Voting MEPs with TestVote 2014  

Thrown (Ţâpat) in , , , ,

I suspect there is a 'TestVote' application for each member country of the EU. I decided to follow my own recommendation from Romanian MEP elections in Toronto and go through this, just before voting. Since there is very likely an English one in existence, and the English vote has already concluded, this article has the questions left in original, in Romanian.

open-politics-test-voteMy MO consists of coming up with a list of parties and independents I could never vote for, most often for reasons that have little to do with their platform (done, see link above). I then go through the app and answer, as quickly as I can. If the result sends me to a party I scratched out, I go through the application again, slightly changing my more difficult answers, until I get a party I have not excluded.

By the way, I’ve written about this application back in 2009 as well as left vs right.

I abbreviate “Complet de acord” or “Completely Agree” with +2, “Mai degraba de acord” or “Maybe” with +1, “Neutru” with 0, “Mai degraba dezacord” with –1 and “Total dezacord” with –2.

  1. Președintele Comisiei Europene ar trebui ales în mod direct de către cetățeni=European Commission President must be elected through direct vote. Do I want a stronger Union, or the same non-workable crap we’ve had this far? I don’t think the Union can continue as such – we need a stronger center, as counter-libertarian as that may be. +2
  2. Parlamentul European ar trebui să aibă puteri egale cu cele ale Consiliului Uniunii Europene în toate domeniile legislației europene=The European Parliament should have equal powers with European Union Council in all areas. Do I believe in democracy? Though I tend to agree with Mencken, I am not, as I have said, a Eurosceptic. I do believe that the Union can be saved. I also am not completely happy with all the duplication in the representative forums, but the simplification has to be done primarily at national level, through a unicameral parliament. At European level, the Senate / lower chamber distinction can and should be retained by the way the members come to be; there is a danger of the parliament giving itself ever-increasing powers, but that’s still better than giving governments the lion share of decision-making. +1
  3. Uniunea Europeană ar trebui să sprijine prin subvenții complexele agro-industriale mari și nu fermele de mărime medie sau cele familiale=The European Union should encourage through subsidies agribusiness and not small and medium-sized farms. This is easy – we can discuss how opportune are subsidies, but if they do exist, they should go to the little guy. This Q is pretty much “crony capitalism” vs “agrarian socialism” Raised Eyebrow -2
  4. Uniunea Europeană ar trebui să încurajeze producția de alimente modificate genetic ca mijloc de a se combate criza de produse alimentare=The EU should encourage genetically modified food production as a way to fight famine. This is a rather loaded question. I think that there is a role for such research to play, but only in conditions of full and complete transparency and labelling, which is not happening. –1
  5. Uniunea Europeană ar trebui să impună limite în utilizarea biocombustibililor proveniți din culturi agricole=EU should limit the use of biofuels coming from food crops. This is a tough one. The use of resources for biofuel is done at the expense of food and food prices seem to increase. On the other hand, more expensive food is one way to address the obesity crisis, and nobody is really going hungry in Europe. Furthermore, agricultural production at fair prices is a way for the rest of the world to come out of poverty. –2
  6. Domeniul agriculturii este supra-reglementat la nivel european. Ar trebui să existe mai puține reguli și standarde impuse asupra statelor membre=Agriculture is overregulated at European level; there should be less rules and standards imposed on member states. As a libertarian, I generally support less regulation. Even though Europe has come to be mostly around agricultural protectionism, we are now (or should be) past that evolution stage. +2
  7. Statele membre ale Uniunii Europene ar trebui să respecte și să implementeze la nivel național politica comună UE în domeniul energiei=EU member states should respect and implement the energy common policy at national level. This is particularly important because of Putler. Romania is also more energy-independent than the rest of the continent, so it should be able to benefit fair and square from a common market, just like everybody else. +2
  8. Contractele cu Rusia pentru aprovizionarea cu gaz natural ar trebui negociate la nivelul UE, și nu individual la nivelul statelor membre=Natural gas contracts with Russia should be negotiated collectively by EU and not individually, by each state. This wouldn’t matter so much if there was a common market, but obviously, negotiating as a trading block is always better than individually – that’s the whole point of EC. +2
  9. Centralele nucleare ar trebui treptat închise pe teritoriul UE=Nuclear power plants should be gradually shut down within EU. This is a tough one. Even solar has a rather polluting manufacturing process (Cd). If alternatives exist, nuclear should disappear. +1
  10. Ar trebui ca statele membre ale UE să nu autorizeze noi proiecte de exploatare a gazelor de șist prin fracturare=EU member states should not authorize new fracking projects. If only there were viable alternatives.. 0
  11. Subvențiile, acordate sub forma certificatelor verzi, pentru susținerea producției de electricitate din surse regenerabile ar trebui menținute pentru a încuraja „consumul verde”=Renewable energy subsidies should be maintained to encourage "green consumption.". Romania is one of the few countries that has fulfilled its “green energy” commitments and its consumers are less able to pay the high prices subsidies often cause. Furthermore, the current low interest rates should make new renewables projects more economically justifiable. –2
  12. Uniunea Europeană ar trebui să aibă o politică comună în ceea ce privește imigrația în toate statele membre=EU should have a common immigration policy in all member states. This seems to be the biggest source of disconnect between political elites and the suckers they govern. Unfortunately, Europe, including Romania, is facing a demographic ticking bomb – but the voters’ racism and xenophobia prevents an open market solution. More liberal labour movement and immigration laws make sense, but come in conflict with the vast majority of voters who blame immigrants for their misfortune. A common European policy in immigration would certainly make sense, but has the potential to further alienate the European electorate to the point where the very existence of the European project is threatened. +1
  13. România are nevoie de o politică de imigrație deschisă care să permită accesul pe piața muncii pentru străini=Romania needs an open immigration policy that allows foreigner’s access to the labour market. Romania cannot afford to close its doors to immigration, especially since so many Romanians are taking advantage of other countries’ openness. A resounding yes for both ethical and economic / demographic reasons. +2
