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Ummm, I don't think you missed out two words from the sentence - of chequebook.

Kos only came to prominence not because of the fine and committed writing on the site, (well some of it anyway) nor because of their contributions to policy formulations (even Jerome's).

They got attention cos they deliver the bucks to campains. Tehy helped make primary Dean's campaign in 2003/4 a reality by delivery tens of thousands of dollars on demand. They can make the DLC tremble as they pound away at Lieberman because they can deliver tens of thousands of dollars on demand.

It's not because of what they say that matters, it's what they can bring to the party. Heads of Trades Unions with 20 million members get your attention not because of their personal qualities but because they can afford to BUY your time.

We can't do that. We cannot mimic Kos in that process one tiny little bit. As Mig demonstrates, the EU consultation system  protects and insulates itself very effectively from contributions from its citizenry, I suppose it suits the rich & powerful to only be disturbed by the rich & powerful. They have so much more in common after all.

So if you are expecting us to be a protaganist in any tradtional form you recognise, I think first some of us will have to become very rich indeed (I would happily volnteer). Failing that, we are going to have to evolve a non-traditional form of accessing the decision process. I hope you recognise it when we do as it is unlikely to come steeped in the odour of the cold hard cash you prefer.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 05:13:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it has been pointed out that, even if we wanted to organize ourselves politically and fund the organization with membership fees, we would not be able to do it as national legislation effectively prevents a trans-national political organization from even existing.

I think there might have been a story by Colman a year ago about this.

Think about it: 1500 registered members, €50/yr per member, that's €75000 a year. That would allow for some serious media impact and even running a couple of as as independent candidates for some office or other. But it would probably be illegal.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 05:25:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
national legislation effectively prevents a trans-national political organization from even existing.

Is this really true? If it is I'd like more information about it.

How does the PES deal with it?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 05:52:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]


You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 06:01:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The PES doesn't fund any political campaigns, it's just a social club for national party fat cats to schmooze.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 06:44:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is not true in Swedens case. Anyone can for example donate to a political campaign.

Which I know because I am a flag-waiving member of The Pirate Party of Sweden which accepts international donations. And yeah, we checked that it is legal. Btw, we aim at having a european Pirate Party in the next EU elections.

</shameless selfpromototion>

I would say that a larger problem would be the aims and strategies of a trans-national political organisation. Political structures, organisations, experience and most debate are all national and different. There is no public EU-level organisations right now. But this is a chicken and egg situation, which can be solved. It is just a question of how.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 11:36:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We should revive Colman's story from last year and research what is and is notpossible in each EU member state. Then we can write to the European Commission asking them to harmonize campaign finance in a way that allows citizens to organize seamlessly across borders.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 11:39:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Excellent idea!

I think we should also add a part on every member state about election systems and how campaigns are normally financed.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 02:43:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Though I might add, that I suspect the letter to the commission might not do the trick, we will gain some insight in where the EU political system is pushable.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 02:49:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As I wrote in my diary Locustwatch Vision (October 24 2005)
EU legislative initiative is vested in the European Commission. To quote the Commission's own basic facts (emphasis mine):
Although the Commission has the right to take any initiative it considers appropriate to attain the objectives of the Treaties, most proposals are a response to legal obligations, technical requirements or to a specific request for action from another institution, a Member State or from the interested parties.
What this means is that the European Commission expects to be lobbied for new legislation.
Note that there is no pretense that proposals will be disinterested. If you think your needs as an individual or collective could be served by EU-level legislative action, you are expected to address the Commission with a request. At least that's my reading of it. And the commission is always talking about "stakeholders". An organized trans-national group which would like to constitute itself into a political party but is hindered by national legislation is a stakeholder and has a problem that can only be solved by EU-level legislative action and whose solution is consistent with freedom of movement, a leading principle of the EU.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 04:28:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You wrote in the diary you link
If you like to, you are very velcome to donate. If you do it would also be terrific if you end your sum with .03 € cents or something close to it (that would be .04 $ cents), so that what comes via the Eurotrib can be seen (Thanks to DailyKos for that idea).
Has anyone used this mechanism?

Anyway, I visited the donations page and I saw the following little table on the right-hand-side:

Membership [medlemsantal]
v         11000
muf          8503
mp          7862
pp          7321
kdu          4620
and thought "that can't be right, you can't have 60% more members than the Christian Democrats"... but it turns out 'kdu' stands for "KDU youth organization", haha. Anyway, I am very impressed by the fact that you are within spitting distance of the Green party and the Communist party. And you said you estimated that at 8,000 members your penetration in Swedish society would be large enough to give you a good chance of breaking the 5% barrier.

Arrrr, me protagonist mates and beauties!

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jul 1st, 2006 at 03:13:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh those cents, well, ehm, I...

akward paus

...forgot. So I have not checked with the cashier. Been busy. Will check with the cashier (so much for followup).

Quickly skipping to next item at hand:
Christian Democrats in Sweden are named Kd. The 'u' is for 'ung' (young), not union. The youth organisations are there for reference and to have some organisations to pass. We have been sending pressreleases for every organisation we have passed. When we pass the Greens (sometime in July probably) we will send a big one.

Right now the projection lands us at about 9000 members by election day which should give us something around 5% of the votes (for those who are not privy to previous conversations this is based on the number of voters/members in other parties), sailing over the 4% threshold (5% threshold is Germany).

Of course there is always the possibility that the other parties triangulate us out of the picture by copying over positions. Which would be cool.

Arrr!

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sat Jul 1st, 2006 at 09:42:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think there might have been a story by Colman a year ago about this.

Ok, here it is:

Colman: What power do we have? (August 3 2005)

One of the successes of dKos and our other colleagues in the US has been fund-raising for candidates, choosing and backing politicians running for office who would have been ignored by the official Democratic Party. The near-win of Paul Hackett in Ohio yesterday is perfect example.

This is possible because any US citizen is permitted to donate to campaigns. Due to the nature of the EU, it does not seem that we can do the same at the national or EU level. While the amounts of money involved in most European elections are smaller than in the US, fund-raising is still an important activity for parties in Ireland and the UK and I assume in other states.

...

Are hassling the media and harassing our representatives the only two levers of power available to us in Europe? Is this a good thing?



A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 06:14:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This seems pretty unfair, given the $millions that lobbyists are permitted to invest in the influence of law-making.
by cigonia on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 07:05:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You will notice if you read the diary that UK and Irish law is designed to make it easy for a company to donate to any political party (all they have to do is to pen an office in the appropriate country) while preventing individuals from doing it unless they are citizens or residents.

A stacked deck.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 07:07:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...you can even hire people to write LTEs for you at times. There are companies who write letters for a living...
by Nomad on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 06:46:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Assume you can only get 150 people to agree to some narrow set of goals and donate €2 per week, plus free time (which as afew points out we pour into ET even though we can't really afford it anyway). You still have €15000 a year and several hundred man-hours per week for distributed research work.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 06:49:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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