Talk:European Conservatives and Reformists

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Lembit Opik's Grandad?[edit]

The section on Nazism contains more information about Opik's family history than about the Nazism of Eastern European parties. It should be removed. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 19:32, 2 November 2009 (UTC).


I'll need to dig things out but the group's origins go back much further than 2005 and are rooted in a long standing uneasiness between British-style conservatism and continental style Christian Democracy:

  • Between 1973 and 1992 the UK Conservatives sat in a separate grouping (called European Conservatives 1973-1979, then European Democrats) from the EPP
  • In response to declining numbers they joined the EPP in 1992 (it was actually the EPP who were the more reluctant partners at the time) but it was never a happy relationship because of differences on European federalism
  • The Conservatives toyed with leaving in 1999 (when the-then rules would have allowed them to form a group on their own) but didn't want to be isolated so negotiated the arrangement whereby the European Democrats nomenclature was revived and the EPP grouping formally became a coalition of the EPP and ED subgroups
  • This didn't satisfy a hard core of Conservative MEPs who have campaigned to detach completely from the EPP ever since they were first elected in 1999
  • Iain Duncan Smith was going to pull the Conservatives out during his leadership but he fell before the 2004 European elections
  • Cameron gave his original pledge (that no-one seems to have the text to) in response to a question
  • The delays have been over finding allies, not least the Czech ODS wanting to wait for domestic reasons

The distinction between the EPP and the EPP-ED is almost completely ignored by virtually every British commentator on this, no matter what their position. Timrollpickering (talk) 18:22, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Timrollpickering, hi! Addressing your points as follows:
  • I agree that the history regarding the UK Conservatives' position within EPP-ED (as was: EPP changed the name back ASAP when they left) was anomalous and it's been a long-standing ambition of the former to regain their own group. You may find it a better fit to detail that discomfort in either the Conservative Party (UK) article (it dearly needs a section entitled "Conservative Party in the European Parliament") or the EPP-ED article, and limit the mention here to a few sentences: we've already got details in this article going back to 2005 for a group born in 2009, and pushing it back further would be, well, pushing it ('scuse the pun).
  • The article treats ECRG as being the expression of the UK Conservatives in the European Parliament, with some Central Europeans added on for light relief. Whilst it is true that they have a plurality, they do not have a majority and are not owners/commanders of the group (especially since it'll only take 3 or 4 of the singletons to leave and collapse the group - did Cameron not think of this? What's "You're not the boss of me now!" in Latvian?). I'll dig thru some Czech/Polish sources and get a feel from the Visegrad perspective.
  • I didn't know (should have, but there you go) that ODS had domestic reasons for dragging their feet - isn't there a Czech election coming up? Will ODS's membership of ECRG play well, or badly?
  • Long term, this article will need the name of the group leader, office address, website address, names of secretariat, logo, and so on. We've already got the declaration, and the accounts will be published next year/year after along with the others. I'll keep a weather eye out.
  • I assume you know that the UK Conservatives were (possibly uniquely) never formally affiliated to EPP despite sitting in EPP-ED.
  • You are correct in noting that British commentators ignore the EPP/EPP-ED distinction specifically, and the Europarty/EP group distinction generally. Other than nailing their eyelids to their foreheads and making them read the political party at European level and political groups of the European Parliament articles until their eyeballs bleed, I have no idea what to do about it.
Regards, Anameofmyveryown (talk) 01:38, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree there's a problem with going back too far but this group is the culmination of a campaign that's run since 1999 when the likes of Daniel Hannan, Roger Helmer, Chris Heaton-Harris and Martin Callanan were first elected to the Parliament and began agitating for this, though it took Helmer's expulsion from the EPP-ED and the "Reinstate Roger" campaign in 05-06 for the grassroots to really start to notice things. So some of that history belongs here - it's certainly false to say it began with Cameron (in fact Fox was the first leadership candidate to jump onto this one).
In terms of the group size it's my recollection that the ODS were promised the group leadership back in 2006 and it's probable that the Conservatives will also have to give over some of their entitlements to committees et al to smaller parties. You're right that the group is vulnerable but that is not the biggest concern for the Conservatives.
As for europarties, there may have been others in the group who weren't affiliated to the EPP - the ODS weren't, nor were the UUP and virtually all groups have contained parties without affiliations. Timrollpickering (talk) 10:59, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Okay, but don't go back to the Corn Laws...:-) Will try to help, but the PES group has taken the insane decision to rename itself to "PASD" (Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats) or somesuch and the new article needs updating ASAP. Regards, Anameofmyveryown (talk) 12:00, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Just an update but I'll need to go on campus to fish out the best main article source, which is:

P. Lynch & R. Whitaker (2008) "A Loveless Marriage: The Conservatives and the European People's Party." Parliamentary Affairs 61(1) (January 2008): 31-51.

