How the hell can anyone vote for anything when there has been no discussion of the issues, no meaningful introduction to the candidates for the various parties contesting seats for the European Parliament, and to top it all, you really do not know what is going on in Brussels.
There were thirteen parties, each with six candidates, on the European voting paper that I was given today. The British National Party was at the top of the list because of its alphabetical ordering. The Liberal Democrats were quite well placed on the alphabetical listings. There was the Scottish National Party, and lower down the list, there was a party without a specific name (?) Confusingly, (on purpose) there were two types of Labour parties and a socialist or two.
When seeking work, it is customary to put forward an application and be prepared to submit yourself to an interview. So, who are these names? I have never heard of them, I have no knowledge of who they belong to, and I am expected to vote; not only am I expected to vote, I am expected to vote for total unknowns. I don’t expect I shall ever get to find out who these ardent would-be MEP’s are. What kind of system is this? Don’t we, as voters, deserve more respect if we are being asked to employ these people? If not a little bit of door-to-door canvassing, how about a husting or two and some educated discussion, even in the media.
The complexities of the European Parliament are not totally understood even by students of the subject. What chance do we have, us who have not even had the opportunity to hear anyone discuss anything meaningful, because the media has hijacked every possible space for other political matters that are selling their papers or gaining audiences. There has to be a balance struck to avoid stifling other subjects that should merit debate.
It has not been in anyone’s interests to suffocate the knowledge of the wider issues that we need to know about. The agendas at play here are manifold.