Saturday, 18 April 2009

EuroparlTV: How many MEPs...?

Nice little piece by EuroparlTV, interviews with citizens on their knowledge of the number and names of MEPs from their country:

How many names of MEPs from your country could you list...?


Citizen said...

Hmm... I don't know if I would be able to answer for the UK. I know Germany has the highest number (is it 90?) and it's weighted for population, so I would guess between 70 and 80?

Let me just Google that...

Germany = 99
UK = 72

So I was more or less right. But I'm not sure I could name many MEPs.

Jon Worth said...

Oh dear. I hate those British people... but they are sadly representative.

UK has 78 at the moment:
Will be 72 at the coming elections.

Josef Litobarski said...

Hehe, cheers, Jon!

Then I couldn't even get it right when I looked up the figures on Google! Typical member of the British public, eh? :D

But is it reasonable to expect people to know things like this? It's frustrating that people (including myself) don't know more, of course, but then it does take a lot of time and effort to learn these things, and without much of a reward at the end of the day (apart from looking clever on an obscure internet TV channel).

Is the public ignorance of EU politics the fault of the public for not learning their facts and figures properly? Or of the institutions, for being so bloody complicated?

Josef Litobarski said...

P.S. For some reason, my first comment came up as just "Citizen" - but it was from me, honest.

Eurocentric said...

@ Josef

Institutions will always be horribly complicated - until the mainstream media hosts debates and reports better on the EU, it will be harsh to expect much knowledge from the wider public in something that's never really spoken about.

Perhaps we need a European version of "Question Time".

Also the list system that's used in most countries means that there's little need for the candidates to become personally known to their constituents. So I suppose that's an institutional aspect that's specifically to blame...

If you just count my country as NI, then I can name all of them! (If the whole of Ireland, I can name a few more, if the UK, then just add on Farage and Watson...).