May 282009
 

With the upcoming EP elections, I felt obliged to check out the profiler sites my colleagues have put on the internet. I started with Germany’s wahl-o-mat that has been around for a number of years. After evaluating 30 statements, the program decided that I should vote for the German Liberals, which was not such a big surprise. The Bavarian Christian Democrats and the New Left Party were the biggest distance away from my ideal point, not least because my preferences seem to be more pro-European than these parties.

Why I should vote for the LibDems (maybe)

Why I should vote for the LibDems (maybe)

Given that I’m going to vote in the UK, I next tried the EU Profiler, which is an international project that aims at providing the relevant information on party positions for all 27 member states. After evaluating a new set of another 30 items, I was presented with a fancy two-dimensional graph that shows that I should vote for the UK LibDems, although they look more like my least-bad option since the policy space around my ideal point is not exactly crowded. This is because I am luke-warm (but warm) when it comes to European Integration plus a bit of a lefty when it comes to the “socioeconomic” dimension. This dimension, however, looks a bit dodgy, because according to the map, the Tories would be ever so slightly to the left of Labour. Well, maybe they are. At least no one suggest that I should vote UKIP or BNP (who sent me a flyer the other week, suggesting that all those immigrants should leave the UK).

In a bold move I switched from British to German parties and was a little surprised to learn that I should vote New Left, which is reasonably close to my ideal point while the Liberals are rather far away. So it would seem that I suffer from a national-political personality split.

Should I vote for the Left party?!?

Should I vote for the Left party?!?

Still not content with the results, I returned to the wahl-o-mat and discovered that they too have teamed-up with researchers from other countries, meaning that we have apparently two competing pan-European profiler projects. So I answered a final UK-specific questionnaire and was reassured that I should indeed vote for the LibDems, though apparently for different reasons.

While their accuracy of the results might be debatable, these tools provide a lot of information and are great fun.

  5 Responses to “Which party should I vote for in the European Elections?”

  1. As far as the BNP is concerned – whilst collecting UK manifestos for Mannheim, I took it upon myself to flick through the BNP manifesto (don't worry, I used the Adobe Reader equivalent of tongs) and was amused – and slightly concerned – to see that it is apparently party policy to bring Eire within a wider United Kingdom. Quite apart from the – ahem – logistical difficulties this entails, I can only assume it means one of two things:

    1) They have a deportation plan for the natives, and are going to settle ethnic traitors like me (along with our half-breed babies) out in the misty peat bogs and let us all die of alcohol abuse and potato famine;

    2) They haven't realised that bringing 4 million Celts into the UK is going to mess about with Anglo-Saxon ethnic purity even more than 1 million Poles has.

  2. "I am luke-warm (but warm) when it comes to European Integration plus a bit of a lefty when it comes to the “socioeconomic” dimension."

    I am slightly warmer on European integration and a bit less of a lefty on socioeconomic matters, and I come out 'just below' the Lib Dems in policy space. Two anecdotal results make a dataset, right? Unfortunately, I will be voting in Poland, which means that I'm either going to have to hold my nose and vote for the 'donkeys led by donkeys' post-communist left, or make a wasted vote on a point of principle, given that my party of choice (Centrolewica) is currently hovering somewhere between statistical irrelevance and 0.5% in the polls. Still, given that the most recent pre-election poll put turnout at approximately 5%, my presence at the polling station might have some sort of statistical effect….

    • Nice hearing from you Ben!

      You voting in Poland and me voting in the UK is pure political poetry. In fact, if I was slightly younger, better looking and generally more female, we could be characters from a Commission-directed pro-voting commercial.

      Re the BNP: Nick has recently suggested setting up a social-democratic-liberal enterprise called the English National Party that would confuse the fringe. Personally, I would vote for them any minute 😉

      • I can imagine the BNP voters moving over to that wholesale, given attitudes to our Celtic brethren. So as a ploy it would only work once, like the guy who stood as a Literal Democrat and ended up taking enough 'contact lenses in the wrong eyes' votes to deprive the Lib Dem of first place. But it might be worth a shot. I have this crazy idea for setting up a pan-European party in opposition to the Lisbon Treaty. It needs a name that generally succeeds in connoting the concept of liberty in as many European languages as possible. There's every possibility that I could lose lots of money, get votes from about four men and a dog, and end up looking like a bit of a plonker, but hey – I'll get it all back from the CIA anyway!

  3. OpenEurope has published an important league table of MEP performance here: http://www.openeurope.org.uk

    MEPs have been ranked using two main categories:
    ‘Transparency, openness and democracy’ and ‘Fighting waste and misuse of EU funds’.

    I have gone through the data for UK Greens, Con, Lab, LibDem and UKIP and summated their scores, then divided by the number of MPEs. The lower the score the better.

    Here are the results :

    Greens – 51

    LibDem – 116

    Conservatives 152

    Labour 205

    Ukip 343

    This survey is vitally important for the electorate. People are understandably angry with the three Westminster parties, and at the moment, due to deficient information, UKIP is the main beneficiary of the disaffection, polling 10-16% at the moment. This research shows that voting UKIP in protest at MP expenses scandals is to jump from the Westminster frying pan into the Brussels fire.

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