European Parliamentary Elections. Who cares?

Today is Thursday 22 May 2014. In the UK we have 2 elections taking place: local council elections and European Parliamentary elections. We have a chance to let our will be known through the European Parliamentary elections. But let’s be truthful: how many of you care enough to take that traipse to your local polling station.

Thing is, both these elections are little more than a veneer of shiny democracy that actually means sod all. Take the local council elections: it doesn’t matter who we vote for, their taxing and spending is controlled by central (London) diktat, all the councillors are there to just be seen there. Local councils don’t have much control ‘over anything nowadays.’

And European parliamentary matters are just as divorced from the real world. The list system means we can’t point to an individual MEP and say he/she’s our rep in Brussels (or Strasbourg, or wherever the European Parliament get together nowadays). I can remember sending an email to “my” MEP as part of a 38 Degrees action: I got a reply from the MEP, telling me he had forwarded my email to some other nobody who was, apparently, the guy appropriate to my needs. I can’t remember if I even got anything from the “appropriate” MEP. I got sick of waiting for the gears and togs to tick along, and dismissed the European Parliament as just another layer of cake-eating, coffee-swilling nobodies.

So, why am I even bothering with this? Because the European parliament does have a part to play in our rich tapestry of ineffectual representation. And I’m not succumbing to the IN or OUT arguments. We’re in. So we gotta make sure we get something. Which is partially why I’m advising you to check out the Pirate Party UK.

The Pirate Party started off pretty much to stick up for the Pirate Bay bittorrent site (link link). But now they cover online privacy, internet neutrality. a comprehensive overhaul of the present intellectual property system…). Andy Halsall wrote in his blog:

Today is polling day for the European Parliament Elections. More people can vote Pirate today than ever before!
If you are in the North-West region of the UK, you can vote for a Pirate Party MEP. Polls open at 0700 and close at 2200, so there is lots of time, make the most of it, vote Pirate!
We will need all your support online and offline today. Tweet at the party, share our material and policy. Remind people that they can vote and persuade them to vote Pirate!
Make sure everyone knows they can Vote Pirate if they are in the North West!

And that’s just the European elections. PPUK are also contesting local council seats throughout England.

If you value net neutrality and the right to freedom of speech, don’t vote for the Cons, Labs or Libs. The whole bunch of them are bought and paid for by the music and film industries,and will support their big business buddies no matter what they might say in the run-up to the elections. In the words of Andy Halsall:

These elections matter, the more we do to get people voting today the better!
In other news, the Party exceeded its crowd funding target of £5,000.00 today (with the last few donations, some of the largest of the campaigns, being in bitcoin!). That is in addition to the donations we have seen via This is great news and means we will be in good shape to campaign in the next weeks and months, and pits us on a solid footing for the General Election in 2015.
To do more, we still need your time, money and support so go and volunteer, donate and help out!
We also need more candidates. You will all have seen the surge of people who want to vote for us, but in places where so far, we haven’t been able to find candidates or support campaigns.
You can change that, stand as a candidate or find someone who wants to. This is your party, we can’t do it without you. If you want to stand, or even just want to know more, get in touch with our nominations team. They will help you in any way we can.
Lastly, I’d like to thank you all for your donations and support through this election. I’m looking forward to the results on Sunday, but regardless of what happens, we have done a lot and achieved more.
Our social media team has been absolutely stellar. Our candidates worked hard. Our campaigns staff have not only supported our campaign, but by sharing our media and assets, helped parties all across Europe. Treasury staff have worked to deal with the new members and run the crowd funding effort. We can be proud of this election. The team, worked! We’ll build on it, but for now, lets get the vote out!
Our candidates will be out and about today, if you want to send them encouragement you can:
European Elections:
Local Elections
For the party, me or our Social Media lead (Stephen)
Party Twitter:@PiratePartyUK

Now, I’m not going to try and kid you that the Pirate Party UK will win. It’d be cool if they did… but probably not gonna happen. But the more of us who vote Pirate Party/PPUK when we can, and who deliberately spoil their ballots rather than vote for the same-old-same-old.. c’mon, register your protest vote without even looking at the loathsome Ukip and their BNP buddies. I’d love to say let’s come together and make European politics important enough to take real notice what happens. But that ain’t gonna happen. So let’s fuck with the voting process! Let’s show how out of touch the “real” Europoliticians are. VOTE PIRATE PARTY UK! C’mon, let’s see what happens…

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