The European Union held their elections this week, it didn't get very much press here, but it happened. In these times of global economic downturn, elections are always a good way to see exactly how the people feel about what's going on and who they think is to blame.
If the results from Europe are any indication as to how some of the world's citizens are thinking: troubling times are coming and it'll have nothing to do with money. Well not directly anyways.
93 of Europes 736, or almost 13%, who were elected are considered "others" meaning they are not attached to any of Europe's mainstream political party. Now if you were in Canada you'd think that "others" just meant Elizabeth May would get to save a few more trees, but apparently in Europe the "others" aren't just bus taking tree huggers; take a look at this:
-In England the British National Party who is known for it's racist views regarding anyone who isn't white, protestant or British got 8.38% of the vote.
-In the Netherlands the PW garnered 17% of the vote making the second most popular party, their platform: the Koran should be banned, immigration ended and Muslim believers treated as neo-Nazis.
-In Hungary 14.77% of the vote went to Jobbik, the anti-Semitic neo-Nazi party.
-In France 6.3% went to Frances equally racist Front National.
-Not to mention the fascist parties in Britain, Austria and Italy (whose exact numbers I did not find).
(And each of these parties receives around 4million Euros per year for each representative that is elected.)
Is this what the world has come to? Have we reverted back to post-1929 Europe where in Germany all of the world's problems were blamed on one race (the Jews)? Economic fear tends to bring out the worst in people, it tends to make people do extreme things, but I no matter how scared I get about money I would never vote for neo-Nazis who blame everything on the Muslims, the Jews and the gays.
I just find this vote to be very disturbing and if these elections are any indicator of things to come in Europe's national elections we might be in for some trouble by the look of things. I've always said that the beauty of democracy was that it gave everyone a voice but then you see people like this, who use their voices to spew messages of hate, who waste their precious freedom of speech to spread intolerance and fear. It's just mind-boggling.
I'll keep my fingers crossed that these feelings of disenfranchisement do not cross the Atlantic into North-America. And I hope that the people Europe remember the skeletons of thier past so that it can avoid making grave mistakes in the future.