Monday, June 22, 2009


The results of the European Parliamentary Elections are in, and as predicted, 736 people will occupy positions of no clear importance. Voter turnout dropped two percentage points from 2004's elections to an overall 45 percent.

Since the Lisbon Treaty has not been ratified (owing in large part to the failure of Ireland's referendum), the largest trans-national election in history will seat into Strasbourg's comfy chairs a crop of parliamentarians of a still-theoretical supergovernment. Amazingly, Europe's social democrats took a beating, in spite of the collapse of the economic system they have consistently criticized. This could mean that the crisis is still viewed in national terms, freeing voters to elect xenophobes and hatemongers.

Still up for debate is the usefulness of the legislative body itself. Here's a Tory bloke with nothing but bad things to say about Parliament (and mind you, he himself was elected to that body). The British-led "anti-federalism" recalls the birth pains of the United States of America.

Those indefatigable Esperantists have their own transnational party that advocates the EU's adoption of Dr. Zamenhof's invented language. They have been labeled wingnuts and monomaniacs, exploiters of the parochialist tendencies that the EP encourages. But if a legislative body is just "a chamber of notables," then why not let a thousand flowers bloom?