European Parliament must keep its nose out of our electoral system

11 November 2015

European Parliament must keep its nose out of our electoral system

The European Parliament today adopted a number of proposals aimed at gradual harmonisation of the member states’ electoral procedures. The SP is dead against any and all such proposals, believing that European Union members must remain free to design their own systems. Commenting on these developments, SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong said, ‘Unfortunately a majority in the EP still don’t get the fact that people aren’t anxious to see still more meddling from Brussels. Electoral systems are pre-eminently a national responsibility. Today’s result is a powergrab by European political parties and has nothing to do with strengthening democracy.’

Under the proposals member states with more than 26 MEPs would be obliged to introduce minimum percentages, so that below a certain proportion of the total vote a party would not be entitled to representation. They would also be forced to use computerised voting machines. The names and logos of European parties would have to appear prominently in any electoral material, so that candidates for office would no longer be allowed to identify themselves with their national electorates, but instead must represent all European citizens.

‘What all of this demonstrates is that the majority in the EP wants to move towards a federal Europe with European political parties and representatives of “European citizens”’, says De Jong. ‘There’s evidently a failure to understand that most citizens of members states have no feeling of identity with European parties. No-one can, however, deny me the right to continue to see and present myself as a representative of the SP voters. Also, at the elections themselves, the SP will simply continue to present itself as the SP, whatever the people sitting inside the Brussels “bubble” might think.”

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