- Has anyone ever voted in the European parliament elections?
It’s hard enough getting half the population out to vote every 4/5 years. By creating the European parliament elections the EU sowed the seeds of it’s own downfall. It alowed the minority effect to take hold, where relatively tiny numbers of voters can have a disproportionate influence on the majority. Without the European parliament elections we wouldn’t have Nigel Farage. They literally provide the oxygen for their detractors.
I also find it absurd that the EU fails to acknowledge that the UK political system has lasted in some form or other for 400 years, as opposed to the EU political model that is falling apart at the seams after 25. Why would we ditch something that has lasted for 400 years for something that is faltering after 25? If a book has been in print for 100 years the likelihood that it will still be in print in 100 years time is high. The likelihood that a current or recent bestseller will still be in print in 100 years is marginal. Think 50 shades of grey vs any Dickens novel, or The Davinci Code vs the bible. This is just the way thing are. It’s why religion persists in a post enlightenment world.
Historicaly, it usually takes a war to change a political system and even then the original system often re-emerges after a period of time, or at least persists in the margins of the new system, (the Russian revolution never got rid of the Orthodox church, it just went underground for the duration, the same with Nazism and Christianity, two secular, ideological regimes that failed to usurp ideas that had persisted for milenia)
I’m a remainer for what it’s worth but I do despair with a European parliament that is run by ideological numpties who have learned nothing from history and know nothing of, or think they can change human nature.Posted 5 months agoVaderMember
I am fairly confident I have taken part in every election I have been eligible to vote in – I’m 51 this year. Westminster, Euros, Locals, the lot.
A few years ago my postal vote didn’t arrive, so on the day of voting I went to the polling station first thing and spoke to the people there. They arranged for an official to come out to my place of work (it was in the middle of nowhere) and let me vote there and then on the bonnet of the car and then took my voting slip away in a sealed black bag. I was actually pretty impressed.
I wish everybody voted. There are people I know who live 2 minutes walk from the polling station but ‘can’t be bothered’. Idiots.
Top trolling btw.Posted 5 months agodrnoshMember
Have to admit guilt here. I don’t know who my local MEP is or what he/she does or stands for.
I googled it.
The East of England has apparently 7 MEP’s. It tells me there is a mix of conservative, including a group ‘European Conservatives and Reformists Group’, labour, no party stated, UKIP (I thought they were yesterdays fish and chip wrapper news).
I don’t know any of the names or faces, have never heard them speak, have never received any form of communication from them, don’t know what they are standing for or there opinions. (Am I living in a parallel universe?).
On the face of it, they would appear to be further removed from the voting public than some of our own UK MP’s.
No doubt, the salary is handsome, and in my view they have not earnt this as they have not promoted themselves (and I don’t mean in a Boris Johnson sort of a way).
How could I vote for them – Back to my point in para 3.Posted 5 months agomrwhyteMember
Voted in every election I coukd have since 18.
You won’t have one representative, you’ll a few as it’s a proportional system.
When I was teaching and head of politics, I took students every year to the European Parliament to meet one of their MEPs who always were pleased to see UK pupils at the Parliament. The EU even gave us £120 per pupil to bring them to Brussels. We were allowed to sit in on sessions, have a tour and do a Q and A.Posted 5 months ago
australia has compulsory voting. and free sausages.
it has it’s issues, but at least you dont get poor turnout leading to 17.4 million out of 67 million as the will of the people.
What Australia showed me before I came back is traditional politics breaks down when traditions do.
Aus Liberals Party of Business and the Rich – Nationals – Party of the farmers and conservative country
Labour – Party of the unions and the workers
What splits them? The Environment and Social Justice – these are issues that split the power base of both parties
US is falling about the same way, take the Environment – fixing the problems means upsetting the big industry groups which threatens traditional jobs or the unions who support your traditional labour/left parties – it unites the rich and the workers with a common enemy.
Brexit is the issue that is breaking the UK, the left is more of a coalition these days along with other countries – it is the collection of people who do not agree on all issues but have an idea they want to take forward.
The right has it’s own factions they are splitting right now – if you don’t get how Brexit is breaking politics at the moment you are missing the point really badly.Posted 5 months agomogrimMember
I also find it absurd that the EU fails to acknowledge that the UK political system has lasted in some form or other for 400 years
400 years ago we didn’t really have a democracy, at least nothing like a modern one, don’t forget men didn’t get the right to vote unconditionally until 1918, and women until 1928! . This “mother of parliaments” crap that you hear should be taken in a Larkinesque fashion – the parents of today’s parliament have definitely **** up the current one.Posted 5 months agodissonanceSubscriber
Just because it’s lasted 400 years doesn’t make it ideal.
