May 27, 2009
Today I voted in advance for European Parliament elections as during election Day I will enjoy my life in Belgrade. If someone has been reading my posts a just question would be Why? Although in general I more like than dislike EU and am familiar in European environment – especially in its eastern parts – I have been also sceptical about EU, criticised some of its policies and I have described European Parliament totally unnecessary institute. In principle I have not much to change with my earlier post “When decisions needed ‘Puppetparliament’ is bystander” but some explanation could take place.
The European elections which really matter are the national ones in those countries which have been the main engines or brakes of the European project. If the Conservatives win the general election in Britain the European project will slow down, while general elections in Germany can give a boost to EU or not depending results. These are the real European elections not this circus next week.
Despite what happens with Lisbon Treaty the political will still expressed through national governments has the decisive role with designing EU’s policy in future and those governments themselves reflect the wishes of national electorates, not the puppet theatre in Strassbourg. So in my opinion the power lies with national governments, and the people of Europe show no desire to place it anywhere else like EU. One proof for my claim is comparing the turnouts with national and EU elections.
The next question is if highlighting national elections at the EP election’s expense is good or bad aspect for democracy. I advocate a basic old EU ideal about subsidiarity principle that matters ought to be handled by the smallest, lowest or least centralized competent authority. It is easier to find, claim and replace responsible persons at local or national level than try the same in EU bureaucracy.
Coming back to the original issue about my motivations to vote in EP elections I have a simple answer – I voted because of domestic policy in Finland. There is nice selection of wannabe MEPs to select in Finland. One can not only vote retired third class politician; one can vote rally driver, athletic, ex-swimmer, variety of mental cases, priest, woman known about her hobby to collect vomit backs from aeroplanes (btw a sitting MEP), talk show hosts etc. There is also few civilised, educated persons with both own visions and experience as candidate however in media hype they are in the background. With my vote I try to show my support to serious politician so that also in future party lists one could find alternatives to celebrities.