Wednesday 3 June 2009

Polls will open in a matter of hours for European Elections 2009

With only a few hours to go until polls open for the European elections in the UK and the Netherlands, there hasn't been much activity on the online campaigns of the main groups since my short update a few days ago.

The EPP has rejected Czech President Klaus' assertion that the EP elections are unnecessary.

Some former socialist leaders call for a challenger to Barroso - a bit late, mind you. Via a_new_president.

The PES has attacked Barroso's plans for the Social Funds, using some strong rhetoric:

“Shifting around the European Social Fund while unemployment rockets to 27 million unemployed next year is not the answer. Micro-credit is unlikely to have macro results in a hurry. Raising awareness of job mobility is not going to help when there aren’t enough jobs anywhere. This is a weak conservative answer to the deepest social crisis for decades.”

Still, without proposing an alternative leadership with more concrete proposals it is hard to see what makes them electable, except perhaps the chance of ousting Barroso with sheer force of numbers - something that's unlikely to happen in these elections. Poul Nyrup Rasmussen has made a closing campaign statement, urging people to vote.

The European Greens have also given a closing campaign statement. I can't find anything similar for the other groups.

There are concerns that the Netherlands will influence the poll by releasing preliminary election results. While it's illegal under EU law to release the results of the election before all the countries have voted, the Netherlands might get around this by claiming that the preliminary results don't count as a breach since they're not official. On the upside, if such results are released, it will keep bloggers occupied. Exit polls are expected to be published in some countries.

The Swedish Pirate Party (focused on internet downloading liberalisation and that became famous after a Swedish court ruling on internet downloading) has indicated that it will consider the Liberals or Greens as likely partners should it manage to get some of its candidates elected. It would be extra votes for the group line on issues outside internet civil liberties.

(And here's an interesting blog post on the number of Poles abroad voting via consulates and locally).

The BBC has an overview of the major legislation passed by the sixth European Parliament, which might help you decide what issues are important in deciding your vote. And please do vote.

The most "European" debate I've seen so far was today by France 24 (on the video 3/6/2009 - I can't seem to link the video itself).

Finally, and perhaps not surprisingly, Libertas still have "The Libertas programme for a better Europe will be published on this site in the coming weeks." on their policies page.

1 comment:

  1. Sweden and Finland will start publishing "preliminary results" when the polling stations close on Sunday, but this jumpstarts reporting only by a few hours.

    Since the Netherlands vote today (Thursday), this seems to be a substantial breach of the common rules.

    The size of the document might look intimidating, but actually the guide to European election manifestos - European elections 2009 - by European Alternatives is quite handy for those who want to check the main policies of the European level parties.

    After the elections, the elected MEPs are going to work within the EP political groups during the next five years, so it is meaningful to make the connection between the domestic campaign and the European level.

    With regard to Libertas, I wonder what happens if Declan Ganley draws the plug on the party.