The Corner

EU Democracy: Fallen and It Can’t Get Up.

Viviane Reding, one of a kindly God’s gifts to UKIP has, even by the standards of the EU Commission, represented a remarkable combination of arrogance, mediocrity, authoritarianism and eurodelirium.

Here she is, tweeting in the immediate aftermath of the elections to the EU parliament in May:

 #Spitzenkandidaten are a game changer: downward voter turnout trend in #ep2014 reversed!

The Spitzenkandidaten were the apparatchiks chosen by the main political ‘families’ in the parliament as their candidates to head up the EU bureaucracy (an idea that represented something of a constitutional coup by the parliament: this was not something that was supposed to be decided by these elections). The great “reversal,” that stupendous game-changer, was a rise in the turnout from 43 percent in 2009 to 43.1 percent in the May vote, an increase of 0.1 percent after 35 years of continuous decline from the 61.99 percent seen in 1979.

At about the same time as Ms Reding was tweeting so happily, Euraactiv was reporting the comments of another of the Spitzenkanditaten, liberal leader Guy Verhofstad:

We have finally broken the downward trend of falling participation in European elections. The eighth legislature of the European Parliament will be more representative than the previous one as average turnout across Europe is an improvement on 2009 . . .

Euractiv continued:

From the left and right of the political spectrum, politicians hailed the candidates for European Commission president, for pushing the numbers up.

But something has come up, or rather gone down.

Euractiv this week:

The May 2014 EU election saw the lowest voter turnout on record, according to updated figures discreetly released by the European Parliament during the summer holiday period for EU institutions. The updated numbers, published on the Parliament website, show that turnout struggled to reach 42.54% in 2014, well below the 43.1% initially announced.

It would take a heart of stone not to laugh. 

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Kat Timpf Chased Out of Brooklyn Bar

Fox News personality and National Review contributor Kat Timpf was forced to leave a bar in Brooklyn over the weekend after a woman she had never met became enraged upon learning she worked in conservative media. Timpf, who has twice previously been harassed while socializing in New York City, first described ... Read More
Film & TV

The Dan Crenshaw Moment

Given the spirit of our times, things could have gone so differently. On November 3, when Saturday Night Live comic Pete Davidson mocked Texas Republican Dan Crenshaw’s eye patch, saying he looked like a “hit man in a porno movie” — then adding, “I know he lost his eye in war or whatever” — it was a ... Read More

The Present American Revolution

The revolution of 1776 sought to turn a colony of Great Britain into a new independent republic based on constitutionally protected freedom. It succeeded with the creation of the United States. The failed revolution of 1861, by a slave-owning South declaring its independence from the Union, sought to bifurcate ... Read More

Fire Brenda Snipes

Brenda Snipes, the supervisor of elections in Florida’s Broward County, does not deserve to be within a thousand miles of any election office anywhere in these United States. She should be fired at the earliest possible opportunity. Snipes has held her position since 2003, in which year her predecessor, ... Read More

Florida’s Shame, and Ours

Conspiracy theories are bad for civic life. So are conspiracies. I wonder if there is one mentally normal adult walking these fruited plains -- even the most craven, abject, brain-dead partisan Democrat -- who believes that what has been going on in Broward County, Fla., is anything other than a brazen ... Read More

How Immigration Changes Britain

Almost nothing is discussed as badly in America or Europe as the subject of immigration. And one reason is that it remains almost impossible to have any sensible or rational public discussion of its consequences. Or rather it is eminently possible to have a discussion about the upsides (“diversity,” talent, ... Read More