How to make sense of the EU elections? The right is the new left?

For weeks, I’ve been puzzled by the early June EU elections. What’s going on in Europe? Capitalism is in its biggest crisis for decades and what do the Europeans do? Vote the right-wing in. Aren’t these folks and their ideologies largely to blame for the current mess? What am I missing here? Don’t Europeans want a change and alternatives to crony capitalism at all? Americans wanted change and got their Obama. One would’ve expected at least some kind of Obama effect on the other side of the Atlantic. What do Europeans want?
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trouble in paradise – where are the women and what are they doing?

Europe is wrestling with a crisis of confidence, they say, but my concern is that the post-Irish Lisbon referendum rhetoric echoes too closely Russia’s antics of ‘managed democracy.’ Suddenly Ireland is the scapegoat for ruining the dazzling future of Europe when the rest of us didn’t even get to vote. The Irish have had it before: if you vote wrong, they ram it down your throats second time to get it right. This was the previous treaty, Nice, in 2001-02. It seems that Sarkozy’s and his acolytes’ memory is very short and selective (as political memory always is) as nobody seems to link the Irish rejection to the French and Dutch rejection of the Lisbon treaty’s forerunner three years ago. The German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeir said after the Irish vote: “We’re sticking firmly to our goal of putting this treaty into effect.” Is there a difference between a refusal to accept a defeat in Europe and Zimbabwe? When did this kind of selective, Machiavellian democracy become the norm and politics-as-usual in every part of the globe?

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Lisbon treaty and EU’s human rights record

I recently woke up into an EU reality about the Lisbon Treaty – thanks to my dad who sent a link to a petition calling for Irish people to vote against the treaty on my behalf. Somehow the debate on the Lisbon Treaty has passed me by, probably because Norway is not in the EU but also because the Finnish media I try to follow online hasn’t been very forthcoming about the topic. Why? In a quick glance it all seems to be one big conspiracy – to keep quiet so people won’t demand a referendum. The Irish are the only ones who get to vote whether on they actually want the Treaty or not. The rest of us have to have faith in our politicians and trust they have our best interests in heart. Or sign petitions asking Irish people to oppose the treaty if you don’t quite trust your politicians.
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