European elections 2009: No wonder voters can’t be bothered
May 30, 2009
With four days to go before we can take part in the second largest “democratic” election in the world (after India’s), it is not just the diversion of the scandals engulfing our own Parliament which has driven voting for the EU’s version further than ever off the radar.
At least, last time the flurry of excitement over Kilroy-Silk and Joan Collins – resulting in the UK Independence Party winning 12 seats – temporarily halted that steady collapse in turnout which in 1999 saw only 23 per cent of the electorate bothering to vote. The trouble with the European Parliament, as we know, is that none of us really know how to relate to it, or what connection this remote, mysterious body has with our lives. Probably not more than one in a thousand could name more than a couple of the MEPs we sent there last time. The farcical “list system”, based on dividing Britain up into 12 vast “Euro-regions”, means we probably didn’t even know the names of the mediocrities we voted for.