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Given that this was the first time the EP had challenged anything of any significance, it was quite a milestone, and given that the Liberals held the balance of power, there was a limit to what the PES could achieve.

But what baffles me now is why the PES - even if it is divided and unlikely to win a majority - doesn't at least campaign for an alternative to the Barroso agenda - if only to improve its representation and bargaining position after the election.

Oppositions don't always win.  But they do have a valid role in a democracy acting as an opposition.  What the socialist seem to be saying to the electorate is that they are not up to the job of opposition, never mind government.  

So why wouldn't the electorate turn to a variety of nationalist/proto fascist snake oil salesmen if they are unhappy with the status quo? The proto-Fascists/Eurosceptics are the only ones presenting an anti-status quo message - however falsely - and thus are likely to shape the dominant narrative of the coming EP.

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu May 28th, 2009 at 10:20:25 AM EST
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The PES needs to adopt its place as the "leader of the opposition" in the European Union given that the EPP is the majority party by a long shot. However, due to the fact that most national member parties have recently been in power, they have a hard time adopting this "natural opposition" role. They also want too much to "play nice" and are too ready to enter into "grand coalition" power-sharing agreements with the EPP.

The fact that the PES challenged the Liberals and not the Conservatives in the exchange of open letters that opened the EP campaign is telling in this respect. They see the Liberals' challenge for second place as more important/viable than their own challenge of the EPP for first place.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu May 28th, 2009 at 10:24:37 AM EST
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Why don't the PES just vote for Satan and be done with it?

'He's not that bad really. And we can't field anyone better.'

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu May 28th, 2009 at 10:27:26 AM EST
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Cthulhu/Hastur 2012 - why vote for the lesser evil?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu May 28th, 2009 at 08:05:03 PM EST
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