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European Union

Is the EU Moving Right or Acting Out?

European Union 45%

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If one looks only at the end result, the headlines are generally correct. Last weekend’s elections for seats in the EU Parliament indicate power in that body is now concentrated to the right of center. But things are never that simple when 27 countries are involved in creating a super-state entity while -- simultaneously -- being embroiled in their own national political dramas. 

For a start, who exactly is moving anything in any direction when only 43.09 percent of all eligible voters go to the polls? 10 out of the 27 EU nations recorded higher turnouts, with Belgium and Luxembourg on the high end at 91 percent. Three former Soviet satellites (the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Slovakia) came in on the low end at 25 percent or under. It would seem that the €18 million ($25 mil) the EU Parliament spent on an “election awareness campaign” was not a good civic investment. Of course, bureaucracies are famous for squandering the people’s money.

To the uninitiated, European Party politics can be confusing. Here is a brief introduction. The EU Parliament now comprises 736 seats. These seats are currently held among seven parties and a miscellaneous segment known as “Others.” To be listed on an EU Parliamentary ballot and submit candidates for election, a party must meet basic EU requirements by holding a certain percentage of seats within its own national government. All 27 EU countries vote on candidates from within their own nations by party affiliation. The final configuration of the EU Parliament is, therefore, a reflection of the distribution of elected party members when the ballots from each nation are tallied and added together.  



The number of party members elected by each country can also create a power base. Germany will be sending 99 deputies to Belgium, the largest national contingent, since Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrat Party crushed its competition, the Social Democrats, by a margin of 48 to 20.8 percent. In France, President Sarkozy’s Union for a Popular Movement received 28 percent of the vote as compared to 16.8 percent for the Socialists, but France’s voter turnout was below the overall average of 43 percent. What these figures suggest is that rather than turning to the right, Eur. peans turned away from voting at all and clearly the Socialists were more likely to sit this one out.

...continues

by Susan Easton

 

Source: Human Events.co - 06/10/2009


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