One of my regular rants about the European Parliament is that it is almost entirely unaccountable. Over 80% of the votes are by show of hands, thus there are no possible records as to how people vote. This in turn means that the electorate have no way of knowing what their MEP has done, and cannot judge them on their actions.
Remember what they vote on becomes law. And breach of laws created here in Brussels can be prosecuted with prison and/or fines. Therefore it would be nice to think that the votes are accurately counted.
Yesterday this happened,
“During voting on a report by Mr. Kaczmarek on EU partnership in the Horn of Africa, amendment No. 5 was declared ‘Rejected’ by the chairman Vidal-Quadras, having assessed the show of hands ‘for’ and ‘against’ the amendment.
The call for an electronic check revealed that it had actually been APPROVED by no less than 567 votes to 17 (with 18 abstentions).
He blamed the MEPs for ‘not holding their hands high enough’!
I close my case.”
This came from Graham Booth, UKIP MEP for the South Western Counties who has been running a campaign to have every single voted electronically counted (What we call RCV – Roll Call Vote). When he wrote to the president of Parliament he was told that to count the votes would, first take too long, after all many members have flights to catch. Better still it was pointed out that they would also miss their lunches.