  14. Uniunea Europeană ar trebui să adopte salariul minim garantat la nivel European=EU should adopt a European guaranteed minimum wage. This would be recipe for disaster, considering the unequal economic and social situation across Europe. This is currently one of the few competitive “aces” of the poorer countries. On the other hand, a minimum salary based on some formula that takes into account GDP or GDP/capita might not be such a bad idea. –2
  15. Uniunea Europeană ar trebui să determine statele membre să flexibilizeze relațiile de muncă pentru creșterea competitivității economice=EU should force member states to make their labour rules more flexible in order to increase economic competitiveness. This is a necessity, but if imposed via European channels would increase alienation and Eurosceptic feelings. +1
  16. Uniunea Europeană ar trebui să aibă dreptul de a impune taxe proprii, în afara celor stabilite de statele membre ale UE=EU should have the right to impose its own taxes, beyond those set by EU member states. This could never fly with most voters; furthermore, if we increase political power, we should leave some leverage within national governments. –1
  17. Ar trebui să existe o nouă taxă pe tranzacțiile financiare în UE=There should be a new tax on EU financial transactions. I do agree that such a tax has a chance only if globally and simultaneously introduced in all exchanges. It’s far more important to harmonize tax policy. –1
  18. Țările din zona euro ar trebui să pună în comun datoriile publice, prin crearea de euro-obligațiuni=Eurozone countries should harmonize their public debt through the issue of Eurobonds. This is a good idea only as long as the more fiscally prudent European states (especially Germany) get more say in determining and enacting policy (politically). This can’t and shouldn’t be a pillaging of Germany’s competitiveness. +1
  19. Drepturile persoanelor de același sex, căsătorite într-un stat membru UE, ar trebui respectate și de celelalte state membre UE=Same sex people’s rights, married in a EU member state, should be respected across the EU. Homophobia is for medieval dumbasses. +2
  20. Combaterea discriminării romilor ar trebui să fie asigurată printr-o politică comună a țărilor membre ale Uniunii Europene și nu doar individual de către fiecare stat membru=Roma/Gypsy discrimination should be assured through common European policy and not only individually by each member state. I wrote extensively about this on this blog in the romi cateogory. It’s the single most widespread and profoundly European hate crime. +2
  21. Pentru a lupta împotriva terorismului, Uniunea Europeană ar trebui să introducă o politică comună pentru toate statele membre de supraveghere mai strictă a indivizilor inclusiv prin limitarea unor drepturi=To fight terrorism, EU should have a common policy for all member states to better police individuals, including through limiting rights. We need less security theater, not more. –2
  22. Este nevoie de o mai mare integrare economică, financiară și politică a tuturor statelor membre în UE=More economic, fiscal and political integration is necessary among EU member states. I disagree with certain European policies and initiatives and I think Romania can and should follow its best interests through a more independent economic policy. In practice though, Romania is electing even dumber politicians than its European counterparts. +1
  23. Extinderea UE ar trebui să fie oprită=EU expansion should be stopped. While the European train needs some fixing, once fixed, it should keep going. It should also be done cautiously, making sure that the European electorate is not left behind. Right now, this is not happening, and the public opinion needs to catch up to reality. 0
  24. O Europă federală ar fi în interesul cetățenilor României=A federal Europe is in the best interest of Romanian citizens. Vezi 22. +1
  25. Demararea procesului de aderare a Republicii Moldova la Uniunea Europeană ar trebui să fie o prioritate=The start of Moldovan membership talks should be a priority. Moldova belongs in the EU. Besides, she’s so small and unknown, nobody, not even the naysayers, would notice. +2
  26. Politica externă a UE, determinată în prezent prin votul unanim al statelor membre, ar trebui să fie decisă prin votul majorității statelor membre=EU foreign policy, currently subject to unanimous voting, should be decided simply through a majority of votes. Unanimity is a very high standard. Europe needs a more flexible decision-making process and it doesn’t have to be simple majority (50%+1), it can be 90%, for instance. +2
  27. Politica UE de ajutoare acordate altor state ar trebui să se concentreze doar pe acele state care respectă întru totul drepturile omului=Foreign aid should be given mostly to those governments that fully respect human rights. Human rights are important. Let US be the bottom feeder, EU should take the moral high ground. +2
  28. Uniunea Europeană ar trebui să impună sancțiuni economice dure împotriva Federației Ruse=EU should impose strong economic sanctions against the Russian Federation. EU still needs Russian gas. 0
  29. Toate țările Uniunii Europene ar trebui să recunoască Kosovo drept stat independent=All EU states should recognize Kosovo as an independent state. This makes sense only if there is a common foreign policy; there isn’t, so drop this already. –2
  30. Uniunea Europeană ar trebui să se implice mai mult în rezolvarea crizei din Siria=EU should do more to resolve the Syrian crisis. Again, this is dependent on a common foreign policy and a non-unanimous decision-making mechanism. +1
  31. Uniunea Europeană supune România la prea multe reglementări care nu țin cont de nevoile sociale și economice din țară=EU forces upon Romania too many rules that are disconnected from the country’s social and economic needs. Considering Romania’s extremely low absorption of funds, a gentler and more flexible approach may sometimes be warranted. +1
  32. Instituțiile Uniunii Europene ar trebui să poată interveni atunci când se produc derapaje antidemocratice în statele membre=EU bodies should be able to intervene whenever there are antidemocratic lapses in member states. Obviously, a stronger Union can and should have such a right, much like the Feds in USA hold some sway over the comprising States. The devil is, nonetheless, in the details. +1
  33. Ar fi utilă existența mai multor mecanisme la nivel european pentru combaterea fraudei, precum instituția Procurorului European=There should be more European mechanisms to fight fraud, such as the European Prosecutor office. That would make a whole lotta sense – this institution would be harder to corrupt (or at least more expensive). Again, think USA and the Untouchables (see also the TV series) Angel+2
  34. Uniunea Europeană ar trebui să blocheze fondurile structurale alocate țărilor care fac progrese insuficiente în combaterea corupției=EU should bloc funds allocated to countries that don’t make sufficient progress in fighting corruption. The above measures (31) should be sufficient, especially when considering that most of the allocated funds are not used. Withholding funds is more like a nuclear option. -1