It's available online at but requires a subscription for access. There's also been stuff about the internal divisions in the EPP & ED in various books on the Parliament. Timrollpickering (talk) 11:09, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Abstract is free, and it's here. As you point out, the HTML full text and PDF full text require subscription or Athens/institutional access. I managed to get a copy and am reading up. Regards, Anameofmyveryown (talk) 23:25, 26 June 2009 (UTC)


The abbreviation is surely ECR, not ECRG. See EPP (not GEPP) and ALDE (not GALDE). That's supported by all reliable sources I can find (Google it!) except Ben Brogan's blog post (actually, since when did a blog post constitute a reliable source?). See also this press release from the ECR itself. Bastin 02:15, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Gottit, User:Bastin. Thanx: good catch. Article updated. Now, if you'll care to tell the folks over at the Greens/EFA article that the EG/EFA acronym they insist on using derives from a mistake User:Electionworld made when he uploaded his site en toto onto Wikipedia some years back, you'll save me a lot of trouble...:-) Regards, Anameofmyveryown (talk) 02:38, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm not an expert, but, as far as I can tell, it should be Greens/EFA, as you used (perhaps casually) above, right? That is my impression from communications I've received from the European Parliament, anyway. Bastin 03:33, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it's G/EFA, Greens/EFA, or some variant using "-" instead of "/", depending. Not EG/EFA, EG-EFA, or anything else beginning with "E". The Europarty is called "European Greens" and its acronym starts with an "E", but the EP group does not begin with an "E". The "European Greens-European Free Alliance" construction is a Wikipediaism that's gained traction over the years, but (apart from possibly a period of about a month when it was first created), the group has never had that as its official name. Regards, Anameofmyveryown (talk) 12:00, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Where did Finlands MEP Takkula Hannu (Suomen Keskusta party) go?[edit]

Is there an edit-war going on this page? Why is finland membership deleted in list of members and rebuked for the graphics comment?

Clearly the UK Tory leader Mr Cameron announced them joining by one MEP? via for instance BBC: Conservative MEPs form new group (22 June 2009)

This was also confirmed in finnish press: Finlands Takkula to join Conservatives and Reformists (22 June 2009)

No matter if their original intent was all ALDE group and this is still listed in less updated material on web, this News is announced "from the horses mouth", by Mr Cameron himself and very recently. Should that be credible enough and override previous outdated party campaign statements. MEPs join groups, they change their minds, they ally new options as they present themselves - this is what they do, especially in these first days after election.

Is there any official rebuke made, which warrant removing them? if there is, can they please be listed in notes?

He changed his mind. See source (in Swedish, use Google Translate). --Glentamara (talk) 14:49, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Image showing Finnish member[edit]

As Finland have no members, and the image said otherwise, I have removed this image pending correction. (I'm not sure how to edit the image myself). We cannot put out such mis-information and just let it stand. No problems with the image otherwise, and would much prefer to see it back. In correct form. Setwisohi (talk) 18:04, 25 June 2009 (UTC)


[1] [2] [3] [4] [5], tho' u may already have them. Regards, Anameofmyveryown (talk) 00:35, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Left and Right definitions[edit]

How is Nazism, racism and opinion of homosexuality related to Left and Right politics? This mistake (or lie?) about the Right is pretty poor. To educate the people reading this, the Left and Right represent different sides of the political spectrum. Left equates to more government, Right equates to less government. Thus, the far-Left includes totalitarianism, communism etc. and the far-Right represents anarchism.

Nazism is far-Right? That doesn't make sense. They were National Socialists - by definition they were left-wing! As for racism and homosexuality, these have nothing to do with the size of government - they're social issues.

