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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Euro Parliament

Among my daily podcasts is the BBC highlights from across the BBC world network. They did an interesting piece yesterday on the European Parliament. For years, my gf has berated Americans as having one of the worst voting records. She's been right mostly, and hopefully the election of Barack Obama will have turned the tide here. However, now Britons have noted that voter turnout is at decade lows. And also interesting they noted that the lowest voter turnout across Europe has been for the European Parliament. At the same time, they noted that the Euro parliament's power has been growing by leaps and bounds, and that in fact, a Euro MP has far more power than his national counterpart, and that the national counterparts have been simply in charge of legislating the laws drawn up by the European Union. These are interesting developments. I don't know how principalities within Europe function, it's been a long time since my 3 credit hours of world poli-sci at GWU. However, if they function as American States do, then they have their own elected government. Which means that they would have a three tiered system of elected representative. You vote your local, you vote your MP, and your vote your EMP. They don't have typically have to worry, at least in Parliamentry systems without presidents, about electing a Prime Minister, but that's still a lot of voting. And why is it that people are less likely to vote in the EU? I've read a number of articles, and blogs, all suggesting that the EU is going through the most trauma in it's decade long history, but EU power doesn't seem to be decreasing. Meanwhile EMPs are elected, at least in the UK by just over 20% of the population. I'm desperately curious to see where this all will lead.

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