[Discussion] European Political Landscape

There are three elections occurring over the coming year that are of huge importance. They are:

Italian Constitutional Referendum - 04/12/16
French Presidential Election - 1st Round 23/04/17, 2nd Round 07/05/17
German Federal Election - 22/10/17

This thread is to discuss the political realities, results and fallout around these elections. The scope is broad but try to keep the post relevant to the elections referenced above.

Edit - Updated thread title

BBC reporting that turnout is on track to reach around 80%, based on nearly 30% of eligible voters having cast ballots in the first four hours.

From what I'm seeing the news, it's stable compared to 2002 numbers, im kinda disappointed, I thought there would be more people, but the day is still young.

Good to hear that turnout isnt low so far, had expected that with people being frustrated by the political system.

Shadout wrote:

Good to hear that turnout isnt low so far, had expected that with people being frustrated by the political system.

I thought I heard they were more/only worried about low turnout in the second phase of the election.

Eleima, what are the media giving as a time of the result? I've managed to shove the election out of my mind all weekend but it's just come rushing back in.

I'm not tempting fate after Brexit and Trump so I'm not even going to mention what the exit polls are saying.

The results are going to start coming in at 2pm EST. You can follow the live results here.

Excellent, Djinn. Thanks. Been meaning to include politico.eu on my reading list.

IMAGE(http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/001/214/427/ecf.gif)

We typically start having preliminary results around 8pm, but they're usually temporary. Voting goes on until 8pm in larger cities like Paris, Bordeaux and Lyon. We usually having a definite trend though.

So like 15 minutes from now!

Edit: the 6pm estimate says about 69% of people voted, one point behind the 2012 election, so flagging behind a little. Still pretty decent considering the general sentiment for this election.
Oh and my future ex husband just told me he voted for Mélenchon. And he's hoping for a Le Pen - Mélenchon face off. If I wasn't already filing, that would certainly be grounds for divorce.

Results are in!!
Macron 23,7%
Le Pen 21,7%
Fillon 19,5%
Mélenchon 19,5%
Hamon only got 6%.
Im very much relieved, because this pretty much ensures a Macron victory. But of course, that still means we all have to go vote two weeks from now.

Harsh...but understandable. From BBC:

Socialist candidate backs Macron

It looks like a devastating night for Socialist Benoît Hamon. Projections put him well behind the top four: "I encourage everyone to fight as hard as they can to fight the extreme right, and to fight for Macron," he said." I am making a distinction between my campaign rival and an enemy of the Republic."

44% voted for a Trump or Chavez type candidate. That is a little sobering.

Edit: Fillon backing Macron. Waiting for Melenchon now.

Something is clear, Eleima, all the old rules of French politics are gone. What this means for France and Europe remains to be seen but I really do hope Macron presents a new school of thinking that is not ideologically wedded to solutions and is prepared to actually fight for something. I've a feeling that this will have an impact on the German elections.

If Le Pen wins the runoff the EU is toast. I REALLY hope Macron can win. We don't need any more instability in the world right now.

JC wrote:

If Le Pen wins the runoff the EU is toast. I REALLY hope Macron can win. We don't need any more instability in the world right now.

All a matter of point of view. I am in the minority here for sure lol But I hope Le Pen wins and that the EU will be toast. Because it just doesn't work and kills the countries their identities. And wastes money etc etc. A whole debate that will last ages. But in short, pro Le Pen, it will help my country exit the EU.

If EU kills national identities, why do we still have nationalism I guess it failed at that too.

À French exit from the EU would spell certain disaster on all levels: economic, diplomacy, culture, trade, ...
We'd be going backwards, not forwards. Le Pen embodies that return to the Dark Ages. She's been spouting hate speech for years, despite seeming tamer than her father. Heck, she even claimed France had no part in the Vel d'Hiv massacre in WW2, that it was all the nazis' fault.
If anything, we're looking at a retelling of the 2002 election.

Axon wrote:

Something is clear, Eleima, all the old rules of French politics are gone. What this means for France and Europe remains to be seen but I really do hope Macron presents a new school of thinking that is not ideologically wedded to solutions and is prepared to actually fight for something. I've a feeling that this will have an impact on the German elections.

Absolutely. This is a first: neither the Républicains, neither the Parti Socialiste made it to the second round, a first. The two historically major parties. Clearly, the French are saying something, forgoing the "classics". Here's hoping things change for the better.

Shadout wrote:

If EU kills national identities, why do we still have nationalism I guess it failed at that too.

I guess that's because of the EU. A counter reaction, but just guessing right now.