This problem with definitions doesn't seem to exist in America. They know that far-Right is libertarianism, which is very popular there, and far-Left is, well, America is getting there now with the government takeovers of the private sector. It's just a shame that in Britain there's such a poor level of education that many people don't understand simple definitions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:26, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

Yes, this is an ongoing problem. I'm more inclined, of course, to believe that racism is a collectivist ideology, and are therefore left-wing, and limits on homosexual behaviour are an increase in the size of government, and are therefore left-wing. But what do I know? Bastin 12:40, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

"Left equates to more government, Right equates to less government. Thus, the far-Left includes totalitarianism, communism etc. and the far-Right represents anarchism"

Sorry, but what you wrote is a pure nonsense - "left vs. right" has nothing to do with "more government" vs."less government". A simple example: the corn laws were much more defended by the Tories (the "right") than by the Whigs (the "left").

In the right you have fasicsts, christian democrats, conservatives and liberals, who have very different positions in the more/less government thing. And in the left you have communists, socialists and anarchists, who have also very different positions in the more/less government thing.

I see that "" is american, and probably this is the problem: in America you did not have something like the old European right-wing of the 19th century - authoritarian, monarchist, aristocratical, anti-capitalist, etc., then you forget that, historically, the "free-market/individualist/small government" right-wing is the exception, not the rule-- (talk) 11:44, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

If we lived in the nineteenth century, you'd be correct. But we don't, and, nowadays, the right wing is almost universally associated with capitalism and linked to the rhetoric of liberty. Your arguments seem to be stuck in the century before last. Bastin 15:05, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
Even nowadays, I think that the association "rigth-wing >rethoric of liberty" is more an english-speaking (yes, I know that we are in the english wikipedia...) than universal thing: in mainland Europe, many of the parties who proclaim themselfes, in a proud manner, "Right" (or "Droit", "Recht", "Destra"...) are nationalists/protectionists parties (i.e., the parties that the MSM calls "far-right"); the christian-democrats and liberals usually prefer to use more "soft" denominations ("center", "centre-right"...). But, in a way or another, probably this does not have much impact in the main article (probably it is a disccusion more suited to right-wing politics or left-right politics)-- (talk) 16:16, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
Oh, I'm aware that there are certain categorisation problems on mainline Europe. But, as you predict, my answer is simply that we speak English on English Wikipedia. For example, in English, it would be bizarre to categorise Venstre as anything but right-wing. But the rest is a mixed bag - classical liberals ally predominantly with the right in Italy and Germany, the left in Spain and Austria, and so on - so it's not entirely coherent. Bastin 19:57, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

Bastin, you are completely wrong in general. Right wing politics is linked to Liberty. But only, in general, the liberty of nationals who the right feel uphold the traditional principles of the country.

That's the case in any country you speak of. Homophobia, sexism, racism is linked to the far right (not the centre right who are in general pretty central)on the principle that they do not believe that these groups uphold the principles of the country that they live in, and hence shouldn't have the same liberty.

That's basically it.

Right wing politics is about traditions of a country. And upholding them. Which in general goes against immigration, federalism (eu), same sex marriage, abortion, new relgions.

Left wing politics is the principle that the traditions of a country are old fashioned, and not relevant in modern society, so a country should adapt to the times it is in.

Centre right politics are generally called "traditionalist" and centre left polticians are generally labelled "progressives". That's basically it.

Your claims about America are wrong. Obama is constantly labelled left, and George Bush was constantly labelled right. If you look at Bush policies in regards to "federalism (eu), same sex marriage, abortion" compared to say Obamas and Clintons, it's quite obvious.

Cjmooney9 (talk) 12:54, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

"This problem with definitions doesn't seem to exist in America. They know that far-Right is libertarianism, which is very popular there, and far-Left is, well, America is getting there now with the government takeovers of the private sector. It's just a shame that in Britain there's such a poor level of education that many people don't understand simple definitions. "

Sadly the lack of education is coming from your side of the pond. George Bush was frequently labelled Centre Right/Right in America. As was Bush Senior. As was Reagan. As was every republican/conservative leader. Just as Obama and Clinton are labelled left wing in the states.

The terms left and right are French. And came about during the revolution. Those on the right supported the monarchy and tradition. Those on the left supported modern government and change. And it is still that way today my friend.

Right wing politics has, and will always stand for:

1: Social order. Meaning that there always needs to be class structure to keep the country prosperous. The opposite to this being socialism, where everyone is deemed equal.

2: A countries tradition. Meaning that a country should try and stay as close as possible to how it has always been, in regards to class system, politics, family, social structure, ethnicity and religion. The left wing equivilant being "progression", meaning countries should be more adaptable to change.

