European voters fire a warning shot over the heads of their political elites

From the excellent and internationally savvy Howie Klein at Down With Tyranny, I offer this analysis of the recent continent-wide election of delegates to the European Parliament in Brussels.

These elections were held in over a four-day period, and over 700 total delegates were chosen.

From Wikipedia, some background on the 2014 EU Parliament elections. Note the role of the “Eurozone crisis” mentioned in this introduction (my emphasis and paragraphing):

The ongoing Eurozone crisis, an offshoot of the Great Recession, started several months after the last Parliament election in June 2009Although it affected most EU member states, the hardest-hit economies were those of southern Europe: Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Spain, Portugal, but also Ireland.

Among other reasons, harsh austerity measures significantly affected the public approval of EU leadership. The percentage of Greeks approving the EU leadership decreased from 32% in 2010 to 19% in 2013, while in Spain, the approval dwindled more than a half from 59% in 2008 to 27% in 2013. Overall, only four of the 27 members countries approved the EU leadership. 

Peter S. Goodman suggests that “distrust about the treaties and conventions that hold together modern Europe appear at an all-time high.” “Europe’s establishment parties are widely expected to suffer their worst performance” since 1979, with the three mainstream parties (EPP, PES, ALDE) expected to collectively gain 63% of the vote, a 10% loss since 2009.

This is the context of the latest election results. Now Howie Klein:

So What Happened In Europe Yesterday? Voters Fired A Warning Shot Over The Heads Of Their Political Elites

The natives are restless… in Europe. There were elections in 21 countries for the European Parliament’s 751 seats yesterday, the culmination of a 4-day process including all 28 member countries. Early reports indicated inordinately large numbers of voters didn’t bother going to the polls.

Shades of U.S. voting patterns. Klein explains this as Europeans seeing the Brussels Parliament elections as less important than the national ones. Thus, parties that gains seats in the E.U. election would not necessarily gain seats in a national one.

Still, let’s look at some of those E.U. results. Klein (my emphasis and paragraphing):

As expected, opposition parties– whether on the left or the right– fared well, as voters took an opportunity to slap their governments around a little.

European Parliament Constituencies

European Parliament Constituencies

France’s fascist party, the overtly racist National Front, came in first with a stunning quarter of the vote, President François Hollande’s Socialists in third place with 14%. The abstention rate was around 60%.

In Greece, Syriza, the anti-fascist, solidly working people’s party came out ahead. Greece’s fascist party, New Dawn, barely took a third of the votes Syriza did.

Of course, the fat, content Germans– where the fake-left party and the mainstream conservatives have a coalition anyway– were the big exceptions. In Holland, Geert Wilders’ fascist party also ate sand, coming in 4th behind mainstream, anti-fascist parties.

And in the U.K, where only 33.8% of voters even bothered, the racist and fascist-oriented UKIP took the most seats, beating both the Conservatives and Labor and all but annihilating the Lib-Dems (which is now left with just one seat). In fact, the Greens beat the Lib-Dems as well!

Austria’s fascist party, the FPÖ, saw big results— around 20%, up from their 7.3% haul in 2009. Hungary was worst of all. 53% went to the fascist Orban party and 15% went for that country’s outright Nazi/teabaggers, the Jobbik.

As Klein notes later in the piece, the situation in Hungary is particularly dire. I’ve written about it here and here. It hasn’t gotten better.

It’s well understood that austerity is a gift that enables fascists — well understood by everyone, that is, except the Elite Protection Squad that runs all of these countries for their benefit and not ours, including our own. You would think that Europe, of all places, would understand its own history.


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Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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