THE fears expressed by majority of Europeans on likely disintegration of the European Union are reflection of the tenor of times. The bloc will face a stern test on May 23 when it goes for elections even as forces of protectionism are raising their stakes against globalisation. Already walking a tight-rope over immigration issues, the EU is finding itself on thin ice. It is reflected in the survey conducted in major European countries. The figures show a “realistic possibility” of EU’s collapse in 20 years. The first major shake-up came through ‘Brexit’ which fractured the unity of the bloc. Further fissures are emerging on the future of Euro and rise of populist governments in several member states. The formation of EU in 1993 itself was done when each member came in with its own economic and cultural fears. The integration has run through individual pulls without consensus. It is in sharp contrast with India’s idea of globalisation that seeks integration with a sense of sacrifice for each other’s prosperity. The EU members are seeking the opposite by reversing the natural flow.
THE NOTA EFFECT
THE effect of NOTA (None Of The Above) option on the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) had generated much interest among political observers and pollsters during the Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi and a few others. The reason was, to the surprise of all, the NOTA options in some cases surpassed the winning margins of candidates. Thus those aware of the option and knowing its significance had registered their rejection of the candidates fielded by various parties. Since the voting is limited in Assembly polls any surge in the NOTA option makes much impact, giving jitters to political parties and their candidates. However, this may not hold true in the case of Lok Sabha elections because of the large number of votes to be cast in each Lok Sabha constituency. Besides, since there is lack of awareness about exercising NOTA option among rural voters, there is very less use of the option. On the contrary urban voters used the NOTA option to express their disapproval.