European elections 2004

Being Dutch, I voted for the European Parliament yesterday. I thought it rather important to go and vote: the EP can only become a strong and democratic institution if it receives a strong mandate from the voters. And the way to signal that is to go and vote. Fortunately, more than 40% of the Dutch made the effort: up 10%.

Deciding how to cast my vote turned out to be rather difficult. I am a member of one of the smaller Christian parties in the Netherlands, but their MEPs did not vote sensibly in the software patent vote. D66 had an excellent candidate, and I would have liked to vote for her personally, but that would have been a vote for D66, too. And D66 is a government party in the Netherlands, and besides, their party line is pro-software patents. This particular woman should have been a member of another party… So I voted Green Left again, just as with the previous EU elections.

Still, I have not much hope that the EP will become much stronger in the next few years: building up a parliament with clout takes a lot of time. But perhaps the day is not too far off when the president of the EU thinks twice before taking Microsoft’s money to dump a democratic decision by the parliament. And doing it anyway.