Will EP elections bring a Hamas phenomenon inside EU?

June 5, 2009

EU is the largest single market in the world and the biggest donor in humanitarian aid, providing 56 percent of assistance to developing countries worldwide.   With this background it’s sad that the foreign affairs – CFSP, ESDP – is presumably the ‘weakest link’ of the EU.  Earlier I have criticized EU too much following agenda of U.S. foreign policy interests.  In addition  blocs such as Africa Group, Organisation of the Islamic Conference, Arab Group, Non-Aligned Movement, have shown to be more united in the UN than the EU.

Inside EU the weakest link is the European Parliament.  In principle it can only slow common development policy designed in Commission and Council of Ministers.  The power still lies with national governments and the Europeans, public, is showing no will to place it anywhere else.

In going elections trend is a turning inward, a renationalisation of European politics, and a shift to protectionism.  While the turnout will probably be even lower than before my forecast about the result will be following:

  • those who have strong opinions are motivated for voting,
  • the share of those with strong opinions will be in EP bigger than in national parliaments
  • strong opinions in EU election are mostly channelled via euro-sceptics, nationalists, populist and right-wing parties
  • if UK Conservatives are leaving the biggest group in EP new coalitions new combination of ad hoc coalitions are possible
  • euroscepticism, previously a British and, to a lesser extent, a Scandinavian characteristic, is spreading even into the historical heartland of the EU, such as the Netherlands
  • also new left can gain support from mainstream social democrats

The bottom line will be more extremist politics and bye bye Lisbon Treaty, EU enlargement and cohesion.

Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, urged the European Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) “to launch an investigation into the financing and promotion campaigns of MEPs who will be elected this week to the new European Parliament and who espouse anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, anti-Roma, homophobic or other discriminatory platforms.

It totally possible that apathy towards political élites, low turnout and success of anti-Europeans, extremists etc will bring Hamas phenomenon inside EU.  Democratic election went wrong at least from pro-European perspective.  The gap between parliament and other EU institutions will be wider so what’s the response – maybe blockade of EP.

My forecast does not set great hopes on some nice ideas of common Europe.  Maybe this is not big loss anyway as diversity probably is one of rare European core values.


Votes for Sale in EP election?

June 1, 2009

A common utterance “money talks” is sometimes used also related to elections.One could suppose that if voting matters the parties or candidates are investing more to win elections.Normal marketing is sometimes not guaranteeing enough votes so in many societies more crude means are used such as election fraud/rigging, non-transparent and illegal political campaign and party financing.A simple vote buying maybe tells most about importance of elections. I wonder if there exists in any EU member state a barometer showing current price level of votes in EP elections, not only the official campaign costs but the unofficial price per vote.

Buying a polling station or enough of them could be one possibility which from my opinion is complicated to implement in EP elections. I was quite surprised while reading from BNP pages that some party really thinks this to be possible.A quote:

All British National Party members and supporters have been urged to be on the lookout for polling station fraud committed by corrupt officials who may seek to cast ghost votes in the election on June 4th, party leader Nick Griffin has announced. “We have received information that certain corrupt officials at some polling stations have devised a plan whereby they intend to vote on other people’s behalf towards the end of polling day,” Mr Griffin said. “Apparently the plan is to wait until late on polling day, and then to start crossing off names of people on the electoral register who have not yet voted and then voting on their behalf,” Mr Griffin said.

If buying votes via election organisation is difficult there is always possibility to buy them directly from electorate.In Finland there is a tradition to transport free people in rural areas from their home to polling station and maybe give them a cup of coffee and expect that they may vote “right way”;otherwise these voters would maybe stay home. Of course one can select the persons to which give free transport but it does not guarantee the “right” vote. During this EP elections I have impression that free transport services are lower level than before indicating the unimportance of coming election.

