Change the way we choose the members of the European Parliament. Can a representative parliamentary democracy of 500 million people work? why are elections to EP a feast for extreme right, ultra-nationalist political parties and leaders? why only those who hate or question the mere existence of that Parliament care about voting to the EP? what to do? Supress the elections. Elections add nothing to the legitimacy of the Union, which is lower everyday. That is not the consequence of lack of elections but the consequence of lack of decency, honesty and efficiency in the people with power (having said that, for people from, e.g. my country, the EU levels of decency, honesty and efficiency are way ahead of what we're used to. This explains why confidence in Europe is still reasonably high). Elections are good at preventing too much power in the hands of thugs but, more and more, elections are showing brutal deficiencies in selecting the appropriate people . Not only at EU level, but there seems to be a correlation with the size of the political entity: the bigger the polity, the more difficult for people to vote the wrong people out of office. So, what if next EP is chosen by drawing a lot? We give to any citizen aged above 16 and willing to be a europarliamentarian a number. On D-day, we just draw 750 numbers + one number for the President of the EP. No guaranteed quotas by nationality, no quotas for women, no quotas for lawyers and bureaucrats, no quotas for idiots. I only see advantages: - high salaries and extravagant perks will be more evenly distributed among all Europeans; - real equal chances for everybody (my grand aunt, I and any convicted ex-minister will have equal chances of becoming europarliamentarian). To be sure, just one condition: anybody can only win one term; - debates will be funnier and outfits more colourful; - we avoid the expensive and stultifying electoral campaigns; - people will stay awake for the proclamation of results with real excitement and desire to participate in the European affairs; - we may discover lots of new talents in our citizens.
Ok, I acknowledge that we're accepting a risk that accidentally, by chance, a large group of thugs, fascist or, even worse, idiots get elected. But, first, that is a risk that -if you just look around - is not unlikely when people vote. Second, at least, with drawing, they will not get a second term. And, lastly, it is a risk controllable if you agree that EP has very limited powers and which is to become even more acceptable if EP's powers are not further expanded. With drawing, for less money, we'll spoil the extreme right feast and it will be funnier and fairer. Who can offer more?
Fernando Florindo Gijon, Council of EU