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  #41  
Old June 6th, 2009, 7:31 pm
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Re: European parliament elections

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Originally Posted by vampiricduck View Post
Oh, I know that; what I'm saying is that we have heard nothing, in the entire run of the elections, about any other state at all. As in, nothing.

I appreciate that on a private level, it's important to keep the focus on our own country, but I wonder is it really a disadvantage to run the local and EU elections together. Things were badly run here, so badly run that many people weren't sure of who was running for what.
The BBC news website has had a few items - but yes, it would be nice if the media could compare notes now and then. The thing is, the media are awfully bad at covering European elections in any meaningful way. If the whole thing were presented as the aazingly huge, uniting exercise it ought to be - a kind of common European experience, things might be different. Ah well - what can I say? I am a hopelessly romantic Europhile.


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  #42  
Old June 6th, 2009, 8:08 pm
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Re: European parliament elections

Here the media have been ratching up quite a lot the few last days. I don't care much about it as I voted already on the first advance voting day May 27th.


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  #43  
Old June 7th, 2009, 8:16 pm
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Re: European parliament elections

Germany voted rather conservative this year again, but radical parties didn't make it (if you don't consider the 'left' party radical, what some people do here). For instance no party advertising with anti-islamic slogans made it here.

Participation of German voters was slightly lower than five years ago, but then it was already the lowest result for long. Since Germany sets 99 from 736 seats in EU parliament I'm not exactly happy about that.

Most people around here seem to blame the media for low interest in European politics, what's I think not overly very fair. Sure media could try harder to get the uninterested humans on board. But at the end media reports about what the people would like to read aka watch. I don't think it's the media's fault that people don't care about Europe, but a general lack of acceptance of the whole concept. There's a lot of information available about what work EU parliament actually does, just nobody check it out or keeps watching according TV shows.

Hardly anyone seems to get excited when whole Europe votes, although that's actually an stunning event. Eurovision song contest seems to be more fascinating.


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  #44  
Old June 7th, 2009, 8:27 pm
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Re: European parliament elections

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Originally Posted by gertiekeddle View Post
Germany voted rather conservative this year again, but radical parties didn't make it (if you don't consider the 'left' party radical, what some people do here). For instance no party advertising with anti-islamic slogans made it here.
I envy you. The most prominent radical party in Bulgaria, Ataka ("Attack"), whose policies seem to rely solely on anti-muslim propaganda, came fourth, and are sending two people to the European Parliament - one of them is Dimitar Stoyanov, the 25-year-old who made a racism scandal during his first mandate by sedning a collective email with racist content regarding the Hungarian Romani member of the EU parliament Livia Jaroka. And we elected that man again. I am so ashamed.


  #45  
Old June 7th, 2009, 9:17 pm
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Re: European parliament elections

It seems many countries got some anti-muslim parties in. We had our issues with some radical parties too the recent elections (the most popular are called Republikaner and DVU here), but they didn't make it this time around. Sometimes the memory of our not so famous political past helps to remind the people where hatred and radicalims leads to.


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  #46  
Old June 7th, 2009, 9:55 pm
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Re: European parliament elections

We've been having problems here with the BNP becoming more popular. Partly because they are attempting to put on a good public face and pretend they're some sort of 'new' BNP. They hide the policies like deporting black people, even those born in the UK


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  #47  
Old June 7th, 2009, 10:03 pm
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Re: European parliament elections

Seems from preliminary results Labour/social democrats/socialists have (mostly) lost all over Europe. Would be interesting to know the various reasons behind this.


  #48  
Old June 7th, 2009, 10:08 pm
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Re: European parliament elections

Some results are coming in here now, we're watching the live results. Mainly the pattern seems to be that Labour are loosing votes which is what was expected. There doesn't seem to be a majority party yet


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  #49  
Old June 7th, 2009, 10:32 pm
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Re: European parliament elections

We laready got the results, and the press-conferences are going on right now. GERB (a right-centre party headed by Sofia's mayor, a very questionable figure to say the least) have the highest percentage, they get 6 seats I think.


  #50  
Old June 7th, 2009, 10:46 pm
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Re: European parliament elections

Can someone tell me who EPP are? They were talking about Poland and that EPP have won but none of us know who EPP are!


