At the recent European Liberal Democrats Congress in Dublin, the delegates voted to change the name to the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe Party (ALDE) to match its grouping in the European Parliament.
Sir Graham Watson MEP, President of the ALDE Party, said: “In 2004, other centrist forces joined with ELDR MEPs to form the ALDE Group in the European Parliament. Today, we create one Party to provide a home at EU level for all these forces and more.”
Guy Verhofstadt MEP, leader of the ALDE Group in the European Parliament, said: “It makes sense for the ALDE Group in the European Parliament to be reflected in an ALDE Party, uniting the EU’s centrist forces under one umbrella.”
Fianna Fail is the Irish member of the ALDE Party (its going to take a while to get used to calling it that). The ALDE Party have 75 members in the European Parilment who join 10 other MEP’s (including Marian Harkin of Ireland-North West) to form the ALDE Group in the Parliament.
Instead the Greens, ALDE and PES look set to team up to try and get former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt elected as Commission President according to euractiv.com instead of José Manuel Barroso. Verhofstadt’s party the Vlaamse Liberalen en Democraten (Flemish Liberals and Democrats) is part of the ALDE and looks set to be the their nominee.
This makes things interesting as the Commission President has to be elected by the European Parliament in a secret ballot. A combined vote of the PES, Green and ALDE grouping would be 294 votes, which is short of a majority.
Of course the ALDE is itself divided on the nomination as it is a small group it cannot hope to hold Commission President and Presidency of the European Parliament, which its leader Graham Watson wants.
Shuttle diplomacy is underway across European capitals to try and get support for nominations of both candidates, but it dosent look like Barroso’s re-election is assured as it was.
One is a Senator and the other two are councillors. Fist up is the Senator Jerry Buttimer who is FG’s spokesperson on Community, Rural and Gaeltach Affairs. Cork City Councillor Laura McGonigle is also on twitter, she represent the Cork South West Ward in the city. The other Councillor is Cavan County Councillor (and FG National Executive member) Seán McKiernan (his tweets are protected but he might let you follow).
The Polictcian not tweet is Graham Watson an English MEP who Tom Harris MP tells us does not twitter! But in fact his wife does!!! Should we unfollow politicians who do this? Well really those admit to doing this?
Do you know more Irish Politicians on twitter??? Let me know! Either in the comments or on twitter or via email stephen(dot)spillane(at)gmail(dot)com
I shall leave you with a Video from a Local Election Candidate who is embracing social media (sic??) and whom I mentioned in the previous post…