Dozens of voters across Europe turned up this weekend to cast their ballots for the European Parliament. The result was an impressive victory for the parties of the right. How'd the politicians we (i.e., me) follow do?
It was a bad result for British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's party: "In a devastating night for Labour, the party won just 15.8% of the popular vote, allowing the far right British National party to clinch its first two seats in the European parliament." Brown is likely to remain in office for the moment, as worried party members figure they might as well wait a couple of months and hope voters forget about the expenses scandal currently roiling the political landscape. The expectation is that things can't get much worse, although if you've seen this government in action that seems remarkably optimistic.
In Italy, scandal-plagued Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's allies won a disappointing victory, gaining far fewer votes than expected, but not performing badly enough to do much damage to scandal-plagued premier. (In related news, former Czech PM Mirek Topolanek, rumored bearer of the tumescent dong shown in naked pictures from the scandal-plagued Berlusconi's celeb-filled villa, has admitted to being in the photo but claims that the image was manipulated. Even better: "The Czech media had recognised his white rubber wristband – a sign of support for the anti-Castro movement in Cuba – given to Topolanek by George W Bush during a visit to the United States last year.")
Finally, Sweden's Pirate Party won a seat, striking a blow for file-sharers everywhere.
Europe, man. Crazy.