Average Voter: Fed Up and Careless

Average Voter: Fed Up and Careless

Category : Uncategorized

With the EuroParliamentary elections coming, many analysts and journalists are showing and pointing their euro-rage at the MEPs. The usual argument one can hear or read is like this:

  • they are not legitimate if only about 20% of people vote
  • only so little people vote because MEPs do not inform enough
  • they do influence nothing
  • they do not decide about anything, it is just talking and talking there
  • and so on…

Well, since this criticism has overwhelmed a reasonable discussion in the media, I try to offer something more to think about. As a matter of fact, very low turnout has become a constant feature of any elections in Slovakia (and other CEECs) lately.  Any  so-called TV-analyst will tell you exactly what I mentioned above… But is it really a problem of MEPs? My line of argument is here:

  • the information about the activities of MEPs are mostly even better accessible than of many of national MPs on internet or by specialized media
  • the legislation passed in Europearan parliament is of considerable importance
  • EP is a major veto-player in most policy fields
  • MEPs are not in position to change the share of news coverage they get (and its not their fault that the mortal car accident or a storm attracts televisions more)

Of course, every person has also a right not to vote. But it seems to me that people just don’t care what is going on in Brussels, and/or they don’t see the difference between the political parties, and/or are poisoned by daily national political shit they are exposed to. Moreover many of voters are also tired of politics so they make use of a sunny Saturday in a more relaxing way.

And this is something that could be hardly changed by any eurocampaign, no matter of how much it costs. So if the turnout is around 15% this time, are the european politicians really the ones to blame?


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