EU Elections 2014; time to finally vote for the BEST MEP candidates?

(82 Posts)
Isitmebut Thu 16-Jan-14 11:41:31

To most people in the UK the European Elections in May 2014 will either be a big yawn, a chance to protest about Europe, or chance to protest about UK domestic policies – and if recent turnout figures of 38% in 2004 and 35% in 2009 are a guide, it will be apathy that determines your constituencies MEP’s.

But how many people are aware that they may get a say in our membership of the E.U. - and that whether we stay ‘in’ or ‘out’ of the EU - they are sending their regional representatives to Brussels on huge salaries and expenses, averaging around £182,000 a year.

Indeed, one senior UK MEP who shall remain nameless, but is still in office, told the Observer in May 2009 that he had already claimed close to £2 million just in expenses, way back then.

So what I have trouble getting my head around, is just how expensive the protest vote can be, not just in monetary terms, but also in the quality of muppet, of any political party, we send over to Europe to represent out interests.

So while I ‘get it’ that in the past, a EU membership protest vote usually meant that the town fruitcake could get the taxpayers jolly to heckle a foreign bureaucrat, or two, on your behalf, but to but to reiterate the point, and a similar shock could await the independence referendum in Scotland, what happens if there was a surprise ‘yes’ vote and we are being represented by a bigger bunch of half wits, on far bigger remuneration packages, than the usual suspects in Westminster?

So IF/WHEN an E.U. Referendum is guaranteed by law, on every practical level, isn’t it far better to have VOTED for the best MEP candidate within a constituency, to PROMOTE the interests/views of that constituency, REGARDLESS of which UK political ‘tribal’ colours they wear – rather than take pot luck that around 37% of the voters get it right?

Remember no one party can wave their expensive MEP magic wand and GUARANTEE that the UK leaves Europe, as only a parliamentary majority in the house of commons of 326 seats, against the ‘never will leave’ political party’s, could even BEGIN the process of changing the necessary laws.

Isitmebut the EU has morphed from a useful Common Market of several large industrial trading nations to an ever larger expensive and inefficient Federation of Europe, that needs to change to be internationally competitive.

But whether it changes or not, ‘the people’ have to be trusted to have their say, and the only practical way I can see that EVER happening, is via an all party politically binding Referendum in 2017.

What are your thoughts?

Isitmebut Sat 18-Jan-14 17:16:38

Carrying on the ‘protest vote’ theme, it won’t be news to people that voters generally have short memories, but lets look at the Lib Dem Party as a current example.

If you think about it, if Nick Clegg had NOT formed a coalition with the Tories (20 odd seats SHORT of a 2010 Common’s majority), based on the near 4-year ‘oppose everything’ opposition party’s strategy, EVERY decision made by a minority government within those 4-years, would have been a parliamentary bun fight – resulting in country/market chaos, with interest rates way higher than they were.

Yet within a recent May European Election poll, the Lib Dems who have been a solid pro E.U. party (along with Labour), IF voting intensions came out as polled, the Lib Dems would NOT HAVE ONE MEP in Brussels when we might end up STAYIING in Europe, why?

Especially as they have done nothing wrong IN EUROPE, other than represent their constituencies based on an E.U. membership ratified by the Lisbon Treaty into UK law, just before the last election.

Moreover, the Lib Dems look somewhat more honest than the rest of the political parties in the poll, as others have tried to ‘erase’ their speeches and policies, even whole manifesto’s off their websites ahead of the 2014 European and 2015 General, elections.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-15/u-k-parties-prepare-for-2015-by-erasing-web-histories.html

Both Labour and the Conservatives look dodgy pre 2010 elections, whereas Ukip have erased all their speeches Pre march last year and the highly right wing manifesto of 2010. Why?

Who says in politics ‘honesty is the BEST policy?

TheHammaconda Mon 20-Jan-14 15:51:24

Isitme

So IF/WHEN an E.U. Referendum is guaranteed by law, on every practical level, isn’t it far better to have VOTED for the best MEP candidate within a constituency, to PROMOTE the interests/views of that constituency, REGARDLESS of which UK political ‘tribal’ colours they wear – rather than take pot luck that around 37% of the voters get it right?

The European Parliamentary elections use a regional party list system to elect MEPs for a constituency. You don't vote for an individual candidate, your vote goes to a party. The seats in each constituency are then allocated according to the share of the vote and parties candidates are given seats depending on where they lie in the party's list. It is a tribal system.

The MEP who has claimed around £2 million in expenses has one of the worst parliamentary attendance records too.

You're right though, the turnout in the European elections. It's shocking.

Isitmebut Mon 20-Jan-14 21:32:57

Thank you for filling in the practical detail, I had not recalled all that (but know I voted lol), but I guess my message still stands, apathy has ended up promoting the wrong 'tribe' and taken as a protest vote.

