voting

There’s now only one day to go until voting starts for the 2014 European Parliament elections! Each country in the EU has its own electoral laws that determine exactly which day citizens will be voting during the four-day election period from 22 to 25 May. The results will be announced on the evening of Sunday 25 May, and you can check the Debating Europe website throughout the vote to keep up to date.

The latest polling from PollWatch2014 suggests “the main trend overall will be a dramatic polarisation of the Parliament” with support dropping for the centre-right and centre-left but growing for anti-establishment parties on the farther ends of the political spectrum. They predict that traditional parties will be forced to work together in a “squeezed middle”, though altogether the mainstream left and right will collect most of the votes.

Some countries, however, could be heading for an outright rejection of mainstream politics; the far-right Front National are polling in first place in France, whilst the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) has been topping the polls in Great Britain. However, the most dramatic results could be in Greece, where the Radical Left SYRIZA could collect up to 30% of the vote and the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn hopes to achieve as much as 10%.

Our own Debating Europe Vote 2014 asked our audience (over 60% of whom are under 35) who they intended to vote for. Over 19,000 people from across Europe answered, and the  Social Democrats came out on top with 22%, whilst the Radical Left also did very well (suggesting that young voters might be more likely to reject the status quo).

Have YOU decided who you will be voting for? In case you haven’t made up your mind yet, we thought we would present some of the arguments put forward by the politicians we interviewed over the last year, calling on YOU to vote for their party.

Let’s start with Jerzy Buzek, a Polish MEP and former President of the European Parliament, a member of the  Centre-Right (European People’s Party). Why did he think his party deserved your vote?

We also spoke to Saïd El Khadraoui, a Belgian MEP for the  Social Democrats (Party of European Socialists). Why did he think people should vote for the centre-left?

What about Marietje Schaake, a Dutch MEP with the  Liberal Democrats (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe). Why did she think people should vote for the liberals?

Or how about Sven Giegold, a German MEP with the  Greens? What would he say to voters?

giegold-200x200I think our position is very clear. We are a pro-European party and we want Europe to be more integrated. We think a united Europe is the future in order to have a strong voice in a globalized world and to help contribute to resolve the big problems facing the world, including climate change, resource scarcity and social inequalities. At the same time, the Greens are not only about material interests. Instead, we combine material interests with strong values such sustainability and the protection of the planet, as well as the fight against poverty and social inequalities. Therefore, if you vote for us you are supporting a pro-European party which is very much about fighting for the common good.

We also asked Struan Stevenson, a British MEP with the  Conservatives (Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists), why he thought his party should get your vote:

stevensonI would say they should support the European Conservatives and Reformist (ECR) parties because we are European realists. We want to see reform, we want to see a cut in red tape, we want to see the regionalisation and restoration of many powers back to the Member States, but we still want to see Europe having a successful single market, with freedom of movement and the dismantling of barriers to growth. Only the ECR parties are advocating policies like these.

How about Gabriele Zimmer, a German MEP and leader of the Radical Left group in the European Parliament? Why did she think people should vote for her party?

Finally, what about Morten Messerschmidt, a Danish MEP with the Eurosceptics (Movement for a Europe of Liberties and Democracy). Here’s why he thinks people should vote for eurosceptics tomorrow:

Morten-MesserschmidtThe present European policies when it comes to fighting crime, the economic crisis and control over budgets have failed. What we are seeing right now is an EU out of control – not only economically but also politically and democratically. We need to get these institutions back on track to where the people want them. This means less areas being controlled down to the smallest details by bureaucrats in Brussels, and instead being handed back to national parliaments and governments. And that’s the overall question for the May 2014 European Parliament elections: do we want to have an EU with further integration, with more power to the unelected people in Brussels? Or do we want to hand power back to Member States? And I favour the latter.

Tomorrow is YOUR chance to make your voice heard! If you feel that politicians never listen to ordinary people, then now is your opportunity to have your say on the future of Europe. We love discussion and debate about politics, but now it’s time to make a decision. Get out there and vote!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – European Parliament


40 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

    • avatar
      Milla

      (y) Thx God that still exist normal and thinking people!

  1. avatar
    James McManama

    It’s the day before the elections and I still have absolutely no idea… suggestions, anyone?

  2. avatar
    catherine benning

    I don’t know who I will vote for as we have not received any information on the candidates and what they stand for in the round.

