Will The Vultures Reign In The E.U. Elections?
In the run-up to the European Union's Parliamentary elections next week, ideology has taken a backseat to a general grumbling for political change. Unfortunately, this grumbling is unlikely to be backed by actual votes.
The parties that control Europe's 27 different national governments are expected to loose seats in the E.U.'s central legislative body.
In Spain, the two parties that have dominated the country's politics since Francisco Franco's death in 1975 are competing for Spain's E.U. delegates. Though the center-right People's Party is predicting victory over the ruling center-left Socialist Party, the PP's win is not looking like a landslide.
According to a poll in La Vanguardia, "91 percent of Spanish and 80 percent of Catalans are unhappy with Spanish politics." The Barcelona daily says the primary factors contributing to a potential wash for Spanish MEP's this year are "political apathy, abstentions in protest, and protest votes against the party in power." All three positions are seen as a result of the economic crisis.
Low voter turnout is expected across Europe particularly in the Netherlands and in France, which expects less than a 50 percent turnout. While over 80 percent of the French electorate voted in the last presidential election, Le Monde reports that voters are losing faith in the major parties--Sarkozy's Union for a Popular Movement and the Socialist Party. Big Think previously blogged that smaller French parties, some of them fringe groups, could see gains. Libération opines that "lack of interest in the election is not a sign of a mature democracy, but a congenital condition of the Parliament."
In addition to economic misgivings, there is the perennial worry that a unified E.U. authority comes at the expense of sovereign national authority, but this is far from the truth. Parliament is elected every five years and its mandate covers long-term, supranational issues such as labor markets, global warming and trade regulations. Its tendency is to put constraints on future Parliaments, not national governments.
Not everyone will abstain from the elections, of course, but it may turn out that the best interests lack conviction and the worst win by passionate intensity alone. Right-wing parties skeptical of immigrants who are perceived to be stealing jobs are seizing the moment to stoke popular fears and sway Europe back to a continent of disjointed states. Even in areas once traditionally pro-European, vultures have been seen circling in the sky.
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."
- A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.
- Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
- In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
- Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.