Unless we get a referendum, we are staying in the EU, protests go so far, it is time to send the BEST of all tribes.

flatpackhamster Wed 22-Jan-14 19:00:37

Who aren't the Tories.

Isitmebut Thu 23-Jan-14 20:08:58

Who ARE NewKip, or what has really changed from Ukip, as on the BBC’s Daily Politics today Nigel Farage didn’t have many new policies, didn’t even ‘recognise’ many of their 2010 policies, even the ones currently on their own website.

Not one of his best TV appearances, he needed to get specific, as he will from now to the MEP elections in May and even more so, by the General Election in 2015. Ooops..

www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/frances-national-front-after-a-series-of-political-setbacks-it-seems-marine-le-pen-is-not-so-mighty-as-all-that-9081199.html

“In the European elections in May, when turnout will be low, the NF (French National Front) still hopes – like UKIP in Britain – to top the poll nationally. But pollsters are beginning to ask whether the popularity of Marine Le Pen, like a racehorse or athlete, has “peaked too soon”.

Spinflight Tue 04-Feb-14 00:45:18

I seem to recall that each MEP costs the taxpayer just shy of £2 million per year.

Hence the bill to Blighty from the old, failed, parties is over £500 million since 2009.

With the possible exception of Daniel Hannan I could have gone down to the local stationery shop and bought a rubber stamp for £5 which would have done the same job.

I have an interest in politics but couldn't name a single new Labour or libdem MEP and only two tories. Even if you gave me some names I singularly doubt that I could find a single thing that any of them have done to further our country's interests.

Isitmebut Tue 04-Feb-14 01:21:58

Does being a 'protest vote' on the EU make Ukip a bona-fida party - without one parliamentary MP - and MEP's who ignorantly just 'stick it to the man' to justify that £2 million?

In an EU where only a Tory referendum can give the UK voters a say, and Ukip make a Tory majority highly unlikely in 2015, how are rude MEP's in Europe "promoting our interests"?

So explain to me on here how 'the one-trick-pony-party' is ACTUALLY going to get the Uk out of the EU - to point out how they will not fail in their one CURRENT policy?

Spinflight Tue 04-Feb-14 01:35:43

Hmm... Caps again I see. Somewhat rude and shouty if you don't mind me saying so...

Is UKIP a protest vote all about the EU? You tell me, I merely talk and socialise with UKIP members, whose only defining characteristic is that they are good company. If you think UKIP meetings a a few sad, ranty old men boring each other to death about the EU then you evidently haven't been to one.

Indeed I think you are confusing yourself, possibly due to the BBC's coverage of anything EU related. One sad, sweaty tory argues with another sad, boring, sweaty tory and then the Chairman of ICB ( who is also a bald, fat, sweaty, boring, tory) says that one of the sad sweaty types was right.

If I had any interest at all I would find it remarkably difficult to keep track of which bad, fat, boring tory was decided to be right.....

Couldn't give much of a damn about the EU I'm afraid so if UKIP is a protest vote party then I'm in the wrong place.

Hmmm... Sad news... Your rigged and unlikely referendum was shot down in flames in the Lords. Hence there will not be one and you need a new record to play.

One trick pony party though I quite like, might even adopt it if you don't mind. The one trick however has nowt to do with the EU, would be equality under the law by my books.

Restoring equality under the law would be all that is required - won't happen though as it would have to apply to our scumbag politicians as well as us plebs.

Isitmebut Tue 04-Feb-14 02:06:34

So many words, so little to actually offer - as for the 2017 referendum, as you say elsewhere, Cameron can force it through, although somewhat unconstitutional, but watch that space.

Spinflight Tue 04-Feb-14 04:17:24

The entire internet shall surely hold it's collective breath in anticipation Isitmebut. hmm

I know there are some really strange ideas about UKIP doing the rounds in the bottom half of the internet but the idea that we have little to offer is rather stunningly naive...

If the opinion pools which actually prompt for UKIP and don't weight against us are to be believed there are roughly 5 million people who will vote UKIP in 2015.

Very few of these give a toss about the EU. Taking minimum wage earners out of tax entirely and Grammar schools are the policies which go down well on the doorstep. Free speech and honesty are our biggest assets, even if some take it a little far ( almost exclusively ex-tories as it happens) ...

More importantly representing those who have had no voice in politics for their entire lives. Many of our members are those old enough to have voted in the referendum, many feel the guilt of their vote weighing heavily on them. Even those too young feel a weight of responsibility, not for their own actions but for their collective lack of action in holding the subreptile elected scumbags to account whilst constantly being fed a three card trick and getting the same result.

If you don't think UKIP has anything to offer then you clearly think that a large percentage of the UK are subhuman. Which whilst you probably work at Tory party HQ isn't something I like to ascribe to anyone, even if they have bandied about revolting insults previously...