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  #51  
Old June 7th, 2009, 10:52 pm
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Re: European parliament elections

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Originally Posted by Lucybird View Post
Can someone tell me who EPP are? They were talking about Poland and that EPP have won but none of us know who EPP are!
European People's Party - a centre-right grouping in the European Parliament (which Cameron has controversially just pulled the Tories out of to join a Eurosceptic grouping, UEN).

Civic Platform, Poland's ruling party, are members of EPP:

http://www.epp.eu/newsdetail.php?new...bsubmenuID=143

So are Nicolas Sarkozy's and Angela Merkel's parties.



Last edited by Melaszka; June 8th, 2009 at 12:14 am.
  #52  
Old June 8th, 2009, 2:13 am
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Re: European parliament elections

Uh wow. BNP won 2 seats...Labour collapses.


  #53  
Old June 8th, 2009, 5:12 am
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Re: European parliament elections

Only 40.2 % of the Finns voted. A bit less than 2004 (41.1%). It's sad, but not worse than a number of other countries.

The very popular leader of the Great Populist Party (True Finns, or whatever their name might translate to) with somewhat xenophobic tendencies got in, of course, dragging with him one extra Christ Democrat. Those two parties were in union in this election - a rather unholly alliance.

The only almost surprise was that the Swedish speakers (a liberal center-to-right party) maintained their one seat although the number of MEPs has gone down to 13. Was 14 before. Considering that this language group is less than 6 % of the total population and that quite some of them vote for other parties getting one out of thirteen seats is not bad.


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  #54  
Old June 8th, 2009, 5:16 am
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Re: European parliament elections

As a rule it's not bad if the odd extremist/single issue party picks up a few seats every now and again. Being bound to do something instead of just shouting from the sides usually shows how bankrupt their policies are and they self-destruct.


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  #55  
Old June 8th, 2009, 8:25 am
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Re: European parliament elections

The UK results leave me a bit.... numb.
I didn't vote Labour myself, but I really didn't want them hammered like that! Labour NOT first in Wales? That's utterly shocking! The world doesn't seemm the same this morning.

I am applled and dismayed about the BNP votes, but also the UKIP votes. It's not just a vote for right wingers, but also a vote for chauvinistic old men (or men who behave as if it were still the 1950s). ARGH.




Quote:
Originally Posted by gertiekeddle View Post
Hardly anyone seems to get excited when whole Europe votes, although that's actually an stunning event. Eurovision song contest seems to be more fascinating.
I agree with this - it's sad. Why can't people see how amazing it actually is that all those countries are having that election? I am always sad that such a stunning event is simply not taken seriously by the media, and even by many politicians.


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Originally Posted by gertiekeddle View Post
Sometimes the memory of our not so famous political past helps to remind the people where hatred and radicalims leads to.
I have always thought that Germany is awesome because of this. Austria has the same past and managed to fudge it in a way that far too many people are comfortable with racist politics now.





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Originally Posted by Wab View Post
As a rule it's not bad if the odd extremist/single issue party picks up a few seats every now and again. Being bound to do something instead of just shouting from the sides usually shows how bankrupt their policies are and they self-destruct.
Don't count on it, Wab. That's what we thought in Austria some 20 years ago.




In Austria this time round things were not as bad as they might have been. There is some weird person who set up his own private party. The programme of 'Liste Martin' is vague, to say the least.... 'we want more democracy', etc. It seems to be pro-EU but also for reform of the EU (I wonder whether they'll find a home in the UK COnservative party's new group, actually).

Interestingly enough, they got something like 17% (3 seats), with one right wing party at 13% (2 seats) and the other one at 5% (no seat).

The governing Labour party lost 10%.

WHat this means is that yes, there is a worryingly large number of people willing to vote right wing, but there are plenty of people who just want to protest vote, and who will go for something less repulsive if they can.


