In the case of the highly polarized debate on the immigration crisis, we cannot be certain whether or not the majority of Europe's population was in favor of today's particular decision on mandatory migrant quotas. Fact is that we will not see much mainstream media reference to the will of the EU population, even though there are clear signs of widespread popular dissent. We will hear over and over again how the majority vote at EU level defeated the opposition put up by four former communist countries to these quotas. EU public opinion will unfortunately be ignored not only by the EU political elite, but also by the Western mainstream media. They will present this as a case of West Europeans being mainly in favor of facilitating the enlargement of the EU's capacity to take in asylum seekers, against the East, where people are mainly opposed.
The fact that Britain, Ireland and Denmark, all three of which are west European countries were more than happy to exercise their right not to participate in the scheme, will largely be ignored when creating this narrative of the East-West divide. Nor will the media focus much on the fact that the French government most likely acted against the majority will of the French electorate, given that 55% of people polled in that country were against taking in more asylum seekers. France will take in the second largest number of asylum seekers under this scheme. French President Francois Hollande publicly declared that his electorate's opposition does not matter.
In Belgium, 61% of people think that there are too many migrants being taken in, yet Belgium voted for the mandatory quota. There are many other West European countries where the vote of the elite ran counter to majority public opinion on this very important issue. There were also East European member states, such as Poland, where the population is opposed to the quota, yet its government decided to vote for it.
We may not have an entirely clear EU public opinion picture on the specific issue of the mandatory migrant quota, but we do know that a 57% majority of all EU citizens were against taking in migrants from countries outside the EU, according to the European commission's own survey conducted this year.
Source: European Commission.
So in effect the European Parliament & the European Commission both went against the wishes of the EU electorate, because the mandatory quota plan is meant to expand Europe's capacity to take in migrants.
Now, if the EU masses will chose to take to the streets over this issue and demand a reversal of course, or call for their elites who ignored their will to resign, will the EU elite act in a democratic manner and abide by the will of the masses? Will they allow for early elections over the issue as Yanukovic offered to do before he was forced to flee? Fact is that at this point, the EU elites are looking like they will get away with their outright disrespectful act of disregard for their electorate. This may be in part because the European people do not feel as strongly about this issue as Ukrainians did about their choice between East & West. Or perhaps it will be the case because on this issue, there will be no Nuland action to hand out "cookies" in support of the protests, in other words, there will be no special interest supporting the organization of a protest movement. Political parties which are opposed to accepting this migrant flow into the EU are simply not strong enough to motivate enough people to devote their time and energy to the cause of preventing the EU elites from imposing their will on the masses.
Most importantly, the EU elites will rely heavily on the mainstream Western media to steer the conversation on this topic away from the most important aspect of it, namely the extent to which the elites are out of step compared to their electorate on this issue. The conversation will be channeled towards many other directions, making it seem like the topic is being covered fairly and objectively to some extent. The Western mainstream media can successfully do this, because it does have many decades of built-up credibility on its side. That credibility is slowly eroding in my opinion, but right now, it still wields tremendous power and influence with the masses. The EU elites also have a very strong and active left-leaning globalist minority of people in Europe who feel very passionate about open borders and the right of anyone to chose where they live on this planet. This minority has shown in past weeks a much stronger will to publicly support their view. Those opposed to the concept of taking in all eligible asylum seekers who simply show up in Europe seem to be content with expressing their disapproval at election time, forgetting that elections will be contested based on many other topics, which will peel away the majority that feels shunned by the EU elites on the topic, leaving a minority of voters who will still feel the need to hold their elites accountable for this.
We often hear of autocratic governments where the leadership is portrayed to be ruling with an iron grip on the levers of power, with disregard for their citizens. Some leaders that fit in this category in the present and in the recent past have been deposed by popular movements, such as the color revolutions in Eastern Europe. Ironically, it seems that it is precisely the leadership which we perceive as being more democratic, which seems to be able to show the middle finger to its electorate on many subjects, including this one and still get away with it. Makes one think who really holds the reigns of power with an iron grip?