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Breaking news shock: European Parliament Elections Cancelled

by Frank Schnittger Tue Mar 31st, 2009 at 09:45:59 PM EST

Cross posted from TH!NK ABOUT IT, Booman Tribune and Daily Kos

In a shock development it has emerged in the last hour that the European Parliament Elections scheduled for this June are to be cancelled.  A Spokesman for Commission President Barroso stated that it had been decided to cancel the elections for reasons of a lack of public interest.

"We have conducted an extensive survey of EU citizens and have concluded that the turnout is unlikely to be in excess of 30%.  In the circumstances a fair and valid outcome, as required under the Nice Treaty, is unlikely to be possible.  Less than 15 % of EU citizens were aware that the elections were due to happen in any case, so there is unlikely to be much public disappointment at their cancellation".

The spokesman added that as Manuel Barroso was already assured of re-appointment as Commission President, an additional election now would serve little purpose.  Given the scale of the current economic downturn, it is vital that we economise on all unnecessary expenditure, and the cancellation is expected to save hundreds of millions of Euro in election expenses in the member states.


In a further economy measure, sittings of the current Parliament will be restricted to Brussels and will take place only for 1 week in each month.  This is expected to save a further €1.5 Billion in Parliamentary and associated administrative expenses.  "This reduction will also make a significant contribution to achieving our Kyoto targets for reduced greenhouse emissions", the spokesman added.

A spokesperson for President Sarkozy stated that the French delegation would walk out of the Parliament if at least half the remaining sessions were not conducted in Strasburg.

A spokesman for the Czech Presidency of the EU was unavailable for comment, although one Czech source who didn't want to be named stated that the measure was unlikely to be opposed by the Czech Presidency as as half the Parliament had walked out on President Klaus at a recent session of the Parliament in any case.  "No doubt the Parliament will operate even more efficiently if its sessions are reduced by half" he stated.

Declan Ganley, the Chairman of Libertas, complained that this was a disgraceful attempt to prevent Libertas from achieving a significant presence in the next Parliament.  "This is typical of the elitist bureaucracy in Brussels and their contempt for popular democracy " he added.  "Libertas would be quite happy to fund the elections with donations it was receiving from all over the world, so there is no excuse for the EU not to go ahead with the elections.  Libertas is currently outspending all other political parties in Ireland in any case".

The cancellation of the elections is expected to be discussed on the fringes of the G20 summit in London.  A spokesman for President Obama stated that it was their view that Europe needed a political stimulus package and the President would be happy to put his fundraising machine, BarackObama.com, at the disposal of the Commission.  It is understood that the CIA has already earmarked significant funds for the election in any case.

A spokesperson for Prime Minister Putin, attending the G20 Summit in London stated, that Russia had long been of the view that elections were over-rated in any case.  "When you have an outstanding leader like Vladimir Putin, you do not need to have an election so often", he stated, noting that Mr. Putin had remained in power despite not even standing for re-election as President.

A Spokesman, for Prime Minister Brown, the G20 Summit host, noted that they had also cancelled plans for referenda on the EU constitution in nearly all EU member states.  "If it weren't for those bloody Irish, no one would have noticed" he added off the record.

It is expected that the cancellation will also help the Parliament avoid the embarrassment of having Jean-Marie Le Pan as its President for one day in July - as it is customary for the oldest MEP to be President of the Parliament until a new President is elected.  "It is expected that all the Officers and leaders of the Parliament will remain in place until new elections can be scheduled" stated April O'Foolsjoke, a Parliamentary spokesperson.  "We are hoping that Monsieur Le Pen, 80, won't be around when  the next elections are called."   She noted that Le Pen himself had often stated that elections were but a minor detail of history.

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notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Mar 31st, 2009 at 09:36:25 PM EST
European countries usually vote in higher rates than does the USA in federal elections.  I have to suspect that most Europeans must feel that the elections to the European Parliament are too little relevant to their own lives in the current circumstances for them to take the effort to vote.  When people feel that their vote matters to their lives, they turn out.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Mar 31st, 2009 at 11:10:18 PM EST
In those times in which last year IMF's box is speaking (and writing) openly about USA oligarchy and gvmt liason, spanish socialist party goes hand to hand with the right hand party in basque country, though they kill each other in spain parliament, Obama gives uncountable money to the banks but wants bankruptcy for the automakers, sends troops from Iraq to Afghanistan, what would you expect from EU people about the elephant burying elections of Brussels?

