Saturday, June 6, 2009

Election. What Election?

What if you threw a party and no one showed up? That a bit how locals feel about tomorrow’s European Parliament elections. It’s the biggest trans-national election in history with 375 million European citizens in 27 countries eligible to vote as 736 members of European Parliament are elected for a five-year term. And in Germany, the vote counts most – as the country with the largest population, Germany will elect 99 members. In contrast, Malta, the smallest country, will have only five. Reports from early elections taking place in other countries around Europe is that the turn-out has been very low. At its peak in 1979, approximately 60% of the eligible voters cast a ballot. This year it’s expected to be approximately 40%. There are a variety of reasons – one is the feeling that the EU parliament doesn’t impact local lives. Yet several significant laws passed over the past several years do exactly that – like the regulation limiting the amount cell phone companies can charge for rooming, or the regulation that requires companies to show that the chemicals they use are safe. Is that enough to convince locals to go to the polls? After having an election in what seems every six months in Munich, I don’t think so.

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