For the results now [PDF]..

TESTvot-Results-2014If I leave all areas equally weighted, I get Costea Peter & PMP 70, PSD & PNL 69, Forta Civica 67, UDMR 66 and PDL 63.

TESTvot-Results-Migration-Work-ForceChoosing Work Force and Migration as the most important criterion, I get PMP 95, Costea Peter, PSD, PDL & PNL at 81, and Forta Civica & UDMR at 69.

Obviously, I’m voting PMP.

If you go through a similar exercise, just remember that you can click the little arrow at the bottom to expand “details about the question.”

And now let’s see .

Sources / More info: OpenPolitics-TestVot-EU or, my results (PDF)

Thank you for reading (mulţam fain pentru cetire)! Publicat Sunday, May 25, 2014 . Similar articles under the following categories (poţi găsi articole similare sub următoarele categorii): (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe) . Dacă ţi-a plăcut articolul, PinIt-uieste-l, ReddIt-eaza-l, stumble-uieste-l altora, trimite-l pe WhatsApp yMess şi consideră abonarea la fluxul RSS sau prin email. Ma poti de asemenea gasi pe Google. Trackback poateputea fi trimis prin URL-ul de sub Comentarii.
Aici vei găsi ştiri inedite, articole hazoase, perspective originale in politică, societate, economie şi relaţii interumane. QUESTIONS (Intrebări)? We got Answers (Răspunsuri există)!  
blog comments powered by Disqus