 12:21
  • 1
    The question specified - those, who have declared (e.g. informally on the social networks) their vote for another party.
    – TomR
    Oct 4, 2022 at 12:23
  • 2
    I don't think you can be anything based on your vote, because that is secret. However, publicly speaking against your own party and/or motivating others to vote against your own party should be a good reason to be expelled. I don't know latvian laws (hence commet, not answer), but my gut says that you can be expelled from any organisation if it is proven you have actively acted contrary to the organisations goals.
    – nvoigt
    Oct 5, 2022 at 10:56

2 Answers 2


I can't speak for Latvian law, but it's not unusual for someone to be expelled from or denied entry to a political party in the UK for supporting a rival party at the same time. As one example, Alasdair Campbell was expelled from the Labour Party after he admitted voting for a rival party in elections.

From that link, Labour Party rules say that someone "who joins and/or supports a political organisation other than an official Labour group or other unit of the Party" will "automatically be ineligible to be or remain a Party member". So it's not about voting, which is secret, but about supporting a rival party.

Similarly, at least one member has been expelled from Labour for supporting the Scottish National Party on social media.

Such decisions may have an element of the political (using it as a pretext to getting rid of someone you don't like). But there is no suggestion that such an action is illegal, if it is in the party rules. Political parties have a lot of discretion as to who is allowed to be a member, and who they expel. It's not like buying a gym membership where you are entitled to gym services or your money back; legally you sign an agreement to follow the rules when you join, and joining doesn't entitle you to much.

  • 1
    Political parties are also exempt from anti-discrimination law regarding political views.
    – Dale M
    Oct 4, 2022 at 20:02
  • 1
    @DaleM: Indeed. People forget that not all discrimination is illegal. It is only illegal if it a) is based on a protected characteristic and b) that characteristic is irrelevant to the matter at hand. For example, when a director of a biopic about Julian Assange wants to cast their main character, it is perfectly legal to discriminate against black and asian people as well as women, but it is illegal to discriminate against gay or Jewish people. Likewise, for a political party, it is legal to discriminate based on political views (that is literally the whole point of a party), but not e.g. sex Oct 4, 2022 at 20:37
  • 1
    @JörgWMittag yes, but the difficulty with such political (and religious) exemptions is: everything is political (and religious). If my political movement believes universal suffrage was a mistake and women should be excluded from politics, that’s a political view. Determining the difference between a facade for discrimination and a genuinely held belief is non trivial.
    – Dale M
    Oct 4, 2022 at 20:54

For , one of the countries, the sticking point would not be voting for a different party, it would be publicly calling for a vote for a different party.

When a party member does not vote, or votes for a different party, that is covered by the secrecy of the ballot. Compelling the party member to disclose how they voted would be illegal. The election officials are required to stop other individuals from witnessing the vote or the voter from producing documentation, except for specific cases like help for voters with a disability.

When a party member claims to plan to vote for a different party, that could be considered campaigning for that party, and it can lead to exclusion. Looking at some of the parties, the exact definitions differ, but it may be enough to show up at a campaign event of another party and speak against the policies of the own party (e.g. CDU, section B §12).

"Confessing" to a vote against the party in the past could also be construed as a call not to vote for it in the future, but that might depend on the exact words.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .