"This standard of tolerance does not prevent a democratic society from taking steps to protect itself against activities intended to destroy the rights or freedoms set forth in the Convention. Article 3 of Protocol No. 1, which enshrines the individual's capacity to influence the composition of the legislature, does not therefore exclude the possibility of restrictions on electoral rights being imposed on an individual who has, for example, seriously abused a public position or whose conduct has threatened to undermine the rule of law or democratic foundations (see, for example, X v. the Netherlands, cited above, and, mutatis mutandis, Glimmerveen and Hagenbeek v. the Netherlands, nos. 8348/78 and 8406/78, Commission decision of 11 October 1979, Decisions and Reports 18, where the Commission declared inadmissible two applications concerning the refusal to allow the applicants, who were the leaders of a proscribed organisation with racist and xenophobic traits, to stand for election). The severe measure of disenfranchisement must not, however, be resorted to lightly and the principle of proportionality requires a discernible and sufficient link between the sanction and the conduct and circumstances of the individual concerned. "