It's amazing how national identities formed over centuries from shared languages, histories, religions, cultures, and more can be wiped out by less than 25 years of the EU...

end of the discussion, fine by me, lets move on.

At least give some arguments as to why you feel your country lost its identity.
Have you travelled to another European country and felt it was scarily similar to yours?
Just because we share currency and some rules/regulations, doesn't mean the death of cultural identity.

I for one would love to see a return to those halcyon days before the EU when European nations were constantly at war with each other. It's been what, seventy years since a couple of generations were last ground to sh*t on a battlefield? WEAK

slazev wrote:

At least give some arguments as to why you feel your country lost its identity.
Have you travelled to another European country and felt it was scarily similar to yours?
Just because we share currency and some rules/regulations, doesn't mean the death of cultural identity.

Sure, that's fair.
Laws for one. EU laws superseed our own laws. You can argue either way if it is a part of identity. I think it is. Take alone the fact that we have been quite liberal on the approach on soft drugs for decades. Could not have happened under EU law. But as a country, we are ok with this.
Mass (illegal) immigration. And I truly think that 'no borders, no countries' is in play here.
We cannot close our borders to whomever is within the EU. People with all kind of backgrounds, wanted and unwanted are entering. My own government is a disaster in handling even the basic registration and kicking out the illegal ones. Whole areas in my country are turning into more of a ghetto of certain religions and backgrounds. Religious buildings are build, that don't have to obey the laws of how it is supposed to look like. Churches are stripped of religious symbols so people are not offended, and these people are being helped by us because their country is so terrible.

Supermarkets and larger warehouses also hardly celebrate our national holidays anymore. Don't use certain common wordings we always use for these holidays. But will celebrate foreign holidays and religions. And halal food everywhere. Which I don't even know is legal, because the animals just get their throut cut and bled out. There are strict rules about butchering in my country. Yet, doesn't apply to them.

Christmas celebrations in schools are disappearing (also in Canada btw, where my daughters live. They never had one). Al in the name of catering to foreigners/other religions. And of course, not to offend! Because, oh dear!

Store fronts are changing, especially the more local ones. To more islam orientated stores.

I seriously have days when I am outside, I hardly hear Dutch being spoken. Of course it depends on where you live and all. But I am often in three different cities lots. Two large ones, one small and the same deal everywhere. People will not integrate or even bother trying.

Under EU law, it's hard to regulate this, if not impossible. And my louse government doesn't make it any better either.

Sparhawk wrote:
slazev wrote:

At least give some arguments as to why you feel your country lost its identity.
Have you travelled to another European country and felt it was scarily similar to yours?
Just because we share currency and some rules/regulations, doesn't mean the death of cultural identity.

Sure, that's fair.
Laws for one. EU laws superseed our own laws. You can argue either way if it is a part of identity. I think it is. Take alone the fact that we have been quite liberal on the approach on soft drugs for decades. Could not have happened under EU law. But as a country, we are ok with this.
Mass (illegal) immigration. And I truly think that 'no borders, no countries' is in play here.
We cannot close our borders to whomever is within the EU. People with all kind of backgrounds, wanted and unwanted are entering. My own government is a disaster in handling even the basic registration and kicking out the illegal ones. Whole areas in my country are turning into more of a ghetto of certain religions and backgrounds. Religious buildings are build, that don't have to obey the laws of how it is supposed to look like. Churches are stripped of religious symbols so people are not offended, and these people are being helped by us because their country is so terrible.

Supermarkets and larger warehouses also hardly celebrate our national holidays anymore. Don't use certain common wordings we always use for these holidays. But will celebrate foreign holidays and religions. And halal food everywhere. Which I don't even know is legal, because the animals just get their throut cut and bled out. There are strict rules about butchering in my country. Yet, doesn't apply to them.

Christmas celebrations in schools are disappearing (also in Canada btw, where my daughters live. They never had one). Al in the name of catering to foreigners/other religions. And of course, not to offend! Because, oh dear!

Store fronts are changing, especially the more local ones. To more islam orientated stores.

I seriously have days when I am outside, I hardly hear Dutch being spoken. Of course it depends on where you live and all. But I am often in three different cities lots. Two large ones, one small and the same deal everywhere. People will not integrate or even bother trying.

So, your issues mainly are with different religions?

Sparhawk wrote:

Laws for one. EU laws superseed our own laws.

The EU has no law making body so there are no such thing as EU laws. So there is no sense that EU laws can supersede domestic laws in any country.