More effective way is to bay vote with money. In Finland I have not heard this to been done but in Balkans situation is a bit different or what to think about following quote from Bulgaria April 2, 2009:

Bulgarian MPs have passed a new set of punishments for anyone found to be involved in ‘vote buying’ after the second reading of a new bill Thursday. Bulgarian MPs have passed a new set of punishments for anyone found to be involved in ‘vote buying’ after the second reading of a new bill on Thursday. Anyone found to be involved in vote rigging or buying will now receive a jail term of 1-3 years and a fine of between BGN 1 000 and BGN 10 000. This new law includes anyone found threatening or conning voters during local or national elections. For more serious offences judges will be able to give a jail term of up to 6 years and a fine of up to BGN 20 000. The bill was passed soon after Bulgaria’s Chief Prosecutor, Boris Velchev, called on all political parties to slam vote buying practices. “Vote buying is nothing new but it has recently entered court-rooms,” Velchev stated. He expressed concerns that this practice may cast a shadow over the upcoming general and EP elections in the summer.

Modern technology helps to monitor that buyer gets what (s)he is paying for.E.g. the voter takes a picture with mobile phone about voting slip, shows it to payer and gets money. In Balkans I have heard the sum vary between 5 to 50 euro per vote;I wonder what’s the value during these EP elections.

Vote buying is one kind of political corruption – misuse of political power for private gain for preserving or strengthening power, for personal enrichment or both.A candidate can use also indirect means get power for benefits like cronyism, clientelism, nepotism, patronage, insider trading, speed money, embezzlement or abuse of public property.These indirect ways are hard to proof.

For me it would be interesting to get feedback about different variations of vote buying during this EP elections – variations which are outside normal marketing, legal, sometimes even transparent campaigns.Even in overall this EP elections seems to have low market value there maybe are candidates who want to collect their million from Brussels and are using unusual means to get it.Learning these bad practices could help to improve countermeasures for next next EP quality in future.


Discovering the EP with Europarltv videos

May 25, 2009

While European Parliament elections soon are coming I was curious to see how EU propaganda machinery with their countless millions of taxpayers’ money is putting their best to attract public to cast their vote.  So I opened Europarltv which launched a series of videos explaining the history the Parliament, how it works and why to vote. Here is feedback of my wasted time:

First impression was that I am watching some practice videos made by some primary school hobby group under supervision (without supervision the pupils probably would be much more creative). Maybe producers have selected a line explain EU/EP for dummies but I wonder is the target group really the same than with shopping tv, where brain-dead people who have nothing more important in life than buy multiple priced bullshit from divan.

To avoid boredom I tried to concentrate to content. Interested in history I watched few videos including response to holocaust denial, some allegorical Hemingway quotation as starting step towards European Constitution in 1984 etc. I bet that EU history has much more interesting aspects than selected. Indeed a couple of weeks ago Adam LeBor published a conspiracy thriller “The Budapest Protocol” based real event in Strasbourg on August 10, 1944. There Nazi officers ordered a group of German industrials to plan for Germany’s post-war recovery – the Fourth Reich – an economic empire known later as European Union. (more about US intelligence document related to Nazi’s secret post-war plans in Mail on Sunday )

Abandoning history and fictions an interesting video headline was “Who decides in Europe?”.  The main claim was that no law which are in EU’s limits – will pass without EP. Correct! What was said only indirect was, that EP’s role is totally bystander. The formulations are made in Commission and decisions in Council of Ministers, EP can only slow this common development work not take the initiative. I think that producers tried to hide the insignificance of EP behind positive image of EU.

The official tv-spot highlights the same EU’s decision making dilemma. After imaginary news headlines the ad claims “You decide what tomorrows news will be”. Again correct! Your vote can have some influence in national elections and your government can be formulating the future EU policy with other national governments and EC; but where is the connections to EP elections – nowhere.

In conclusion I would say that EU could have used – or best not to use at all – its propaganda investment better; probably no big international company would waste money to marketing with so low standards. After EP videos it does not surprise me if the turnout is even lower than before.

One view about EU propaganda can be found from my post “ 20 bn propaganda


Discovering the EP with Europarltv videos

May 25, 2009

While European Parliament elections soon are coming I was curious to see how EU propaganda machinery with their countless millions of taxpayers’ money is putting their best to attract public to cast their vote.  So I opened Europarltv which launched a series of videos explaining the history the Parliament, how it works and why to vote. Here is feedback of my wasted time:

First impression was that I am watching some practice videos made by some primary school hobby group under supervision (without supervision the pupils probably would be much more creative). Maybe producers have selected a line explain EU/EP for dummies but I wonder is the target group really the same than with shopping tv, where brain-dead people who have nothing more important in life than buy multiple priced bullshit from divan.

