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Thread: European Parliament election 2009

  1. #1
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    European Parliament election 2009



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europea...election,_2009

    In three weeks (4 June - 7 June), the elections to the European Parliament will be held in all 27 EU member states. Unfortunately, many Europeans are not aware of the election, so the turnout is usually low (about 50% here in Denmark).

    Have you decided who you will vote for?

    I will definitely vote for a pro-EU candidate, but not a social democrat or a socialist... That leaves me with the Liberal Party and the Conservatives.

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    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    There is an online programme that compares all the European parties' position on the main issues. The EU Profiler will ask you a few questions about your political views then analyse your results and find the party that matches your results most closely. You can view results by country, as a list, a compass graph or a spiderweb graph. It's very well designed.

    I was shocked to see how close the Francophone Belgian Socialists, Christian-Democrats and Liberals were from each others. They have almost identical views on everything ! They are all rated as pro-European (not surprising) and centre-left. Among Francophone Belgian parties only the Ecolo was clearly on the left and the Front National (extreme right) clearly on the right. It seems more diversified in Flanders.
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    It's worrying how little people care about the election. I just heard in the news that the turnout is expected to be well below 50%.

    But after all, I shouldn't be surprised. It is probably due to the Danish media, which don't seem to care either. During the 5 year long election period, they almost never cover the European Parliament, so voters don't even remember who they have elected... Only the last month before the election, the news on TV bother to tell about the EP.

    Pretty sad, since the EU has so much influence on the member states' legislation.

  4. #4
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    I don't think it's a problem specific to the Danish media. Euronews gave an expected turnout of about 40% Europe-wide. As in many countries the European elections coincide with the regional and/or municipal elections, the problem isn't that people don't care about the EU, they just don't care about politics in general.

  5. #5
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    In Greece people have to go to elections by law, else there is some kind of punishment, but that doesnt apply for the EU elections. Everyone in Greece is aware of the elections but polls show that Greeks won't vote cause they are very disappointed by most of the political parties and want to express that by showing inactivity. Plus this year the elections for the EU happen to be at the weekend following a national holiday on Friday (5-6-2009), so people prefer to go to the islands those 3 days :P

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    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Belgium and Luxembourg also have compulsory voting, and that applies for European elections as well (maybe because they are always combined with local elections ?).

    People aren't forced to vote so much as to show up. Anybody can vote blank if they want. The fine for not showing up is about 250 euro.

  7. #7
    Regular Member Marianne's Avatar
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    They can vote blank in if they want here too, but in the end all blanks are counted as votes for the party that has the most votes. So if people don't like anyone they either vote a random party that usually never gets enough votes to enter the parliament or they give an invalid vote (marks on the paper etc).

    In the past the penalty for not voting was the same as when a soldier runs away from a battle, against the orders (google translator gives me the word renegade) and the person was considered a traitor to his/her country. Now it's changed but i can't remember the current penalty.

    I have no idea why it doesn't apply for EU elections, but the fact that this was a bad year due to political scandals in Greece and that the elections happen to be at the same weekend with the national holidays disencourages people to go vote...

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    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marianne View Post
    In the past the penalty for not voting was the same as when a soldier runs away from a battle, against the orders (google translator gives me the word renegade) and the person was considered a traitor to his/her country. Now it's changed but i can't remember the current penalty.
    That's a bit extreme, isn't it. When did the penalty change ?

  9. #9
    Regular Member Marianne's Avatar
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    Yes it was extreme. I can't remember when exactly it was changed but it wasn't recently. I wasn't even born when it happened.

    Greeks have been interested in politics since ancient times and it was always considered a duty of all civilians to be active members of the society and voting was a way to do this. Since ancient times, when someone was not participating in politics was called ιδιώτης (idiotis) which means "private person" but with such a negative meaning that it ended up being the word "idiot" in english that we all know.

    So as you understand, the law was indeed extreme but noone felt forced to vote because everyone in Greece thinks it's his/her duty to vote at the national elections and make decisions for the country.

  10. #10
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    The Election results are out (graph here). The left and independence parties lost a lot of seat mostly to the profit of the liberals and greens. This is about the only thing I had hoped for. The Centre-Right EPP remains the dominant party. One major change is the British Conservative Party leaving the EPP for the "no group" category.

    Marianne, I was surprised to see that the turnout in Greece was only 52%, not much above the EU average (as opposed to 91% in Belgium and Luxembourg). Are you sure voting is compulsory in Greece ?
    Last edited by Maciamo; 08-06-09 at 10:23.

  11. #11
    Regular Member Marianne's Avatar
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    Yes it is for national elections.
    This year was the worst concerning partitipation in the EU elections for Greece.

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    None of my husband's family went to vote because of the communion of a member of the family, and for people, who know how it works, we cannot choose the date and it is considered an important family event, but otherwise there should be more right wing supporters.

    Moreover the action of making critics without votes is kind of hypocrite! lol
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