Saturday, April 26, 2014

EU Election, 2014

First things first, I want to make clear just how large and confusing this election is. What we have is 28 independent countries holding elections, and in many of them, like the UK, Italy, or Spain, there are not only national concerns, but local concerns as well. Imagine if you will, a dozen Canada's voting at the same time, each with it's own unique alternate version of Quebec, it's own Alberta. Now imagine trying to understand and grasp that all when you live a continent away.

What I do have, are some predictions, and, as always, a map!

Remember this is a prediction. The UK uses Proportional Representation broken down over 12 regions, each electing multiple members (like a megariding!)

Predicting this means I had to use my "Ratio Method" to break down national polls to regional levels. The Ratio method works perfectly well in Canada, and, testing has shown it can and does work in both the UK and Australia; but it is less successful in these places. Especially in the UK there are problems with the regional vote; IE the vote for the SNP. Regardless, this is what I was able to patch together.

A fair warning, in every single region UKIP wins at least one seat, they are the last party to do so. That means each of those UKIP seats is the most vulnerable, and thus even the most minor swing in the polls could cost UKIP not 1, but 11 seats. When you get to the Europe level, however, you see that does not matter much.

This confusing thing shows nation by nation breakdown of the international alliances, as I predict.

I found out something interesting while looking up all this information. Canada has a horse in this race. Sort of.

The Conservative Party of Canada is an "Associate Member" of the AECR, the alliance lead by the UK's Conservative Party. The real other major members are a large party from Poland, and from Czechia (which is how people form the Czech Republic have told me they prefer their country name in English)

This means that while not officially a member, the CPC does work with members, and likely gives advice, tips, and all that great stuff.

While the Greens are not involved, they are part of the worldwide Green Party. Most Greens are in an alliance with the EFA; a minority are in an alliance with leftist groups. Our Green Party is clearly more moderate when compared to these hard-left Greens, and it would be unfathomable for the Greens to not be a part of the Green alliance, if we were in Europe.

By the same token, both the Liberals and NDP fit in perfectly with the respective European alliances to which I've assigned them. Normally when I compare Canadian parties to parties in other countries I need to put a caution, but in this case, I do not. Policies you'd find in any one of the major 4 Canadian parties, are the same kind of policies you will find supported by these 4 European alliances.

I've also given some other examples. The EPP for example is Europe's answer to a Conservative Party. More moderate than our party, it fits well with what the PC Party was under Joe Clark, and frankly, what many provincial PC Parties, like that in Alberta, remain to this day.

There are 4 "mainstream" and "europe-wide" alliances. The EPP, S&D, ALDE, and Greens. There are also two additional alliances that are usually added to any count, the United Left, and AECR.

The 4 former alliances are all pro-Europe. They want the EU to work, and in general, want the EU to become more powerful. The two latter alliances are not quite so happy with the EU. While they want to remain in the EU, they say the EU needs some serious reform.

Finally we come to the Anti-Europe crowd. These parties are almost exclusively right-wing, and most, quite far to the right. The EU has gone out of it's way to try to limit their power by putting thresholds in order to create a europe-wide Parliamentary Party. Not only do you need 25 seats, but also members from 7 states. This latter requirement is important, as the three largest anti-europe parties in Europe, UKIP, France's FN, and Italy's M5S, do not care for one another, and thus do not sit allied to one another.

UKIP was able to just cobble together a coalition last time, and seems they will be able to do so again, however minor poll vibrations could cause them to only elect members in 6 states.

FN, or Front National, the French Party, has gotten the bulk of the attention as of late. Accused of being "racist" they lead the polls in France. FN looks set to win 21 seats alone, and with the rise of the far-right across Europe, seems to have the needed support to cobble together a post-election alliance.

M5S however is in an odd position. It's a moderate-left party that relies on it's populism. They may be able to ally with Pirate Parties, but would have trouble getting many other parties on board. I do not see them being able to get an alliance of their own. UKIP would love to have them on board, but M5S has always been a bit of an "outsider", like the CAQ is in Quebec, and may not be willing to sit with such a large established party.

Lastly at risk is the AECR itself. While they can easily pass the 25 member bar, the fact remains that the alliance is just 3 large parties. Getting members from an additional 4 states may prove impossible, leaving this group in a bit of a lurch.

At the end, the eyes are focused on the race for first. The S&D (Socialist) and EPP (Christian Democrats) are effectively tied. Around Europe there have been debates in many languages between the Socialist and Christian Democrat leaders - it helps that both speak German and French - and some media outlets are trying to show this as a two horse europe-wide race.

We will have to see how this plays out in the end, but as it stands, the end result is known: things will be confusing.

1 comment:

  1. Link to my "Pivot" post; for the record
    (I mentioned the EU elections)