I went to see the European election announcement. SNP were out in force. Labour kept a low profile. Lib Dems and Tories both managed to claim victory despite losing. BNP racists didn’t get near a seat but were depressingly high compared to some of the other small parties.
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My voting paper came through the door. There’s a long list of parties to chose from, some of whom I’ve never hard of. What’s depressing is the lack of political campaigning and news coverage. I’ve had lots of political leaflets through the door recently, but none of them have mentioned any EU policities. EU policies are hard to come by since the parliament is only a revision chamber (although this should change a bit if the Lisbon treaty comes through) and there’s no democratic government, but they could at least try.
I looked up all the (non-fascist) party’s websites and they’re all sadly lacking. I was most impressed with the lib dems who have a readable one page summary and Scottish Greens who actually put their manifesto PDF online. Scottish Labour have an interesting list of 100 things their MEPs have done, but no mention of what they will do. All the parties have videos, which are all entirely uninteresting, they’re about UK or Scottish issues and nothing to do with Europe.
EU Profiler is an interesting site which quizzes you on what you want and returns parties. I’m between SNP and Lib Dem. I’ve put my cross on the paper for SNP. The Lib Dems lost my vote by saying they want more military funding, while the SNP remain pleasingly against nuclear weapons (not that it’s an EU issue). SNP MEPs have also been very helpful to me in the past when I’ve written to them.
The postal ballot paper is far too complex, it involves reading lots of disjointed text and pictures, tearing in some places and not tearing in others. It’s also not single transferable vote, you only get to chose for one party and they chose the candidates for you.
If only one of the parties had mentioned they were against software patents, I’d have voted for them unreservadly.