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  #56  
Old June 8th, 2009, 8:42 am
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Re: European parliament elections

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Originally Posted by Wab View Post
As a rule it's not bad if the odd extremist/single issue party picks up a few seats every now and again. Being bound to do something instead of just shouting from the sides usually shows how bankrupt their policies are and they self-destruct.
I wish that were the case here as well. Our extreme right-wing party, Attack, was fourth in the latest parliament elections. That was a real shock, because everyone had underestimated them - they did seem pretty absurd with their anti-muslim, back-to-the-pastoral-past platform, and their leader's books on world consporacy which claimed that groups outside Bulgaria have a plan to destroy it completely within several decades. But they did win quite a few seats in our parliement, and for 4 years they did absolutely nothing in terms of legislation, but they made several massive scandals, including a beating of a senior citizen by the party's leader; false testimony in court; paedophilia (!) - one of their memebers is in fact in prison for that right now; hate speech; a very loud protest against mosque services; and the very famous scandal with the Romani member of the European Parliament Livia Jaroka. And yet yesterday that party came fourth again. We have new elections for parliament in July and they are expected to be fourth or fifth there, too - which means they will have a parliamen representation. I can't wrap my head around it, btu it's fact. The patent exposure of what scum they really are did nothing to reduce their popularity. Do people just identify with hate? Is it enought o just voice what the average Bulgarian living under the poverty threshold is thinking every day? I can't understand it, but unfiortunately, being given responsibility and blowing it completely doesn't always mean self-destruction for such patrties.


  #57  
Old June 8th, 2009, 8:57 am
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Re: European parliament elections

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Don't count on it, Wab. That's what we thought in Austria some 20 years ago.
That's just an observation based on local experience where the likes of One Nation's electoral success resulted in Parliamentary failure and marginalisation.

More extreme groups were even more spectacular failures as the quest for ideological purity prevents any chance of a workable coalition forming as documented in I was a teenage fascist.


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  #58  
Old June 8th, 2009, 8:58 am
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Re: European parliament elections

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The UK results leave me a bit.... numb.
I didn't vote Labour myself, but I really didn't want them hammered like that! Labour NOT first in Wales? That's utterly shocking! The world doesn't seem the same this morning.

I am appalled and dismayed about the BNP votes, but also the UKIP votes. It's not just a vote for right wingers, but also a vote for chauvinistic old men (or men who behave as if it were still the 1950s). ARGH.
The Labour Taffia have had it coming - for too long they have treated Wales as a certainty and a place to parachute in outside candidates - Blaenau Gwent should have been a wake up call for them.

The BNP result is frightening but is in the main due to the vagaries of the electoral system - their vote went up marginally but the collapse of the Labour vote gave them the seats. I would bet a few quid they will not get a seat at the general election. UKIP worry me less - most of them are unlikely to live long enough to be much of an influence.

I bet Cameron is praying this government will ratify Lisbon so he doesn't have to hold a referendum - I think it is a poisoned chalice Brown should leave for him.


  #59  
Old June 8th, 2009, 10:16 am
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Re: European parliament elections

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Originally Posted by Klio View Post
The UK results leave me a bit.... numb.
I didn't vote Labour myself, but I really didn't want them hammered like that! Labour NOT first in Wales? That's utterly shocking! The world doesn't seemm the same this morning.

I am applled and dismayed about the BNP votes, but also the UKIP votes. It's not just a vote for right wingers, but also a vote for chauvinistic old men (or men who behave as if it were still the 1950s). ARGH.
Hardly surprising results. The UK Labour party are barely recognisable to many working class voters these days. Most have either stayed at home or lodged a protest vote.

As for the BNP, if there's ever a reason to reform the UK political system, it’s the sight of fascists winning elections.

Quote:
I agree with this - it's sad. Why can't people see how amazing it actually is that all those countries are having that election? I am always sad that such a stunning event is simply not taken seriously by the media, and even by many politicians.
People aren’t particularly enamoured with a system they see as overly bureaucratic and bloated. EU elections don’t have the same effect as national elections where people can see the effects of their votes in how governments change. Nothing really changes after an EU election because there are no governing parties, just blocks of similar-thinking politicians, which expand and contract according to the political landscape of the day.

Quote:
What this means is that yes, there is a worryingly large number of people willing to vote right wing, but there are plenty of people who just want to protest vote, and who will go for something less repulsive if they can.
Bear in mind the turnout was 43%, continuing a rate of decline since elections started. The lower the turnout gets, the better chance fringe groups have of gaining seats. Many choose to not be a part of it for a varying degree of reasons.

However a high turnout would probably show a remarkable difference in the makeup of the parliament. If people voted based on their political ideology alone and removed all national factors involved, it would show a difference. But EU officials seem to ignore the effect that national issues play on how people vote. If there is disillusionment in one country with one party, then it will mess with the balance of the EU elections, undermining the point of them all.