Illusion? Hope? Disdain? Hate?

A big mixture of it all!

by kukute on Tue Mar 31st, 2009 at 11:34:20 PM EST
A related story:

Twitter switch for Guardian, after 188 years of ink | The Guardian

Consolidating its position at the cutting edge of new media technology, the Guardian today announces that it will become the first newspaper in the world to be published exclusively via Twitter, the sensationally popular social networking service that has transformed online communication.

[...]

Sceptics have expressed concerns that 140 characters may be insufficient to capture the full breadth of meaningful human activity, but social media experts say the spread of Twitter encourages brevity, and that it ought to be possible to convey the gist of any message in a tweet.

For example, Martin Luther King's legendary 1963 speech on the steps of the Lincoln memorial appears in the Guardian's Twitterised archive as "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by", eliminating the waffle and bluster of the original.


by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Apr 1st, 2009 at 01:25:57 AM EST
Typical Schnittger hit piece, leaving out all mention of the heroic windsmiths and project operators throughout Britain, who ran their windmills backwards in protest against the Barroso Butsch.  Most people in the UK stated they weren't truly put out, though many complained about their toasters running backwards.

Police were called to reconnect electricity to the home of M. Le Pen, which had apparently been scissored.  "I couldn't find my teeth,"  he attempted to say.

It was further reported that the Milk Freedom Association of Iowa had been secretly channelling funds to Irish-accented cows connected to a diary controlled by Declan Ganley, which Schnittger conveniently leaves out of this attempt at journalism.

One would think he would stick to March Hares and May Flowers, but no, he takes the Piss Out of April.  "He's lucky we still let him online," tweeted a representative from the EU Internet Tsar's Office of Double Online Freedom Freedoms (DOFF).

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Wed Apr 1st, 2009 at 03:58:40 AM EST
Does this mean that the windbags became suckers rather than blowers?

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Apr 1st, 2009 at 04:46:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, right, we're having one of those days...

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 1st, 2009 at 04:05:57 AM EST
Well at least the Irish Government is getting serious about tax evasion...

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2009/0401/1224243795000.html

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Apr 1st, 2009 at 05:00:16 AM EST
You had me believing they actually cancelled the EP elections.

Times we live in when the absurd becomes plausible.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Apr 1st, 2009 at 05:51:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He did get me, but it wasn't yet April 1 when I read it.

APRIL FOOLS DAY!

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Apr 1st, 2009 at 08:20:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It was April first where I wrote it!

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Apr 1st, 2009 at 08:47:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And so the joke was on me!

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Apr 1st, 2009 at 08:50:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Midnight poster!

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Apr 1st, 2009 at 08:51:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At least that's better than being a midnight poser!

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Apr 1st, 2009 at 08:57:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would be interested in knowing at what point in the story your credulity was challenged.  I tried to make it steadily more incredible.  I also got very little reaction on DKOS and Booman - I'm not sure they were well enough informed on EU politics to realise Barroso couldn't cancel the elections even if he wanted to...

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Apr 1st, 2009 at 09:01:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Careful what you ask for!

I was seriously concerned about the possibility of the Republicans essentially stealing another election this time, but Obama's margin of victory was too large for this to be sustainable.  So much for any confidence on my part regarding the durability of democracy in the USA.  My view is that it endures here primarily at the sufferance of the financial elite because it is seen as the most effective cover they can devise for their activities.

Much as The Council of Nicea created the very best Church possible FOR THE CHURCHMEN, it seems to me that the founders of the EU have created the very best bureaucracy possible for the bureaucracy.  From the criticism I have read in the media and ET, the EP seems particularly toothless, given that it is not even clear that, de facto, even witholding approval of the budget for that bureaucracy would really matter.  Given the seriousness of the financial crisis we are currently facing and given the time clues I missed as we discussed above, your entire post seemed plausible to me at 10;30 PM on March 31.

Were there any signs in the G-20 protests yesterday demanding a stronger EU as a solution to the problem?

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Apr 2nd, 2009 at 09:54:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ARGeezer:
Were there any signs in the G-20 protests yesterday demanding a stronger EU as a solution to the problem?

Dunno - haven't been following it closely, but what commentary from the UK I do read still appears to be in denial about the anglo sources of the problem and sceptical about the EU having any positive contribution towards it's resolution.  I find the latter point harder to argue against than the former...

