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.
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."
- A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
- In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
- The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
Moans, groans, and gripes release stress hormones in the brain.
Could you give up complaining for a whole month? That's the crux of this interesting piece by Jessica Hullinger over at Fast Company. Hullinger explores the reasons why humans are so predisposed to griping and why, despite these predispositions, we should all try to complain less. As for no complaining for a month, that was the goal for people enrolled in the Complaint Restraint project.
Participants sought to go the entirety of February without so much as a moan, groan, or bellyache.
- Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
- Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
- But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.