3: Nationalism. A country should resist changes to the countries make up, and structure. Be it ethnicity, religion, politics, flags, anthems. The left wing equivilant probably being federalism - countries working in unison.

4: Economics. Promoting free market trade and capatalism. And resisting public spending. The "sink or swim" theory. Those that can swim should benefit. Those who can't should be left to learn themselves. The Left wing view being all people should be helped, on the basis that financial success is often merely a case of living with classism.

5: Populism. The principle that the right should ignore intellectual thought, and concentrate on working for the general public. The argument from the left being that the general public often do not know what they are talking about, and can't be trusted to make intelligent policy.

6: Religion. A countries traditional religions should be promoted. And any "new" alternative religions should not.

Hitler and Mussloini were considered right wing politicians as most of their principles were generally to the right of politics. "Far right" is when people take right wing principles to far, and subvert their meaning.

Most Hitler policies were far right. As above.

And your claims about racism, nationalism or homosexuality ever being linked to left wing policies are completely false.

Cjmooney9 (talk) 12:44, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

You just ignored my point altogether. Is there a common thread that connects those points? Nope. It's just a list of things that some people to whom you've stuck the 'right-wing' label believe in. Hitler hated religion and capitalism, and believed that the social orders that existed were irrelevant to Germany. So he failed on three of your counts, yet you still deem him to be 'far right'. So... the big bogey man that characterises the whole of the right-wing (and therefore, allows you to demonise the Conservatives as timid fascists) isn't really right-wing at all. Huh. Bastin 14:31, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

Actually, there is a common thread that links those points: it's that they are fundamentally authoritarian, inegalitarian, and anti-Libertarian. Historically, the Right wing has never been in favour of less government, but has desired less social spending and more spending in other areas (notably the military and the police). In recent years, a few right-wing parties have adopted the rhetoric of small government and Liberty, and even fewer have actually meant it (David Davis in the UK Conservatives and Ron Paul in the USA, but they're the only mainstream examples in the Anglophone world), but the actions of a few parties who were historically right-wing doesn't affect the meaning of the term 'right-wing'. The fact is that the Christian Democrats in modern Germany and the Nazi Party in 1930s Germany are very different, but both right wing. There isn't a pure dichotomy between left-wing and right-wing: instead, it makes more sense to use two axes, one of Left-Right and one Authoritarian-Libertarian, where the Authoritarian-Libertarian aspect regards the level of state intervention in society and the Left-Right axis regards the level of economic equality. On this model, both the Bolsheviks and the Nazis were authoritarian, as they were, but their difference is on economics with the Nazis on the Right and Bolsheviks on the Left. Equally, persons such as myself (an anarchist) and Mr. Paul are both heavily Libertarian, and our difference is one of economics, not level of government intervention. The thread that links the points is that the points you listed treat people very differently from one another for whatever reason. Most (if not all) conservative parties the world over are - and have been - authoritarian and right-wing, most Communist Parties have been authoritarian and left-wing, and most Socialist and Social Democrat parties have been libertarian and left-wing. To categorise the Left as authoritarian and the Right as libertarian is not only misleading, but exceedingly disingenuous: traditionally, the Left have also been libertarian and the Right authoritarian, and the fact is that the UK Conservative Party are broadly (with the exception of the aforementioned Mr. Davis, who bears the same relationship to his party as your Ron Paul does to the Republicans) authoritarian, homophobic, racist, anti-foreigner, anti-Union, anti-abortion, and anti-Muslim, and are involve in a European political party with a number of broadly neo-Fascist parties. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Thedisillusionedyouth (talkcontribs) 00:15, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Political Blogs as sources[edit]

Sorry, you can't use political blogs as sources in an encyclopedica article. Not as a source. Or to make a point. Blogs are simply not citable.

I'm sure I can find a blogger somewhere who doesn't think gravity exists. I'm not going to go onto Isaac Newton's page and say:

"Criticism of Newton

Barry Moat (anti gravity blogger), critcises Newtons static, one sided view of the universe, and believes that Newton is wrong to claim that gravity keeps us all on this earth. He points out that Newton's Father was a convicted felon, so his words can not be taken as gospel".

Using tory blogs to source a point, or make a point, should play no part of an encyclopedic article. Not only are the blogs completely unreliable, and written from a definite POV/campaigning/bias perspective, but they are not respected as reliable sources for articles.

