European Parliament Elections 2014

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md0
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European Parliament Elections 2014

Postby md0 » 2013-09-19, 17:06

Since the first campaigns showed up, I might as well create the topic.

So, European Parliament elections. Up until now now one really cared about them in most EU countries. It was just for party fanatics to show off. But this year we have a pan-European crisis, and I'd expect that people will care more, and the parties will talk about real issues this time.

For the time being, I have to submit this 15-question quiz which calculates your proximity to national parties, European parties, and individual MEPs. The questions are taken from recent "landmark" votes in the Parliament, and the quiz provides context and pro and con statements (also, a list of how the MEPs voted, but I suggest you resist seeing those before voting).

MyVote2014.eu

Not surprisingly, it says that I am very close to S&D (Socialists and Democrats) - 80%, and 67% close to ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe). Expected. (Ok, also 67% with European United Left/Nordic Left, and the European Greens, but I care little about them... though one Cypriot MEP in United Left has a decent voting record).

Problem is that the two national S&D affiliates are a joke and social-democrats in name only (Cyprus has six right wing parties and one party that thinks we live in 1940. Among the right wingers, some call themselves social democrats, and the 1940 one is the Communist Party that should hurry up and dissolve already. We need that left half of the spectrum to be filled with useful people).
As for the ALDE affiliate, it's clinically dead.

Too soon to decide what to vote, I hope a new progressive party will arise. What about you guys? Do you even care about the EU Parliament btw? :P (No snarky comments from non-EU citizens please, but I'd love to hear serious opinions from you).
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Re: European Parliament Elections 2014

Postby Car » 2013-09-19, 18:10

meidei wrote:So, European Parliament elections. Up until now now one really cared about them in most EU countries. It was just for party fanatics to show off. But this year we have a pan-European crisis, and I'd expect that people will care more, and the parties will talk about real issues this time.


I seriously doubt that. If anything, people will care even less because they're tired of the EU and politics in general.
Please correct my mistakes!

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Re: European Parliament Elections 2014

Postby md0 » 2013-09-19, 18:56

I am afraid that will be a self-fulfilling prophecy. If EU Parliament doesn't gain legitimacy to tackle pan-European problems now that we are at a tipping point, it's going to take decades to get the chance again. Of course I understand that a more lax Union is not necessarily a bad thing, but I think that some problems exceed national governments.
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Re: European Parliament Elections 2014

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-09-19, 19:01

I'm going to vote the most eurosceptic party :D

I'd like to see the EUSSR europroject dissolved ASAP. Before it's too late.

Anyways I think the EU should allow people to vote also for parties that are from other countries. I feel very represented by the British UKIP, and haven't found a valid Italian counterpart yet.

Oh and we should also be allowed to vote the European Commission. After all it's the Commission that has the exclusive right of legislative initiative, not the Parliament.

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Re: European Parliament Elections 2014

Postby md0 » 2013-09-19, 19:31

Oh and we should also be allowed to vote the European Commission. After all it's the Commission that has the exclusive right of legislative initiative, not the Parliament.

The EU has democratic legitimacy issues and it's one of the things that will concern me in those elections.

But, I feel, and maybe I am an outlier, but still, I think that despite the eurozone crisis which was not handled correctly from the beginning (poor bank oversight nationally and on a European level), EU remains a net force for good. It will take much more than this to over-shadow the legal harmonisation on topics of civil rights, customer protection, academic and labour mobility, the single market, the existence of ECHR and ECtHR (which they are not purely EU things, but are required for EU members). Don't mistake me for a federalist, I don't believe that EU can ever be federalised. And yes, the Eurozone is surely problematic and the way they are currently trying to fix it doesn't work. But I wouldn't dissolve EU just for the Eurozone.
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Re: European Parliament Elections 2014

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-09-19, 20:11

I have different opinions. My main concern right now is the euro. Lots of economists (including Nobel Prizes such as Krugman, Stiglitz, Friedman and Sen) told us right from the start that the euro and Maastricht were pure craziness.

Moreover the way those people in Brussels and Frankfurt are dealing with this crisis is f*cking scary. Greece could have been saved quite easily (again, that's what many economists say). But instead, they are adopting procyclical measures in such a dire downturn... which is like curing a poisoned person with arsenic.

They want us to believe that the problem is the public debt when Japan has a public debt which is 240% of its GDP whereas Ireland's one is only 20%, and guess which one is doing better.

They refuse to address the real problem which is that we are in a new gold standard, that a fixed exchange rate regime is damaging, that so different economies should have never been forced together, that you cannot expect anything good when countries with a weaker currency suddenly adopt a new, stronger one (Argentina docet).

These are my main concerns right now. Secondly, yep, I'm afraid of the anti-democratic aspect of the EU. When the most powerful institution cannot be elected but is just indirectly appointed, well that's quite worrisome.