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Apr 2nd, 2009 at 10:07:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I find the latter point harder to argue against than the former...
I fully accept the former point.  On the latter I suspect that even Germany will contribute more to stimulus as events dictate.  Impacts of the crisis are not all on a single schedule.


As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Apr 2nd, 2009 at 10:24:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It appears my translation of the IMF's Dominique Strauss-Kahn passed unnoticed yesterday: European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 1. April
Stimulus and regulation are necessary, no doubt. But we will not get out of the crisis just with that. Stimulus is important, but there the essential has been done. Regulation is essential, but it is not going to change the life of unemployed people. The necessary thing is to make the banking system work again.
The transatlantic debate over regulation vs. stimulus is a distraction from the really urgent thing which is to clean up the financial system.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Apr 2nd, 2009 at 10:29:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Once you clean up the financial system (let's assume this fantasy can be achieved to some extent) what are you going to do with all of these unemployed people?  Or I should say, what are THEY going to do with all of these unemployed people?  Waste valuable resources keeping them alive? Why?

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Apr 2nd, 2009 at 10:48:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You can then apply the fiscal stimulus, including (especially initially) unemployment benefits.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Apr 2nd, 2009 at 10:54:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Analogy.  America (I can't speak for Europe) now warehouses it's old/dying in Nursing Homes, places they can be put away, out of sight, out of mind. Total waste of resources in my mind, but I'm an idiot.  We don't expect these people to ever be productive members of society again; we're just waiting for them to kick off, so we can then waste EVEN MORE valuable space keeping their remains in the ground (for what purpose is TOTALLY beyond me).  But I assume that the people that you put on unemployment, a number which has only BEGUN to grow, will one day do ... what?  Please don't say "green jobs".  I'd sooner believe in God landing in a spaceship.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Apr 2nd, 2009 at 11:07:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
THE Twank:
But I assume that the people that you put on unemployment, a number which has only BEGUN to grow, will one day do ... what?
What do you want them to do, starve?

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Apr 2nd, 2009 at 11:26:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Quite honestly, I don't want them to DO anything.  What I am saying is that, if we look down the road a little bit, if this major financial foo-foo can be paved over, I'm saying, "Then what?"  Interesting, on Democracy Now this morning, a guy was saying that his fear is what brought Hitler to power. Hitler promised JOBS!  And by golly, half of the people he put to work in munitions factories and the other half into the military.  And as I've said before, this time, the nukies will be on the front end of things, not as an afterthought to incinerate Japan a few times.

Let the humans go extinct!  Stop screwing with the rest of the planet, damn it!

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Apr 2nd, 2009 at 11:54:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's all sing!



The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Apr 2nd, 2009 at 02:01:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
THE Twank:
Please don't say "green jobs"

actually please do... so hard to believe in?
why?
who persuaded you employment had to be tied to unsustainability?


"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Apr 2nd, 2009 at 11:36:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It appears my translation of the IMF's Dominique Strauss-Kahn passed unnoticed yesterday...
Guilty as charged for myself.  I was unable to give the Salon the attention it deserved and only got to the excellent and amusing OT long after most of it had been posted.  Que lastima y dolor.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Apr 2nd, 2009 at 11:27:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In fairness, there has been a lot of reference to the fact that the European Social model creates a lot of inbuilt stabilisers and stimuli in a recessionary context because people don't lose heath, social welfare and education benefits to anything like the same degree.  Thus Germany is already running very high fiscal deficits.

I don't know enough about Merkel's politics to judge whether she is just an old fashioned fiscal conservative, or whether she has a visceral dislike of bailing out the gamblers.

What I do read of the US media seems to suggest a widespread (well mostly GOP) equation of any global regulation as an assault on US sovereignty and supremacy.  So I fully understand why Merkel et al have to play hardball to get a cultural change out of Obama.

Obama, I suspect, is afraid of being seen as the new Jimmy Carter and much too differential towards furriners.  The degree of overt and unabashhed imperialism/supremiscism/racism in US politics never ceases to surprise me, and (at the risk of being accused of doing a Godwin) reminds me of the Nazi Reich mentality.

Even DKos doesn't escape an almost exclusively US Uber Alles mindset.

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Apr 2nd, 2009 at 10:34:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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