Please make any point you want, based on reliable sourcing. But keep the Blogosphere out of it please


Cjmooney9 (talk) 12:24, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Criticism and Counter-Criticism??[edit]

Criticism sections themselves are frowned upon. A counter-criticism section is just for oneupmanship, and of course is unnecessary as the counter-arguments are present in the criticism section. The following aspects are unencyclopaedic, NPOV, or not policy.

The Latvian Legion section concerns the particular controversy surrounding the Latvian Legion last year. It does not describe that SS section as a whole, so a 'main article' link to that page is not justified. It is, indeed, unfair to the EC&RG.

Analysing a Daily Mail article in order to portray the Latvian Legion affair: This is just deriving the Wiki line from the Mail editorial line. The reference to Lembit Oepik is irrelevant and has nothing to do with the matter at hand. The criticism that members had parents with links to the Nazis was never made.

The article should report the nature of what criticism was made as it is- not attempt to disprove it.

Daniel Hannan's comments may or may not be true but they are put there 'as is' for no reason- the facts about the march should be on the currently problematic Latvian Legion Day page and his opinion is unsourced.

'Robustly' is not NPOV language.

The important, notable fact that PiS has tried to ban gay pride marches while in power has been omitted. Grammar also corrected. Urpunkt (talk) 21:59, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

This group is far-right, not conservative[edit]

The conservative faction in the European Parliament is the European People's Party. All European moderate conservative parties are members of EPP.

This "European Conservatives and Reformists" is much the same as the former Identity, Tradition, Sovereignty faction, i.e. a far-right extremist group. See [6]. It includes parties like Latvia's For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK party and the Polish far-right nationalist Law and Justice party. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Entrecof (talkcontribs) 02:46, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

"Shadow Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the Tories' decision to leave the mainstream centre-right grouping in the European Parliament meant there was little prospect of the new Government wielding influence in Europe."[7] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Entrecof (talkcontribs) 12:06, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

You have suggested that it's similar to a group with which it has no links or parties in common. Please keep your libel to your own little head, and don't drag Wikipedia into it. Law and Justice is one of the two major parties in Poland, and is routinely described as either 'centre-right' or 'right-wing', and never as 'far-right'. TB/LNNK are in the government of Latvia, which is hardly a privilege that is afforded to fascists. From your editing history, I can see you have no interests except in smearing the ECR. I suggest that you get out of the office - Westminster's beautiful outside today. Bastin 12:29, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
Well said! lol BritishWatcher (talk) 12:52, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
Bastin, you are in denial becuase you are a strict Tory loyalist and a 'Hitchensite'. Users have mentioned three key sources even the Daily Telegraph, which is a Conservative, rightwing paper has said that they are in a far-right party. Jews in the Tory Party have questioned the alliance and some have defected. The Latvian neo-Nazi party is a member.

There is another source,

Here is another one!
Get a grip Bastin,
-- (talk) 21:52, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
That's not the Daily Telegraph saying that, but David Miliband. David Miliband is not a reliable source, but an opposing politician. If you think he's the font of all things right and good, I suggest you vote for him in your party's upcoming leadership election, but leave Wikipedia out of it.
Furthermore, not even Bananaman is suggesting that the ECR is far-right, but that one party within it is far-right. That, of course, is incorrect - the neo-Nazi party in Latvia is called Fatherland Union, and is not a member of either the ECR or the Latvian government (as TB/LNNK is). Does Latvia really have a neo-Nazi government? No reliable source would corroborate that. I would've thought a Guardian drone like yourself could read and/or be interested in other people's cultures before insulting them. I guess not. Bastin 22:08, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
As much as i love reading Bastins responses to you, you really are wasting your time with this. There is absolutely no way this group is going to be categorized or listed as Far right, none of the sources you provide justify such statements. BritishWatcher (talk) 22:30, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Bastin, you are a sad, rightwing arch-Thatcherite who is completely excommunicated from society. Bananaman agrees with me. Not the other way round. I have given you countless information, using th Guardian, the Telegraph, YouTube etc. It is a far-right group. Do you actually think Michal Kaminski is a soft, liberal, centre-right, progressive? Oh and by the way I am too young to be in the Labour Party, yet, so suckle on David Cameron's phallus.
I didn't say that, did I? I said that he's not far-right - as, indeed, you have yet to even slightly prove by citing reliable sources (as if that's the issue being contended, which it's not!). If you're too young to be in the Labour Party, it's almost certainly past your bed time; be a good boy and toddle off to have wet dreams of David Miliband. Bastin 23:26, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Is it even possible to be too young to be in the labour party? Their recent manifesto seemed to suggest otherwise. [8], reminds me of artwork that would be produced in the early years of primary school. BritishWatcher (talk) 23:32, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Mr. BritishWathcer - it seems a pretty clear-cut case that Mr. Kaminski is far-right: the sources are a wide variety. The Labour Party, as with all UK political parties, has - by law - a minimum joining age of 16. Accusations of infantilism of political parties you don't support, whilst possibly true, never get one very far, by the way.Thedisillusionedyouth (talk) 00:24, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Sorry, me again. I think rather than saing that the group is far-right as opposed to conservatie, it would be more accurate to describe the group as a coalition of conservative and far-right groups.Thedisillusionedyouth (talk) 00:25, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Centre right? Or right wing?[edit]