TheHammaconda Tue 04-Feb-14 09:13:53

Spinflight, how do polls weight against UKIP? Do they fail to give UKIP as an option in the polls?

I've seen predictions for UKIP polling around 14% (no seats). The LibDems polling at around 10% and 25 seats.

TheHammaconda Tue 04-Feb-14 10:18:45

That's for the 2015 GE BTW

Spinflight Tue 04-Feb-14 11:36:30

There are oly two polling companies which include UKIP in their prompts.. Opinium and Survation I think, despite us being way ahead of the LD's.

All the rest have UKIP as part of 'other' which does tend to reduce our polling figures. On top of that however if 300 people in a poll say they will vote UKIP several of the companies then apply a weighting due to our performance in the last general election. This usually results in a figure roughly half of that.

There is only one poll that matters however UKIP's rise does appear to have been downplayed by Yougov in particular. Survation and Opinium have had UKIP at between 16 and 19% consistently.

Isitmebut Wed 05-Feb-14 14:26:31

Spinflight….firstly let us remember that this thread is about the MEP elections this April, and so when talking about Ukip, let us examine why Ukip are currently tipped to win most MEP seats – rather than puerile name calling aimed at the established political parties, as a deflection to Ukips lack of ‘substance’.

Your accusations against me about being “rude and shoutey” and a part of the Conservative political machinery when I am just giving you facts over Ukips ‘pub style over substance’, just shows typical far right wing bullying which we have seen throughout Europe for many decades

But frankly if I was a Members of UKip, such as yourself, I would be (falsely) claiming that they are both a credible alternative to the establish parties and could bring the UK out of the EU if I had nothing else – especially as Farage has called your last General Election manifesto “drivel” – Farage’s word, not any of the established parties HQ..
news.sky.com/story/1200525/nigel-farage-disowns-ukip-manifesto-as-drivel

But of course Ukip cannot bring the UK out of the EU, and the fact that millions believe that you can, says more about Ukip’s disingenuous internet battering of promises that they cannot keep and spreading dissatisfaction with the other parties, than the numbers that have voted for you.

So as Ukip current General Election policies have been disowned by Farage, which I’d guess included HS2 (as in 2010 you wanted to electrify 3 new train lines in and around the north), let us concentrate on the MEP elections in April this year – as per this thread.

So tell this board honestly, if Europe hating Ukip took every MEP seat in the April election, giving all those Ukip MEP’s a £182k plus annual remuneration package, regarding their promise to bring the UK out of the EU, will Ukip be able to do it, YES or NO?

flatpackhamster Wed 05-Feb-14 15:54:55

If you think UKIP is 'far right', then perhaps you belong in the Lib Dem or Labour parties rather than the Tories.

Isitmebut Wed 05-Feb-14 16:15:48

Typical Ukip deflection, answer the question - if every MEP in April was (in the polls lead) Ukip, or even if every damn UK MEP was a EU hating Ukip MEP, could they bring the UK out of Europe, as per their promise over the years - or was it a lie?

TheHammaconda Wed 05-Feb-14 16:24:59

I don't think they've made that promise. It's an aim, whereas performing well in the European Parliamentary elections is probably an objective.

Isitmebut Wed 05-Feb-14 17:44:06

OMG…clearly “performing well in the European Parliamentary Election is the (UKIP) objective”, but why do you think voters are sending EU hating Ukip MEP’s on a tax payer hugely expensive European Parliamentary jollie, if NOT due their ‘Ukip would get you out’ rhetoric – as it’s certainly not to represent their regional interests?

Which goes back to my opening post’s point, as if the Tories fail to get through both chambers in parliament a referendum to give people a yes/no vote, as there is no other mechanism to leave the EU, forget ‘protest voting’, people should get out there and vote for the best candidate to represent them.

Therefore common sense has to question electing/sending anyone from the United Kingdom Independence Party to the European Parliament, as their objective is in their party’s name and can not be trusted to represent any UK region.

TheHammaconda Wed 05-Feb-14 18:12:38

Do you question why voters in Northern Ireland return Sinn Fein MPs to Westminster?

I'd imagine that people vote for UKIP in the European Parliament elections because they want their views represented in the European Parliament. I would imagine that in their minds it's better to have a UKIP MEP who doesn't show up than a Labour, LibDem or Green MEP who would vote for things that they, the voter, disagree with.

If Cameron put an in/ out referendum in the 2015 manifesto and he won the Salisbury Convention would apply. The electorate would then have their referendum. Referenda are not binding but it would take a brave government to fail to act on the will of the people.

flatpackhamster Wed 05-Feb-14 18:50:40

Isitmebut

Typical Ukip deflection, answer the question - if every MEP in April was (in the polls lead) Ukip, or even if every damn UK MEP was a EU hating Ukip MEP, could they bring the UK out of Europe, as per their promise over the years - or was it a lie?

