Time To Choose Who’s In Charge
Here in Europe we have the upcoming European elections. I think it’s very important we take part in choosing who these people are as they make decisions that affect all our lives. We don’t hear very much in the popular media about what MEPs do but they do a lot of important things. So, it matters.
I don’t want to be confused when faced with the ballot paper and I’m not finding that much of use when researching the European elections in my area. I know I’m not happy with the top four parties and at the moment the polls look like the UK will be mostly represented by UKIP in the european parliament. I don’t think that will be good for our little nation but I have no idea how the UKIP tide can be held back. I’m tempted to vote for the Peace Party as a statement rather than actually hoping they will have any MEPs.
Here is some information from my local council about the system in use.
The next European Parliamentary Election will be held across Europe from 22nd – 25th May 2014. In the UK, Polling Day will be Thursday 22nd May 2014 with Polling Stations being open from 07:00 – 22:00.
The Poll and declaration of results for the South East of England will be administered by the Regional Returning Officer, Mark Heath who is also the Local Returning Officer for the Southampton Area.
These will be the eighth Europe wide Elections to the European Parliament since the first direct Elections in 1979.
MEPs are elected under a proportional representation system (d.Hondt). In the UK you have one vote to elect all of your MEPs. Each party puts forward a list of candidates called a ‘regional list’ and you vote for one of these lists or for an independent candidate.
The parties are then allocated a number of MEPs according to their share of the vote.
This is the official list, 15 parties and 118 candidates: http://www.southampton.gov.uk/Images/Statement%20of%20Parties%20and%20Individual%20Canidates%20Nominated%20and%20Notice%20of%20Poll_tcm46-356525.pdf
That is a lot of people to choose from. So what will my ballot paper look like? Something like this, but much longer with 15 parties of which I get to choose one:
This is a handy, if somewhat partisan, guide to the parties standing in the South East of England:
Having looked into all this at least I know what to expect to see on my ballot paper next Thursday. As for where to put my cross, I’m still not sure except not UKIP and not Labour. I hope this blog post helps you to know what to do on the day and please, please, make sure you do vote. It’s important to have your say. If you don’t vote on Europe, then your opinions on the subject are not taken in to account and we all want our opinions to be heard.
Make your voice heard.