European Parliament elections...

Are second-order national elections.
100% (20 votes)
Are true European elections.
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Total votes: 20

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EU ellections are second-order national elections because the turnout is lower than national elections have and usually the elected people push the national politics on a EU stage...

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Option 1. Even though they should be true European elections they are actually second-order national elections where each country tries to push in "front of the line" people that may serve the immediate interests of the country. European elections are considered to be secondary to national ones and are seen as centered on national issues rather than European.

In their article written after the first direct elections to the European Parliament, Reif and Schmitt (1980) describe elections to the European Parliament as “second-order national elections”. Furthermore, they pointed out that these elections are about national political issues and that they don’t carry much weight. An argument that supports this claim is that national parties view as their main goal the retention of the office of the government; European elections are seen as being a lot less important.

The second order model offers three large predictions about European Parliament elections: first, turnout is lower than in national elections, second, smaller parties perform better and third, parties in national government are penalized.

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European Parliament Elections are second order elections because the most important goal of the national parties involved in the electoral process is to win the office of the government in their home country. This tends to make the EP elections subsidiary and less important than the national elections. Consequently, the parties get less involved in these by comparison with the so called “first order contests”. One of the effects of the above is that people are less motivated to vote and, therefore, the turnout is lower in the EP elections.

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How much lower is turnout in EP elections than in national elections? Are there any statistics to support this assertion? Who coind the expression of "second-order national elections"? What other distinctive features do EP elections have compared to general elections?

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In the following report we can see a clear comparison between the turnout at general elections and the turnout at European elections for several countries that are members of the EU before 2004 (see Part II Country by Country). http://www.idea.int/publications/voter_turnout_weurope/upload/Full_Reprot.pdf  For other EU members see http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/tgm/refreshTableAction.do?tab=table&plugin=1&pcode=tsdgo310&language=en

 All this points out the big gap in terms of turnout between the two types of elections.

The term “second order elections” was developed by Reif and Schmitt in 1980 who stated that the European elections are centered on national problems.

As distinctive features, the following two are worth mentioning.

The outcome of elections being considered less important, parties will devote fewer resources to campaigns and this will eventually lead to a lower turnout.

Loss of power for major parties – at European elections people tend to give a negative vote to the party ruling the national government and at the same time people tend to vote with smaller parties that are closer to their preferences.

 

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European Parliament elections are second order elections because there is not enough information about the European elections, for the citizens of a country the national elections are more important because it directly affects the welfare of the country than the European elections. The themes for the European elections are not about Europe but each country's problems.

 

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National elections are in my opinion the most important of all because the primary goal of a nation is to select their representatives in the parliament, after that they are supposed to choose someone who can represent them in UE.

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European elections not prevail over national ones . The population is not sufficiently informed , yet we identify with the European citizen. I think  we all should participate as long as those elections affects our country.

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Raționamentul pe care îl întâlnim foarte des într-o mulțime de manuale este că alegerile Parlamentului European nu se desfășoară ca adevărate alegeri europene, ci drept „alegeri naționale de rang secund” („second order”), rezultatele alegerilor de rangul doi fiind dependente de situația politică națională a momentului și de calendarul electoral.

Putem afirma faptul că alegerile pentru PE sunt asemănătoare cu alegerile „mid-term” din SUA, „landtagswahlen” din Germania, „by-elections” pentru House of Commons din Marea Britanie și alegerile locale care se desfășoară în întreaga lume democratică.

Teoria clasică a alegerilor de rang secund anunță patru rezultate privind alegerile pentru Parlamentul European:

  • participarea va fi mai mică decât la alegerile naționale imediat anterioare;
  • partidele de guvernământ în momentul alegerilor pentru PE vor primi un procent mai mic de vot în comparație cu alegerile naționale anterioare;
  • cu cât este mai mare partidul politic, în termenii procentului de vot de la alegerile naționale anterioare, cu atât mai multe voturi va pierde în viitoarele alegeri europene;
  • momentul alegerilor europene în cadrul ciclului electoral național va determina impactul efectelor anterioare.

Magnitudinea acestor posibile efecte de «participare» și de «schimb de vot» depinde de momentul în care au loc alegerile europene în relație cu ciclul electoral național. Astfel că, în ciuda creșterii puterii Parlamentului pe teren legislativ și în ceea ce privește controlul Comisiei Europene, alegerile pentru Parlamentul European continuă să se dispute între partidele naționale asupra unor chestiuni naționale. Putem afirma că, de-a lungul alegerilor pentru Parlamentul European conexiunea electorală dintre cetățeni și eurodeputați este în continuă scădere, PE nereușind să înființeze un mandat de guvernare la nivel european, și este puțin probabil ca, creșterile adiționale ale puterilor sale să schimbe lucrurile.

 

 

 

 

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The elections for the European Parliament are considered to be second-order national elections because this is how things are today. In theory, they should be a forum where EU citizens get a chance to elect their representatives to the highest bodies of government. In practice, these elections have been highjacked by the internal political stages of each member state. Parties from each of these states seek to retain their seats in Parliament, and no emphasis is placed on European elections at a national level. Undoubtedly, in the future, these elections will start to look more like their original idea but, for now, they will continue to remain a mirror image of their national counterparts. 

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