Why not just switch off and go out and do something less boring instead?

As we get closer to voting day in the European election all of a sudden some commentators are interested in things like attendance rates at Plenary sessions and treat this as an indicator of commitment to European work or ability as an MEP.

Now may be the time to point out the absolute uselessness of this stat and looking at Plenary attendance at all.

The EP mainly works on a consensus basis where group voting patterns on reports etc. are set via the work in committee – mostly horse-trading between the EPP and PES. After those positions are agreed the votes at the main Plenary sessions become set piece displays of high farce, people making speeches and arguments in agreed slots knowing not a single vote will be affected (most other MEPs don’t even both their arses sitting in), an exercise in costly pointlessness. In all but the rarest of cases attending a Plenary is utterly futile, your speech won’t matter, your vote won’t matter and nothing changes. But come an election this stupid stat examining willingness to attend every meeting suddenly becomes a judgement factor – so get your arse in that seat and waste your own and everyone else’s time Mr/Ms/Mrs MEP.

  • Glen Taisie

    Mark

    In an earlier thread you provided comprehensive figures which highlighted in my opinion the particularly poor record of the North’s three MEP’s.

    For comparison could you re visit these figures and publish them alongside those for Brian Crowley (Fianna Fail)and David Martin (British Labour),remembering that our three incumbents claim to be full time MEPs.

    .

  • Greenflag

    mark ,

    ‘so get your arse in that seat and waste your own and everyone else’s time Mr/Ms/Mrs MEP’

    So not that different from Westminste , the Dail or the USA Houses of Congress then ?

    The Japanese have been high on consensus since the Tokugawa epoch. Bertie Ahern was very big on consensus . Sometimes however ‘consensus’ is just the sum total of all the paths of least resistance and totally ineffective . But you only ever know that, after the ‘revolution ‘ -‘civil war’ or ‘major world recession /depression ‘ that establishes a new ‘consensus’.

  • Mark McGregor

    Glen,

    The easiest way to get the basic stats now is from:

    http://www.votewatch.eu/

    However, I worked in europe for near three years and can think of one single vote that had a proper debate and was close enough for the expense of travelling to be worthwhile.

  • Driftwood

    However, I worked in europe for near three years and can think of one single vote …

    Presumably “can’t”

    But how do we rid ourselves of this (additional) gravy train?

    When you say you ‘worked’ in europe Mark, were you on a construction site? Cleaning railway stations? Or pissing about reporting shite and generally having a ball, Nice “work” if you can get it.

  • genuine question

    Maybe it attracts comment because it seems to be the only rating we have of what MEPs do.

    Can Mark suggest any other information available to help us judge whether an MEP has responded to his or her election and delivered tangible benefits to the electorate?