Rhodri C. Williams
Well, the loonies have officially taken over the boobyhatch, as my late sainted Aunt Pat would have said. Marine Le Pen takes 25% of the French vote. Great Britain scores the first national election won by neither Labour nor the Conservatives but a party advocating independence for the UK (why didn’t anyone think of that before?) Austria and Denmark veer wildly right. And lets not even talk about Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn. So now we all get to adjust to the fact that a party campaigning under a swastika entered the European Parliament. At least they took some trouble to disguise it. Plausible deniability and all that.
Sweden was one of the few bright spots, with a very robust Green party (that has taken on some of the tough issues related to e.g. fisheries) taking second place. The election of the xenophobic and weasely Sweden Democrats (9.9%) who refused to say whether they would join a future Le Pen-led racist bloc was bad, but symbolically somewhat offset by the arrival (5.3%) of what had previously been a somewhat marginal feminist party (both were in a dead heat at 7% as of yesterday but lets take what we can get).
So with all that said, let me sign off with quotes from the Facebook feeds of three Sweden-associated friends of mine. First, as the voting began:
People who cannot be bothered to vote do not deserve to live in democracy. There are plenty of people denied any chance to make their voice heard who would gladly trade places with you. If you do not know enough – read or listen to debates. If you do not agree with any candidate – give a blank vote. Not voting has no excuse rather than laziness or stupidity. Usually both.
And as the results began to drop in:
Proud to have voted in Sweden today, wish I could have voted a few 100,000 times in the UK as well.
And as we wake up to our just desserts:
A black day for Europe. Happy that I live in a country, and from a country, that actively rejects these types of bigots and morons.
Seven decades since the end of World War II next year. I suppose Europe was overdue for a bit of teenage rebellion. Hope they don’t wrap their car around anyone’s tree.