European Elections Campaign is a Political Campaign

A couple of days ago I was in Brussels, and I saw in the airport a big billboard encouraging people to vote in the European Parliament elections of June. I think it’s good to get people involved in voting. However, campaigns to promote participation should be void of political messages. Sadly, the European Parliament has decided to taint this pro-vote campaign with particular views of their own.

One such billboard reads “How much should we tame financial markets? Use your vote in the European Parliament Election – It’s your choice!”.

European Elections 2009 Campaign

Perhaps we should not tame them at all. Maybe it’s public bodies, central banks and governments who should reconsider and reform or eliminate policies that have introduced cheap money in markets and that have introduced distortions in the market, removing incentives for market players to control themselves. Perhaps financial markets free of interference, and which ensure that players of the financial markets are left to their own devices, and subject to risks, would result in fair, non-abusive practices, thanks to the self-imposed auto-regulation that would be necessary to properly face risks.

With this campaign to encourage voting, the European Parliament is using a popular topic (the alleged excesses of financial markets) to attract voters, reinforcing the tall tale that markets should be regulated, while diverting attention from the responsibility of governments and public bodies (ah right… the European Parliament itself is one of them, I get it).

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2 thoughts on “European Elections Campaign is a Political Campaign

  1. Mirko

    Hi there,

    I think you are right with your comment. Institutional election campaigns shouldn´t favour a party´s view on a topic. I just don´t think this is the case on the billboard with the lion and the cat. Because on the question in question here you might answer “not at all” and someone else might answer “i´m done with markets. Bring me back to good old USSR”. Since the billboard does not give any clue what´s right or wrong, better or worse it is absolutely your choice. Just go and vote for a liberal.

    Reply
    1. psr

      Thanks for the comment. I understand your point, but I think that for the campaign to be truly neutral (hard to do if they want to address specific issues), the banner should have read “Should we tame financial markets?”, but asking “how much” to do so, implies that doing so is required to start with.

      Reply

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