To avoid boredom I tried to concentrate to content. Interested in history I watched few videos including response to holocaust denial, some allegorical Hemingway quotation as starting step towards European Constitution in 1984 etc. I bet that EU history has much more interesting aspects than selected. Indeed a couple of weeks ago Adam LeBor published a conspiracy thriller “The Budapest Protocol” based real event in Strasbourg on August 10, 1944. There Nazi officers ordered a group of German industrials to plan for Germany’s post-war recovery – the Fourth Reich – an economic empire known later as European Union. (more about US intelligence document related to Nazi’s secret post-war plans in Mail on Sunday )

Abandoning history and fictions an interesting video headline was “Who decides in Europe?”.  The main claim was that no law which are in EU’s limits – will pass without EP. Correct! What was said only indirect was, that EP’s role is totally bystander. The formulations are made in Commission and decisions in Council of Ministers, EP can only slow this common development work not take the initiative. I think that producers tried to hide the insignificance of EP behind positive image of EU.

The official tv-spot highlights the same EU’s decision making dilemma. After imaginary news headlines the ad claims “You decide what tomorrows news will be”. Again correct! Your vote can have some influence in national elections and your government can be formulating the future EU policy with other national governments and EC; but where is the connections to EP elections – nowhere.

In conclusion I would say that EU could have used – or best not to use at all – its propaganda investment better; probably no big international company would waste money to marketing with so low standards. After EP videos it does not surprise me if the turnout is even lower than before.

One view about EU propaganda can be found from my post “ 20 bn propaganda


Discovering the EP with Europarltv videos

May 25, 2009

While European Parliament elections soon are coming I was curious to see how EU propaganda machinery with their countless millions of taxpayers’ money is putting their best to attract public to cast their vote.  So I opened Europarltv which launched a series of videos explaining the history the Parliament, how it works and why to vote. Here is feedback of my wasted time:

First impression was that I am watching some practice videos made by some primary school hobby group under supervision (without supervision the pupils probably would be much more creative). Maybe producers have selected a line explain EU/EP for dummies but I wonder is the target group really the same than with shopping tv, where brain-dead people who have nothing more important in life than buy multiple priced bullshit from divan.

To avoid boredom I tried to concentrate to content. Interested in history I watched few videos including response to holocaust denial, some allegorical Hemingway quotation as starting step towards European Constitution in 1984 etc. I bet that EU history has much more interesting aspects than selected. Indeed a couple of weeks ago Adam LeBor published a conspiracy thriller “The Budapest Protocol” based real event in Strasbourg on August 10, 1944. There Nazi officers ordered a group of German industrials to plan for Germany’s post-war recovery – the Fourth Reich – an economic empire known later as European Union. (more about US intelligence document related to Nazi’s secret post-war plans in Mail on Sunday )

Abandoning history and fictions an interesting video headline was “Who decides in Europe?”.  The main claim was that no law which are in EU’s limits – will pass without EP. Correct! What was said only indirect was, that EP’s role is totally bystander. The formulations are made in Commission and decisions in Council of Ministers, EP can only slow this common development work not take the initiative. I think that producers tried to hide the insignificance of EP behind positive image of EU.

The official tv-spot highlights the same EU’s decision making dilemma. After imaginary news headlines the ad claims “You decide what tomorrows news will be”. Again correct! Your vote can have some influence in national elections and your government can be formulating the future EU policy with other national governments and EC; but where is the connections to EP elections – nowhere.

In conclusion I would say that EU could have used – or best not to use at all – its propaganda investment better; probably no big international company would waste money to marketing with so low standards. After EP videos it does not surprise me if the turnout is even lower than before.