UKIP has never claimed that voting for UKIP MEPs will 'bring the UK out of Europe'.

You're tilting at windmills.

If this is the best that Tory Central Office can manage then you're making a pretty poor fist of it. And you're scared, too.

Spinflight Wed 05-Feb-14 23:07:27

No they could not...

Neither could labour, tory or lib dem MEPs...

MEPs merely vote on laws drafted by the commission, they have no mechanism by which they can introduce new powers or rescind existing ones themselves.

Utterly pointless place in my opinion. Gives a facade of democratic legitimacy to a fundamentally bent system.

Saying that I'd certainly argue that we get better value out of Farage and co than whoever the nonentities who go to Brussels from the old, failed, parties are...

Isitmebut Thu 06-Feb-14 12:10:56

Firstly, why does someone who successfully cuts through the Ukip lies and claims have to be from Conservative central office; for what it is worth, I have never been involved in politics (other than one year put leaflets through front doors when incumbent Labour has a small majority) but I follow politics closely – and if Ukip’s aim is to AGAIN take votes/seats from the Conservatives, they have to be prepared for the scrutiny, and what’s wrong with that – other than to deflect from Ukip’s substance?

And on that note, clearly by your own admission, Ukip has no mechanism to take the UK out of the EU, but the Conservatives do, especially if they have a majority in parliament – via the Parliament Act.
blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/100251428/this-changes-everything-david-cameron-will-ram-the-inout-referendum-through-using-the-parliament-act/

As for the “value” of Farage you mention, is Ukip really worth £2 million plus in expenses claims to fund a political party’s MEPs who do not respect the job, or clearly the European Parliament they are attending, to represent UK taxpayers and regional interests?
www.theguardian.com/politics/2012/apr/20/ukip-meps-misused-eu-allowances

As for the mind numbing mantra about the failure of the other parties; Farage tells us that Ukip doesn’t have any policies, they have “a blank piece of paper” coming into the 2015 General Election, and can’t take us out of the EU, if Ukip (full of god knows what) isn’t a political “non entity”, what is?
www.newstatesman.com/politics/2013/02/ukip-party-bigots-lets-look-evidence

flatpackhamster Thu 06-Feb-14 14:07:41

You don't cut through anything. You tilt at windmills and you write flannel.

You keep arguing that the Conservatives are best placed to take the UK out of the EU, but they won't because they don't want to. They keep dangling the impossible dream of negotiation.

It must really annoy you that UKIP does so well despite 'not having any policies'. That speaks volumes about the way people view the Conservative party, which has policies in spades. Despite all your serious policies, you're haemorraging support. Perhaps it's because people know that it doesn't matter what you've got written down, it's meaningless because once you're in office you ignore those policies.

Isitmebut Thu 06-Feb-14 15:34:45

Flatpack…I give facts, you talk about windmills, let the readers decide.

The Conservative (and Cameron’s) view on the EU is clear, the previous Common Market before this Federal Europe nonsense that mainly happened from the late 1990’s, was fine and they would like the UK to remain within a REFORMED EU, with less of the excesses we all know about. Keeping up so far?

However, they are the only party who CAN or will ALLOW THE PEOPLE TO DECIDE, via a YES/NO referendum, so it matters not a jot what Cameron, or any other Tories personal opinion is, or how they would campaign before hand.

Frankly speaking, I think I’m fairly well read up on most political issues, but I don’t have a clue of the true benefits to the UK of being in the EU, so I want to see the debate, with ON BALANCE all the pros and cons. My current unreformed view is a ‘no’, so only a lot of bleedin EU benefits that I don’t currently see, could sway me.

So as Ukip is just a pimple on the ass of democracy, with nothing to offer on the EU but expensive and ineffectual protests, but could easily derail the possibility of a referendum by taking Conservative votes again - it’s damn straight I detest the Ukip rabbles lies and Farage’s pimply ass because this is not a game of silly boys, it’s our, our children’s and their children’s futures.
www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/ukip/7693877/General-Election-2010-Ukip-challenge-cost-Tories-a-Commons-majority.html

As for that last paragraph, you are talking complete rollocks, as the polls show a narrowing to the only other party that will form a government in 2015, and as for our 2010 manifesto, all our core beliefs that turned around the UK economy in 1979 are current policies – and if any due to the Lib Dem coalition had to be ‘traded’, that was the price of Ukips votes in 2010, on a general election manifesto Farage now calls “drivel”.

In conclusion even if the 2015 general election was not going to define this nation prosperity for decades to come, I can not respect Ukip or anyone who knows they are a sham who support them, as they prey on the political ignorance of people – and exposing the futility of sending Ukip MEPs to Europe in April this year, is my contribution to both my children and this nation – call it my personal crusade.

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