Given the number of changes it has gone through in that time I would be dubious about saying it has lasted “400” years. It has come pretty close to that war you mentioned on several occasions. Its just in the past generally the great and the good have bent just enough, at each time, to avoid this.Posted 5 months ago
If you look at the history of the UK parliament with its rotten boroughs and how the position of prime minister slowly came to mean what it does now it explains a lot about why the system is so messed up.
With regards to your comment about the voting system used. Unfortunately, as is so often the case when it comes to the EU, you are blaming the wrong people.
Although (I think) all use some variant proportional representation its down to the individual country to decide the exact type. For example NI uses a different system to the rest of the UK.csbSubscriber
Mr Whyte hits the nail on the head, we’ve had years of misinformation and lack of education of what the EU Parliament, Commission and Council are. You can’t blame the MEPs (except for Farage) for the lack of understanding about their purpose.
Ours is quite vocal and has a local surgery.Posted 5 months agobelfastflyerMember
inkster – it takes a lot these days but I was quite flabbergasted at the amount of factual errors and casual EU hating in your post.
Anyway, I vote in every election. Being from NI it’s hammered into you from a young age.
I do find the EU elections in GB strange. In NI we always vote for the person, not the party. The list system used in GB probably explains why so few know who their MEP is.Posted 5 months agoinksterMember
How can you call me an EU hater when I voted to remain? I”m just trying to understand how we fell into this awful mess and I think the EU parliament has culpability in this respect.
Why wouldn’t you says many of you. Just think about that for a minute, when someone offers you something for free surely you should consider the downsides as well as the upsides. The downside I’m suggesting is the minority effect, where by a small number of voters can have a disproportionate effect on the majority, (non voters, those who don’t give a toss, those who don’t understand and those who aren’t even aware of the European parliament)
Reading some responses has made me curious as to the dwmographic of voters in the EU elections. I’m thinking they are disproportionately middle class (like me) Another example of the minority effect and I also ponder how this might have alienated working class voters and consequently fed into the referendum result. The EU parliament certainly looks very middle class and bourgeois.It all looks a bit “Pappa” – “Nicole” from the outside, seen through the lens of a Renoir movie or a classy Scandi thriller, none of the grit, bump and grind of a politics we can recognise. Though the cause of the problem is the elections themselves, the bourgeois nature of the institution is just a symptom.
I do not see EU politicians as politicians, rather they are pseudo politicians, immune from the scrutiny, trials and tribulations that are imposed on proper politicians. An MEP is a functionaire, an apparatchik.
I liked the idea of Europe as it was, a common market, freedom of movement, alignment of standards etc. I fail to see the need for a European Parliament assembled under the rules of the minority effect.
I’m not saying our parliament is perfect, great or anythimg at all other than enduring, it has proved it self to be usefull for a significant period of time. Maybe thats because it is more pragmatic than idealistic, the Europe of the common market was founded on pragmatism, the European parliament is founded on idealism. For me pragmatism wins every time, It’s not about being right it’s about getting it right.
For the record I see leaving the EU as an idealistic position and remaining, or at least not throwing the baby out with the bathwater as the pragmatic position.
Nice bra.Posted 5 months agodissonanceSubscriber
I think the EU parliament has culpability in this respect.
How? Because of the voting system used?Posted 5 months ago
Again that is the decision of the member states. NI uses a different option.
The flaws of FPTP should hopefully be clear. There is a reason that hasnt been used for any new elections recently.mboyMember
if you don’t get how Brexit is breaking politics at the moment you are missing the point really badly.
I’m attempting to find a single possible upside to the whole Brexit debacle, quite possibly, if it breaks the current political system and a reform is required, this might be it!
Otherwise…Posted 5 months agoslackaliceSubscriber
I believe I’m correct in saying that each MEP earns circa €7,500 per month. Yes, per month.
The bit that still mystifies me is why none, or very very few of them, actually spoke up about what they do and why they/EU is so important.
As for the original question, I’ve voted more times than not, I do wonder though how effective my singular voice / vote is at times. I certainly didn’t vote for the current shower of shits in power and do not feel as though they are representing the majority, any more.Posted 5 months agokimbersSubscriber
I believe I’m correct in saying that each MEP earns circa €7,500 per month. Yes, per month.
Same as British MPs
Of course all MEPs are not equal, there’s a Twitter thread somewhere from Catherine bearder one of our MEPs where she complains that for many it means a lot of work, long hours, dealing with tricky legislation, but it’s well worth it.
At the same time the kipper MEPs turn up claim expenses & spend the whole day in cafes.
Farage famously turned up to 1 of 42 fisheries committee meetings he was meant to represent the British fishermen he’s so happy to invoke on question time & gives scripted anti EU speeches in parliament which he films for Russia Today to pump out on their YouTube channel. Then just walks out, doesn’t bother with the rest of the debate.
And still people think he’s a patriot!
Tragic that people vote for ukip MEPs and think that they are looking out for the UKs interests.
And yes voted in every election I could.Posted 5 months ago
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