One view about EU propaganda can be found from my post “ 20 bn propaganda


Discovering the EP with Europarltv videos

May 25, 2009

While European Parliament elections soon are coming I was curious to see how EU propaganda machinery with their countless millions of taxpayers’ money is putting their best to attract public to cast their vote.  So I opened Europarltv which launched a series of videos explaining the history the Parliament, how it works and why to vote. Here is feedback of my wasted time:

First impression was that I am watching some practice videos made by some primary school hobby group under supervision (without supervision the pupils probably would be much more creative). Maybe producers have selected a line explain EU/EP for dummies but I wonder is the target group really the same than with shopping tv, where brain-dead people who have nothing more important in life than buy multiple priced bullshit from divan.

To avoid boredom I tried to concentrate to content. Interested in history I watched few videos including response to holocaust denial, some allegorical Hemingway quotation as starting step towards European Constitution in 1984 etc. I bet that EU history has much more interesting aspects than selected. Indeed a couple of weeks ago Adam LeBor published a conspiracy thriller “The Budapest Protocol” based real event in Strasbourg on August 10, 1944. There Nazi officers ordered a group of German industrials to plan for Germany’s post-war recovery – the Fourth Reich – an economic empire known later as European Union. (more about US intelligence document related to Nazi’s secret post-war plans in Mail on Sunday )

Abandoning history and fictions an interesting video headline was “Who decides in Europe?”.  The main claim was that no law which are in EU’s limits – will pass without EP. Correct! What was said only indirect was, that EP’s role is totally bystander. The formulations are made in Commission and decisions in Council of Ministers, EP can only slow this common development work not take the initiative. I think that producers tried to hide the insignificance of EP behind positive image of EU.

The official tv-spot highlights the same EU’s decision making dilemma. After imaginary news headlines the ad claims “You decide what tomorrows news will be”. Again correct! Your vote can have some influence in national elections and your government can be formulating the future EU policy with other national governments and EC; but where is the connections to EP elections – nowhere.

In conclusion I would say that EU could have used – or best not to use at all – its propaganda investment better; probably no big international company would waste money to marketing with so low standards. After EP videos it does not surprise me if the turnout is even lower than before.

One view about EU propaganda can be found from my post “ 20 bn propaganda


Discovering the EP with Europarltv videos

May 25, 2009

While European Parliament elections soon are coming I was curious to see how EU propaganda machinery with their countless millions of taxpayers’ money is putting their best to attract public to cast their vote.  So I opened Europarltv which launched a series of videos explaining the history the Parliament, how it works and why to vote. Here is feedback of my wasted time:

First impression was that I am watching some practice videos made by some primary school hobby group under supervision (without supervision the pupils probably would be much more creative). Maybe producers have selected a line explain EU/EP for dummies but I wonder is the target group really the same than with shopping tv, where brain-dead people who have nothing more important in life than buy multiple priced bullshit from divan.

To avoid boredom I tried to concentrate to content. Interested in history I watched few videos including response to holocaust denial, some allegorical Hemingway quotation as starting step towards European Constitution in 1984 etc. I bet that EU history has much more interesting aspects than selected. Indeed a couple of weeks ago Adam LeBor published a conspiracy thriller “The Budapest Protocol” based real event in Strasbourg on August 10, 1944. There Nazi officers ordered a group of German industrials to plan for Germany’s post-war recovery – the Fourth Reich – an economic empire known later as European Union. (more about US intelligence document related to Nazi’s secret post-war plans in Mail on Sunday )

Abandoning history and fictions an interesting video headline was “Who decides in Europe?”.  The main claim was that no law which are in EU’s limits – will pass without EP. Correct! What was said only indirect was, that EP’s role is totally bystander. The formulations are made in Commission and decisions in Council of Ministers, EP can only slow this common development work not take the initiative. I think that producers tried to hide the insignificance of EP behind positive image of EU.

The official tv-spot highlights the same EU’s decision making dilemma. After imaginary news headlines the ad claims “You decide what tomorrows news will be”. Again correct! Your vote can have some influence in national elections and your government can be formulating the future EU policy with other national governments and EC; but where is the connections to EP elections – nowhere.

In conclusion I would say that EU could have used – or best not to use at all – its propaganda investment better; probably no big international company would waste money to marketing with so low standards. After EP videos it does not surprise me if the turnout is even lower than before.

One view about EU propaganda can be found from my post “ 20 bn propaganda


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