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yeah man, I’ve been avoiding timesinks on the interwebz for the sake of studies (even though it was slightly to late to make a big difference).
Good thing to vote for one of those parties. Upon choosing one of those parties I think it is important to make sure they make it to the election threshold, or at least come close to the election threshold. If they make it to the threshold it is obvious it is good because it can make a difference in policy making, which is even more important on a european level, especially in the current economical, environmental, political context in which there are more challenges than in the past and challenges from the past have even grown more important. However I don’t think it is a bad thing if you vote for a party that doesn’t make it to the election threshold (which is 5% in both Germany and Belgium! – according to the dutch wikipedia), as long as the percentage they have is enough to make a political statement.
For example here in Flanders (northern dutch-speaking part of Belgium) I’m planning to vote for the (Flemish) greens (from the party “Groen!” ) for the euro-elections because:
1) None of the other major parties have a program I can sufficiently identify with and/or I’m unsatisfied with their work. And I can agree with the greens for a large portion of their program.
2) they are (very probably) able to pbum the election threshold, bumuring that my vote is not in vain, and as a protest vote it is a signal towards current politicians (and policy makers) but it is a form of protest that lasts (five) years.
3) Unlike voting for (far/extreme/conservative) right wing parties, I believe voting green is not giving a wrong signal.
The last point is something I can demonstrate with an example on the national arena, which might look familiar to many Western Europeans:
In Belgium, like many other European countries for the past two decades far right wing nationalist parties have been gaining popularity. In the beginning self-proclaimed political analysts analyzed it as votes by old grannies who collect cookie trays with the royal family on it (seriously! – sad but true, that was their analysis). Later, when these parties were still gaining votes next elections they called it protest votes, yet politicians didn’t change goverrnment policies but instead finances campaigns for tolerance and campaigns against extreme right and “neutral” antifascist organizations. later around the start of the new millennium the extreme right wing party in Flanders (Vlaams Blok, now Vlaams Belang) got another big rise in votes. Now the self proclaimed political analysts were talking about “right wingization” in society and because of it parties were starting to implement more right wing stances into their programs (ironically the far right wing party actually gained more votes because they decided to weaken their program, and moving slightly more towards the center in the political spectrum. Sadly even the green party (which despite their reputation as a one-issue-party, here in Flanders actually started of as a eco-centric socialist movement rather than a green action group) decided to anticipate on this trend and got rid of many left wing elements (same way social-democrats did all over Europe with the rise of new labour at the start of the post soviet era), but they lost lots of votes because of it. Luckily after those elections they rectified their mistake. But this example simply demonstrates how giving a protest vote to the wrong party can give a wrong signal.
Lama glama Posted:
What country are you from? (though it is probably too late anyway)
H€IL €UROPA!Rastanarcharismarx edited this message on 06/06/2009 7:16AM
|Posted On: 06/04/2009 6:31PM||View Rastanarcharisma...'s Profile | #|