I'm pretty sure that all the things you said could have been achieved also in other ways. For sure they don't require us giving up our monetary sovereignty, and not even the creation of such a big supranational organization with such a grave lack of democracy.
Last edited by IpseDixit on 2013-10-05, 12:53, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: European Parliament Elections 2014

Postby md0 » 2013-09-19, 20:44

Japan is locked in a debt trap as well. The interest on government borrowing accumulates so that taxes can't even cover that, let alone leaving money to go on public spending (roads and hospitals and stuff), so they need to borrow more.
The bailouts in EU were a disaster (unless the goal was for the periphery economies to never recover, in which case they are actually successful), yes. But just printing money forever wouldn't break the debt trap.
I've heard one proposal to salvage the Eurozone without abolishing it, namely, eurobonds, aka a transfer union. I don't have an informed opinion on that yet, but I'll seek to talk with economists about it (friends of a friend that teach Economics in a big British University kind of thing).
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Re: European Parliament Elections 2014

Postby enricmm » 2013-10-04, 22:20

Why isn't there a Pan-European UKIP? I'd vote it without a doubt even if I was a leftist. Let us all destroy the EU.

BTW, isn't it quite a paradoz that those who care more about EU issues are we, the euroskeptics antieuropeists?
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Re: European Parliament Elections 2014

Postby md0 » 2013-10-04, 22:43

I wouldn't be so quick to promise that I'd vote a party that can barely stop it's MPs and MEPs from going into into their individual racist rants (sure, sure, racism is not the party's platform, but their MPs sure can't control themselves).

I don't know what you individually do, but as far as anti-EU newspapers go, they publish one hoax mail after another without researching it even a bit. I wouldn't exactly use the verb "to care" for what they do. More like "if we repeat a lie enough times, it will become true" (or as Stephen Colbert said more recently, it's the "truthiness" of an idea that decides policies).
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Re: European Parliament Elections 2014

Postby Патрислав Андреевич » 2013-10-04, 23:17

I love quizes like that! Though it seems there is no political group that shares my views; the closest match being European Conservatives and Reformists Group at.. 60%. Then is the Europe of Freedom and Democracy Group at 53%.

As for national parties... Partij voor de Vrijheid got 87%; British National Party, Democratic Unionist Party, and Front National all got 80%. The first Polish party was Prawo i Sprawiedliwość, with its "child" Polska Jest Najważniejsza. Well... not surprising since they are the biggest right-wing party in Poland (which I call bullshit - maybe they are conservative on social matters, but quite left-wing economically.)

My "dream EU" is one without any real power. It should be an organisation for free trade, academic and scientific cooperation. But the national level should be more important. I say no to euro. No to European Parliament and all of that useless bureaucracy. No to "European Union" on my passport above "Republic of Poland," it's not a province of EU. And finally NO to all of the questions in the quiz (seriously, I was against everything, except the "Romanians' and Bulgarians' access to labour market," where I abstained.)

Yeaa, you know, I'm kinda eurosceptic, eh.

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Re: European Parliament Elections 2014

Postby Levike » 2013-10-05, 0:00

My results were:
MEP: Philippe de Backer 85%
National Party: Centerpartiet 69%
EP Party: Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe 67%

I would like EU to be only an economical block.

And I say yes to the Eurozone and to the Schengen.
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Re: European Parliament Elections 2014

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-10-05, 12:30

meidei wrote:I wouldn't be so quick to promise that I'd vote a party that can barely stop it's MPs and MEPs from going into into their individual racist rants (sure, sure, racism is not the party's platform, but their MPs sure can't control themselves).


Can you elaborate?

UKIP has transgendered and not-exactly-white members too. Farage has always said the party is "colour blind".

But in any case, yeah the racism card seems like the ultimate card to play when someone is denouncing sacrosanct things about an anti-democratic organization that is mangling Europe.

You know what? I've always considered myself as a mild leftist but I don't f*cking care if some members of that party have made racist remarks. That's not the main issue, that's a marginal thing when you have Europe which is on the brink of collapse.

enricmm wrote:BTW, isn't it quite a paradoz that those who care more about EU issues are we, the euroskeptics antieuropeists?


If more people cared about the EU, we'd be a lot more, but eurocrats have all the interest in keeping people ignorant.
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Re: European Parliament Elections 2014

Postby enricmm » 2013-10-05, 14:04

meidei wrote:I wouldn't be so quick to promise that I'd vote a party that can barely stop it's MPs and MEPs from going into into their individual racist rants (sure, sure, racism is not the party's platform, but their MPs sure can't control themselves).


I said a Pan-European equivalent of the UKIP, not the UKIP. But anyways I prefer a party whose main "problem" is the "excess" of freedom of its members to such a "democratic" institution like the European Commission.

Levente wrote:I would like EU to be only an economical block.

And I say yes to the Eurozone and to the Schengen.


I only say yes to Schengen but we agree: Europe should only be something economic meant to make commerce easier and nothing else.

IpseDixit wrote:If more people cared about the EU, we'd be a lot more, but eurocrats have all the interest in keeping people ignorant.


