06 June 2009

Shock Horror

So the Dutch released their results a bit early, naughty them

Turns out the far-right 'Freedom Party' (of Geert Wilders fame) got a 'whopping' 17 per cent of the vote

A small loss for the ruling Christian Democratic party and a three point dip in turnout - this really isn't that exciting, or evidence of Europe going fascist, as the Indie and others would have you believe

Firstly, the Freedom Party are not the BNP, they're more like the Dutch equivalent of UKIP, if a little more extreme - they however don't espouse all-white membership and 'voluntary repatriation' - they're a protest vote, much like UKIP are

But I really wanted to pick up on this

Here is the great European paradox. European voters complain that the EU is too distant and too abstract; the more power their elected representatives in Brussels and Strasbourg are given, the more the voters shun the European elections. In 1979, turnout was nearly 62 per cent. In 2004, it was 45 per cent. Yet the European Parliament has acquired considerable new powers to amend European legislation.
You wonder why? Yes the EU has gained more and more power over the years, likewise so has the parliament - but it's still pretty feeble, it's not sovereign in any sense of the word, and people don't want it to be

It is the fundamental flaw with the EU parliament - people across Europe do not regard it as 'their' parliament - they see themselves as only being represented in the minority from their own country

In short, no one sees the EU as their nation - which is really the principle behind a parliament

Take Britain - it doesn't matter if a government isn't supported in one area, let's say nobody on the south coast votes for Labour - that doesn't mean they refuse to accept the current government, I doubt they'd like it, but it's still their government and they accept its decisions - the EU is not seen in this fashion, it's seen as 'foreign' - and that's by pretty much all the people in all the countries

Until people regard 'Europe' as one nation then such a situation will not be possible - I don't support or oppose this, that's just how I see the situation

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