The European Parliament elections take place this Sunday the 26th of May. If you did’t already vote on the early voting and are still hesitating about going to the polls on Sunday, here’s a quick three-step course on voting:
1) What is the European Parliament?
The European Parliament (EP) is the parliamentary institution of the European Union and it’s directly elected by the EU citizens. The parliament defines the EU’s politics. It represents nearly all of Europe, so the politics it makes has a great impact on world politics and i.e. climate decisions. The members of the parliament (the “MEP’s) sit in party-like groups defined by their political values, not nationality.
2) Why should I vote?
In this election the power of one vote is even greater than that of the one in the recent Finnish parliamentary election, as the number of the MEP’s chosen from Finland is only 13-14 (depending on Brexit) and the percentage of voters is lower. In the early voting 21 % of the Finnish electorate gave their vote, as the same number in the Finnish parliament elections was 36,1 %.
How ever, five years ago this number was only 17,5 %, so this election is clearly rising more interest. In the last European Parliament election the notable observation was the low activity of the young, even though the young are the most EU-minded and generally interested in making a change. The Swedish youth was almost six times as active as the Finnish: let’s catch up with our dear neighbour this time, shall we! One should also keep in mind that the general right to vote has not always been a given and it’s a right that should always be used with pride.
3) How do I decide on who to vote for?
There are plenty of voting advice applications to help with the choice of the party and the candidate. The candidates also tour around the country and can also be familiarized via the social media. Many candidates willingly answer the questions of potential voters also via e-mail! If you still struggle with the choice, you can also try with the so-called exclusion method: which party or candidate do I absolutelu NOT want to vote for?
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This post is also available in Suomi.