Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I will repeat a comment I made earlier: there is a structural problem with EP elections stemming from the need for candidates to have national visibility. There is no 'local' element in EP elections.

A nationwide campaign is a lot more expensive than a local one. Thus, in selecting candidates, the parties will tend to either go with failed national politicians or celebrities.

Finland currently has 2 failed ex-PMs, a handful of political deadbeats and a couple of political oddballs. Becoming an MEP is seen by political operators as a consolation prize or sinecure. Or indeed the EU may be seen as a large carpet to sweep political dirt under.

But the most worrying trend is the pressganging of celebrities, who have the required nationwide visibility, but rarely a clue about politics. It is more like jury service. Cost-efficient these celebrities may be, but useful? Even my name has been mentioned, so the barrel is being scraped. Talk about pigeon among the cats...

There is a second structural problem: in order to get EU funding within parliament, and be guaranteed seats on committees, you need to join a group that has at least 20 MEPS from 6 different countries (Rising to 25 this year). There are currently 7 of these different groups (and a few independents). Classifying the myriad national European political parties in just 7 groups makes for some odd bedfellows in these groups.

This makes it a hard sell to the national voters. And that is one of the reasons it is rarely mentioned - at least in Finland.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Mar 3rd, 2009 at 03:31:48 AM EST
This is worth posting as a stand alone diary.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Mar 3rd, 2009 at 05:25:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Will do - late this afternoon. I'll add some meat to it that is relevant to Finland, as an example.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Mar 3rd, 2009 at 05:37:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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