Damn right! The EU is like the Bible: the more you know about it the less you believe in it. May the EU die!
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Re: European Parliament Elections 2014

Postby Sol Invictus » 2013-10-05, 22:04

Car wrote:
meidei wrote:So, European Parliament elections. Up until now now one really cared about them in most EU countries. It was just for party fanatics to show off. But this year we have a pan-European crisis, and I'd expect that people will care more, and the parties will talk about real issues this time.


I seriously doubt that. If anything, people will care even less because they're tired of the EU and politics in general.

I don't see why anyone should - we only get to elect few MPs that cannot affect anything, if they were going to sell it like what pan-European political force they will join and what that will do for us maybe there would be a point, right now it's just a matter of sending hardliners of our former communist party to bother somebody else

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Re: European Parliament Elections 2014

Postby md0 » 2013-10-07, 20:54

I was away for the weekend, just so your answers, and to be honest, if you see yourself as the "gang of the Enlightened", maybe we should just leave it there.
If more people cared about the EU, we'd be a lot more, but eurocrats have all the interest in keeping people ignorant.


UKIP has transgendered and not-exactly-white members too. Farage has always said the party is "colour blind".

"colour blind" is the excuse of whose in privilege. If you pretend that you don't see race in a world were race is a social factor, what you do is ignore reality.
As for having non-white members, that's also not important. UKIP's agenda is how ECtHR doesn't let the UK deal with immigrants "the right way". Of course, from my POV, ECtHR is actually a very important institution that brought justice in many countries were the domestic courts were institutionally unfair. And ECtHR is not even an EU institution, it's a Council of Europe thing.

But fair enough, you didn't mean the UKIP per se.

Europe should only be something economic meant to make commerce easier and nothing else.

Well, EU was created to make the economies of Europe codependent so that they wouldn't go in a war again (and I believe that goal was achieved) but over the years, being a quasi-confederation brought some social progress in many countries. If anything, EU fails at being an economic union, but succeeds in being a lax political union. So I am kind of not seeing you guys' point.
I am with you in the EU Commission not being democratic enough, as I have already stated. That needs to change.
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Re: European Parliament Elections 2014

Postby Патрислав Андреевич » 2013-10-07, 22:06

meidei wrote:Well, EU was created to make the economies of Europe codependent so that they wouldn't go in a war again (and I believe that goal was achieved) but over the years, being a quasi-confederation brought some social progress in many countries. If anything, EU fails at being an economic union, but succeeds in being a lax political union. So I am kind of not seeing you guys' point.

Well, one reason might be that maybe not everyone wants a "quasi-confederation" or that social "progress" you're talking about (I mean, just like you don't always know what's good and bad, you can't always know what's being a progress and what a regress). And not everyone wants it to be a "lax political union".. Just sayin'. :lol:

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Re: European Parliament Elections 2014

Postby md0 » 2013-10-07, 22:10

Well, you voted to join the EU. If your country wants to pull out, they can.
But sending UKIP-like parties to Europarl (people who do not care in fixing EU, instead they only abstain) is just ruining it for the countries who see merit in fixing EU and want to stay in the union.
Sure, legal to do, but why implode the union when you can just leave it?
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Re: European Parliament Elections 2014

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-10-07, 22:26

meidei wrote:Well, you voted to join the EU. If your country wants to pull out, they can.
But sending UKIP-like parties to Europarl (people who do not care in fixing EU, instead they only abstain) is just ruining it for the countries who see merit in fixing EU and want to stay in the union.
Sure, legal to do, but why implode the union when you can just leave it?


Well, I think you are implying that each country has an unanimous voice. The reality is that UKIP or any other euroscpetic party represents a more or less considerable chunk of each country's society, but not the whole society.

In other words: why don't we/they leave? Because we're not the majority yet, and for the time being, if we want to have a say in the EU, the only way is through the europarliament.

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Re: European Parliament Elections 2014

Postby md0 » 2013-10-07, 22:37

Sure, it's your right to be represented and I do not question UKIP's right to be there. But what they do is just abstain 9 out of 10 times. I'd have more respect for them if they voted against further EU integration instead of just pocketing the MEP salary without doing anything (and yes, their voters did sent them to do just that, waste EU's funds to somehow show that EU is bad. I have no respect for that attitude).

In any case, in my country, it took three parliament terms from application to acceptance into EU. If the society wanted out, they had 15 years to stop it. I don;t buy the "noone asked us" thing I sometimes hear here. We were asked thrice.

In any case, and to go back on topic, I don't understand what specific things you don't like about EU.
The only concrete reason I've heard from you guys is the one I actually agree with, that EU commission should be an elected position.
You seem to like Schengen, you seem to like the common market, you didn't object to ECtHR, so what is it that you don't like other than the issues with the Commission? I honestly want to understand.
(Ipse, you mentioned Eurozone, but the other guys didn't object to the Euro either).
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Re: European Parliament Elections 2014

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-10-07, 23:05

As I already said, for me the first problem with the EU is the euro, the second is the lack of democracy, the third is the whole project of making Europe look like a super-state to the detriment of national democracy and sovereignty that are phased out. I'd have no problem with European cooperation, but we went too far.

Of course I cannot speak for the other guys :)


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