Sunday, 7 June 2009

Hast du einen Opa, schick' ihn nach Europa...

If you have a Grandfather send him to the European Parliament! A famous quote from the beginnings of the European Parliament. Fortunately, we've come a long way since. If you look at the candidates that are standing up for the elections this time - at least in Germany - they are no longer long-term politicians sent to Brussels by their parties where they can do the least damage. Quite a number are of younger age (says a best ager) and Mausi gets the impression they are increasingly warming to the idea of a united Europe.

And it is not anymore that Brussels is as far away from all of us as it seems. Legislation from Brussels affects each of us in our daily life. The European Parliament has been gaining power over the years and it is the only European institution that is democratically elected. So we really should make use of our right to vote for our Parliament.

Sadly polls for the European Parliament are traditionally low and often depend to quite a certain extent on the weather. As elections in Germany are always on a Sunday, good weather means people are more likely to stop at a polling station while take a stroll with the family in the afternoon or on their way back from church. Today it is raining in Germany and estimates are that the poll will be around 40% as in 2004. Another thing is, of course, that people are losing confidence in the politicians' ability to really solve any kind of problem. People's voting behaviour in the European elections always reflects the actual political drama in the respective countries. In Germany, with the next elections coming up at the end of this year, politicians are falling over themselves spending the taxpayers' money in an effort to counter the aftermath of the global economical crisis and to save workplaces. All they seem to achieve, though, is doctoring the symptoms without getting to the root of the problem.

Anyhow, Mausi hopes that many Europeans will exercise their privilege to vote today so that the European Parliament will one day really speak for the majority of the European citizens.

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps a symptom of the lack of nthusiasm for the majority of Europeans for an expensive and wasteful organisation which is little more than a featherbed for unwanted politicians? The UK has sunk to a very low poll andhere in Ireland it seems to be even lower - an indication of the Irish peoples contempt for an institution which says they must vote again on a constitution they have already rejected.