    However, it will be as near as I can get to Alexis Tsipras and his European Left party.

  3. avatar
    Guilherme Alves

    I wish I could vote for liberals, but the system is so wrong that in my country I can’t! Sorry Guy!

  4. avatar
    Patrice Puchaux

    James McManama: I suggest you go on debating europe site and check all the EU parties to have an idea of what or who to vote. You’re voting tomorrow so you are maybe in UK, as I know Tory is in ECR, Labour in PES, Lib dem in ALDE and green parties in UK are part of EU green party (EPP and EL are not represented in UK). You can find all these parties in debating europe with their own manifesto and programm, after you have to make the parallel with the parties of your country.

    I know exactly what to vote and who to put as president of the comission :) To EU!!!!!!

  5. avatar
    Maria Ventura

    Why vote if Angela Merkel has already decided who’s gonna rule the European Comission?…

  6. avatar
    Kevin

    Does it really matter . We all know the real power lies with the unelected commission
    I will be voting for the only party in the UK that would remove us from this farce . UKIP though it is only ultimately through our own parliament that this can happen . The EU elections are a waste of time bar sending a reminder to governments that all is not well . That is the message we will give across Europe with good votes for eurosceptic parties,.national democracies must be reinstated further integration halted

  7. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    @DEBATINGEUROPE
    Please be aware that in the UK, OFCOM (courtesy of the 2003 Communications Act) has strict rules regarding ‘discussion and analysis of election [and referendum] issues’ during UK polling time tomorrow Thursday 22/05/2014.

    I just thought I’d mention the above JIC it might prove an issue for your enjoyable website as I do not want DEBATINGEUROPE to tarnish its reputation/get into trouble.

    • avatar
      Barry

      @Tarquin

      You’re 100% wrong – OCFOM regulates only television and radio broadcasters. Remember the 1992 Sun headline: If Kinnock wins today will the last person to leave Britain please turn out the lights” – published ON election day?

      There are other rules that apply, including The Representation of People Act (1983), but the rules are strictest for TV and radio.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Barry
      Thanks for your thoughts on the matter Barry, albeit a tad aggressive methinks.

      FTR, OFCOM also regulates Internet Provision.

  8. avatar
    Andreas Thinkpositive

    Anything but Left and MrTsipras!

  9. avatar
    George Topouria

    I went through dozens of party manifestos, listened to all party leader interviews and dedicated hours of independent desk research to select the ideal candidate I’d be casting my vote for. Then I remembered I am a non-EU citizen.

  10. avatar
    Antoine Che

    Because it is not the role of the people in power to write the rules of their own power
    ?We want a democratic Constitutional Assembly, therefore randomly drawn.?
    It is the explicit proposal which should rally the millions of citizens whose political impotency is programmed in the constitution.

    By reading the 6 chapters of this website, you will understand that if you want to change anything in the mechanisms of our current society, you will have to make this message your one and only claim: from its application the rest will follow. To understand the strength of this message, please take a few minutes to read through the six chapters of the website, they are very short.
    http://www.le-message.org/?lang=en

  11. avatar
    Luis Prenda

    Irei votar num politico de decisões positivas.
    Je vote dans une politique positif!
    Eleições democráticas para o Parlamento Europeu e menos natureza partidária.

  12. avatar
    Louise van der Wees

    my vote goes to ‘let’s get out of Europe, and let’s not have any more governments telling sovereign individuals what they can do – but unfortunately that is not on the Agenda, because the fat cats want to eat their European cake in Brussels whilst the people who pay for their cake starve themselves – Europe go to Hell

  13. avatar
    Louise van der Wees

    my vote goes to ‘let’s get out of Europe, and let’s not have any more governments telling sovereign individuals what they can do – but unfortunately that is not on the Agenda, because the fat cats want to eat their European cake in Brussels whilst the people who pay for their cake starve themselves – Europe go to Hell

  14. avatar
    Marcel

    I’ve decided not to vote. Voting would only help in legitimizing the Eurosoviet System. The less people vote, and here in Netherlands turnout might be another all time low.

    I agree with the late George Carlin that those who vote, have no right to complain.

    Yes, many try to twist that around, saying that if you don’t vote you don’t have the right to complain, but where’s the logic to that? If you vote and elect incompetent dishonest politicians that screw everything up, you are to blame for what they have done!

  15. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    liberdade de expressão por cima do politicamente correto

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