Saturday 6 June 2009

European Parliament election 2009 (119): On the early release of results in the Netherlands

Just if anyone asks: I don't mind that the Dutch have released their results on Thursday evening.

I agree with the argumentation that if the counting process is public - and this is a good thing - you can and should not hide the results. The Commission starting legal steps against it would be nothing but ridiculous.

In particular, since the publishing of results for the Netherlands allowed at least a little discussion on concrete issues connected to the European Parliament elections, about actual politics, the idea of winners and losers, and the impact on the European level. The discussion was small like anything we see in this campaign, but there was at least something.

In addition, I don't think that the publishing of results in one country affects the results in another country. Anyone following these elections under a transnational perspective will have noticed that there is hardly any reference to other countries in the campaigning or media coverage. If the social democrats lose in the Netherlands, this is no good or bad sign for social democrats in any other country.

The European Parliament elections are fought on the national scene, and although some European parties like the European Socialists have managed to construct the idea of a pan-European political campaign, their efforts remained in vain without an own candidate for the European Commission presidency.

Consequently, national parties belonging to a European family have not managed to explain to their voters that it is important to win not just in one country but across all countries. Very few voters of an EPP member party in their country will get exited about the victory of an EPP member in another country.

Transnational joy has not made it into the heads of most European citizens, and this applies to politics as to any socio-economic development taking place outside those borders that should have seized to be borders in a common Union.

So I don't mind any country releasing early results. This has no effect, and if it has, then it is only for the better for these commonly ignored elections!

Since July 2008, I have been following up national and European activities on the path to the EP elections under the category "European parliament elections 2009".

For an overview over all articles in this category have a look at the overview article.


Ralf Grahn said...

The Dutch decided to post "preliminary results" well before the elections in 25 member states, but Finland and Sweden will commit the smaller sin of releasing "preliminary results" when their polling stations close, although voting still continues in some member states.

In other words, there will be something to follow early on for those who are interested.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful article.
I love that idealism of yours!