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  #60  
Old June 8th, 2009, 10:38 am
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Re: European parliament elections

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Originally Posted by vampiricduck View Post
I don't think it was about government unpopularity- because for a change, Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, and Labour (as well as most independents, but not the Greens because they stayed Neutral)) actually wanted a pro EU vote. It was only Sinn Féin that wished for a no vote, along with Libertas and the Socialist Party, but none of them were powerful enough, or indeed, rich enough (so apologies for my exaggeration ) to really force us to vote No. What happened was that the entirety of Dáil Éireann simply got too complacent about it, and didn't spend enough of the money they had to have us vote Yes.

All of that due to the Referendum Commission that is a solely neutral body as a result of Patricia McKenna's case against the Taoiseach in the 1980s, which means that no public funds can be used in an election campaign here. It is solely party funds to be used- and the party funds at that time were not focused on the Lisbon Treaty, which they should have been.

...But they still paid for most of our infrastructure. Without them our depression would likely have been a lot worse. Celtic Tiger might never have happened. And as well as that, the fact that we lost the run of ourselves in the Boom can't be blamed on the EU, imo. And we did lose the run of ourselves. Ross O Carroll Kelly makes a nice chat about it in his new book.
Making fun of people with funny accents will get you nowhere young miss! I think you’re right about the complacency felt by practically the entire Dáil. It was a complacency that they thought the Irish don’t care about Europe and will do what we’re told in relation to Europe, that we'll believe the myths being told and part of that myth is that the EU fixed everything - it didn't and to be fair to it I don't think anything could but to make it out like it is a saviour in a shiny cloak is wrong. Money was being spent by the Yes side - it was spent on smear campaigns not on actually producing material showing anything good coming out of the Treaty. The only people who did were the Labour Party (they had a booklet on the Charter of Fundamental Rights). I had booklets produced by the CAEUC, People Before Profit, the Trades Unions against the EU Constitution and some others as well. People saw the difference. And they saw that since Nice I the Referendum Commission has been neutered. And that the public broadcaster RTÉ was not giving equal time to both sides as it’s meant to.

Quote:
It followed that the Socialist Party, Workers Parties, Libertas under Declan Ganley, and Sinn Féin banded together and gave a number of small facts, a quote or two, and refused to accept that the Treaty would in fact improve the EU. I might as well add that I'm left wing generally. But what those parties and people told us were minority facts that really wouldn't have stood up against any efforts made by the actual Dáil of the day to tell us to vote Yes.

You're correct- but I remember press conferences, and they entirely took over the streets at least of Cork to petition against it. Their posters might not have been the best produced, but there were more of them than there were Pro Lisbon posters, which was a shame given the misrepresentation of the treaty used by those same socialist/Libertas parties.

It was here. And I agree that it was mostly Libertas- but as well as that, the Socialist party in Cork discussed the abortion laws with some people on the streets who would never have had anything to do with the Socialist Party before. It just came up in conversation, and so it was popular anti Lisbon topic down South for quite a few weeks. Either way, it was nicely misleading, wasn't it?
The left wing parties joined the Campiagn Against the EU Constitution which was actually set up and organised by two non-party lecturers in Dublin. All the stuff produced by them is still up on caeuc.org if you want to see where it quotes the Treaty rather than just making vague assurances that the Lisbon was good. I find it strange that the Socialist Party would have been talking about abortion seeing as that party is pro-Abortion. It was the leftwing parties who brought up the strange funding of Libertas and we spent as much time trying to fix the mess groups like YouthDefence created.

Quote:
Yup. But that's not what Libertas or Sinn Féin said (Ha, Sinn Féin talking about neutrality. HA!). They each said that the Lisbon Treaty challenged our neutrality, which is incorrect- but it did scare people.
Well it was actually what Sinn Fein said. I know because they used a lot of CAEUC arguments and because I had the misfortune to end up at some public meetings of theirs.

And I don't think this is too off-topic because it's all about politics of the EU and the way Lisbon was dealt with really showed how people actually felt about the EU and the parliament. I notice that turnout in the Republic of Ireland was 56.5% compared to an EU average of 43.39%. The turnout was very low in the areas where the BNP got in wasn't it?


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