25 May 2019   Leave a comment

Voting for the European Parliament starts this week. The Parliament is the only continent wide institution elected by all citizens of European countries and 400 million people from 28 countries will be able to participate. Many are concerned that the eurosceptic parties will do very well in the elections, potentially weakening the European Union even more than the current strife over Brexit. Overall, however, interest in the Parliament is low in most European countries and the turnout is likely to be very low. But the fear of nationalist parties may boost turnout. Deutsche Welle suggests:

“Pollsters believe that things will be different this time. They have noted a distinctively higher mobilization of voters across the European Union and determined a fairly obvious reason for this: Members of the public are increasingly flocking to polling stations because they want to stop a massive swing toward nationalism.”

We should look to the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Malta and Latvia for hints about the make-up of the next Parliament.

US President Trump tweeted that he did not think that the recent missile launches by North Korea did not violate the verbal agreements he had reached with Leader Kim Jong-un. On the other hand, his National Security Advisor, John Bolton, stated that the missile tests did violate the UN Security Council resolutions. In addition, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also stated that the tests violated the UN resolutions, an awkward position since President Trump is currently visiting Abe in Japan. Trump’s tweet is a real slap in the face to Abe. So it is not clear what the US policy actually is. Trump’s tweet is official policy, so the real question is whether Bolton and Abe support the President. Weirdly, leader Kim tweeted an insult to former US Vice President Biden which President Trump retweeted:

“North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me. I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me, & also smiled when he called Swampman Joe Bidan a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?”

I have no memory of a US President siding with a foreign adversary by insulting a former Vice-President of the US. Trump takes great pleasure in being unorthodox, but propriety demands that Americans should support each other when one is attacked by an enemy. And Trump should at least know how to spell Biden’s name.

Posted May 25, 2019 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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