From a legal perspective the EU passes Regulations and Directives. Regulations are legal frameworks that member states are bound, by treaty, to implement at home. The pan-European regulations on imported goods safety are a good example there.

Directives are policy goals the EU wants to achieve across all member states. EU members are free to implement whatever domestic policies they need to (which may be new laws) to achieve those policy goals.

However you cut it member states pass their own domestic laws to bring themselves in line with EU regs and directives. And this is a really important part of how the EU is constituted, domestic parliaments always remain sovereign within their own countries. There is a lot of latitude here and many countries exercise their sovereignty and don't fully implement some Regulations (rare) and Directives (common).

there are no EU laws? lol I wish.

I wrote my piece on what I think.
Think of it what you want. Not going to defend every point here.
That type of discussion is endless. Am sure most will disagree,
and yes, religion is a big part of this world. So also part of the problem
in this case.

No, his issue is that his religion is no longer being forced on those that don't share it.

Like do you see the irony of...

And of course, not to offend! Because, oh dear!

...after complaining that your religious beliefs aren't displayed everywhere?

Reaper81 wrote:

So, your issues mainly are with different religions?

I get the feeling it's not just different religions.

Sparhawk wrote:
slazev wrote:

At least give some arguments as to why you feel your country lost its identity.
Have you travelled to another European country and felt it was scarily similar to yours?
Just because we share currency and some rules/regulations, doesn't mean the death of cultural identity.

Sure, that's fair.
Laws for one. EU laws superseed our own laws. You can argue either way if it is a part of identity. I think it is. Take alone the fact that we have been quite liberal on the approach on soft drugs for decades. Could not have happened under EU law. But as a country, we are ok with this.
Mass (illegal) immigration. And I truly think that 'no borders, no countries' is in play here.
We cannot close our borders to whomever is within the EU. People with all kind of backgrounds, wanted and unwanted are entering. My own government is a disaster in handling even the basic registration and kicking out the illegal ones. Whole areas in my country are turning into more of a ghetto of certain religions and backgrounds. Religious buildings are build, that don't have to obey the laws of how it is supposed to look like. Churches are stripped of religious symbols so people are not offended, and these people are being helped by us because their country is so terrible.

Supermarkets and larger warehouses also hardly celebrate our national holidays anymore. Don't use certain common wordings we always use for these holidays. But will celebrate foreign holidays and religions. And halal food everywhere. Which I don't even know is legal, because the animals just get their throut cut and bled out. There are strict rules about butchering in my country. Yet, doesn't apply to them.

Christmas celebrations in schools are disappearing (also in Canada btw, where my daughters live. They never had one). Al in the name of catering to foreigners/other religions. And of course, not to offend! Because, oh dear!

Store fronts are changing, especially the more local ones. To more islam orientated stores.

I seriously have days when I am outside, I hardly hear Dutch being spoken. Of course it depends on where you live and all. But I am often in three different cities lots. Two large ones, one small and the same deal everywhere. People will not integrate or even bother trying.

Under EU law, it's hard to regulate this, if not impossible. And my louse government doesn't make it any better either.

We are seeing these arguments over here in the US but most call it "White Nationalism".

Sparhawk wrote:
Shadout wrote:

If EU kills national identities, why do we still have nationalism I guess it failed at that too.

I guess that's because of the EU. A counter reaction, but just guessing right now.

A counter reaction to EU certainly is a reason. Though we have growing nationalism trends pretty much all over the globe these days, and it cant all be due to EU.
But it still shows that EU has not even remotely removed national identities. Nor does it want to. Maybe a few people in the EU system decades ago dreamt of a single EU country, but it has never been more than that.
Even then, take the US, which went all the way with integration into a single entity back in the day, still seems to support and cultivate "national" identities in each state.
There is no reason that working together, even very closely, would kill national identities.

If national identities are threatened, and I'm certainly not convinced they are at all, maybe the cause is that a lot of citizens look at those traditional "national identities" and do not like what they see.
Maybe we all need to be forced to like our national identities... I'm sure Le Pen etc. would love to do that.

Wait, are you from the Netherlands? Having grown up a couple miles from Holland, MI, having a huge portion of friends and co workers have a last name starting with Van or Vander, and having grown up with the phrase "if ya ain't Dutch, ya ain't much," I can understand your point of view.

Shadout wrote:

There is no reason that working together, even very closely, would kill national identities.

Scotland and England became a union >300 years ago and they still have marked obvious national identities. And Scotland and England are way more integrated than the EU and US are.

Germany is a federation of principalities and they all maintain their own identities.