I'm temporarily removing the label 'right-wing' or 'centre-right' as the sources do not seem to agree. (So it is perhaps best that we do not include it in the article?) If we do include it, which do we go with? The Guardian source calls the ECR centre right. [9]. Whilst The Telegrpah source calls the ECR both centre right AND right wing. [10] Whilst a third source, the BBC, call them right wing. [11]. Confusing. Perhaps, as I said, it is best to not specify? —Preceding unsigned comment added by AiFWww (talkcontribs) 21:21, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

See the article on 'centre-right', which specifies that 'centre-right' is a subcategory of the right-wing: not the part of the political spectrum between the right and the centre. Since they aren't mutually exclusive, the sources that say 'right-wing' don't contradict the ones that say 'centre-right'. That would only be the case if they said 'far-right' (that is, the part of the 'right-wing' that isn't 'centre-right'). As such, I see no reason not to state 'centre-right', except if one can find reliable sources calling it 'far-right'. And, before you ask, no, Denis MacShane does not count as a reliable source. Apologies, of course, for the huge number of inverted commas. Bastin 01:13, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
Fair points, all. I can see two problems however: i. People reading and editing Wikipedia do make a distinction between centre-right and right-wing - as, indeed, does the BBC source which specifically labels this grouping as 'right wing' as opposed to 'centre-right'. ii. Whilst I would be happy to see the bulk of the members labelled 'centre-right' - such as the UK Conservative party - there are members (from Latvia?) who are most definitely not centre-right and could indeed, be labelled far-right. It would be unfortunate to label these members as centre-right. At the moment, my conclusion would be to just not indicate the exact position of the grouping. As there are problems with doing so. Perhaps other editors might feel different? AiFWww (talk) 12:46, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Bastin - being right-wing and not far-right does not equal centre-right: it is generally interpreted as being between the centre and the right. I think the most useful way to describe the political position of the group is to acknowledge that it contains both mainstream centre-right and far-right parties.Thedisillusionedyouth (talk) 00:29, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Agreed. How about describing it as "nationalist (or national conservative) right-wing and far-right"? There are plenty of reliable sources describing some of these parties/politicians as both far-right and nationalist. For example, one of the members is described as a "far right nationalist part[y]"[12] Mocctur (talk) 15:48, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
So? We're talking about the ECR as a whole, not inferences that you draw from descriptions of its member parties. References that refer to the group as a whole almost always say 'centre-right'. Unless you can provide sources that say that the ECR is a "nationalist (or national conservative) right-wing and far-right" group, it cannot go in. The article already includes a section on 'Controversy' that discusses issues related to that particular party. Bastin 16:25, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

Again: The Guuardian says centre-right, BBC says right-wing - best thing is not to mention it in the lead section at all, because it is not really helpful. I think everyone can imagine, what conservative and eurosceptic means. No need for centre-right or right-wing. -- RJFF (talk) 18:43, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

By the way, EUobserver and The Times support 'right-wing' in addition to BBC. So you cannot seriously say that references almost always say 'center-right'. But still, the best thing is just to write 'conservative'. -- RJFF (talk) 18:49, 12 July 2011 (UTC)


Is Michał Kamiński still chair or not? He was reported as resigning, but the ECR webpage still lists him as Chair. Bondegezou (talk) 11:40, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

He's the chair until a replacement is elected on 8 March: [13] Bastin 11:51, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Again: Counter-criticism[edit]

I am of the opinion that the length of the criticism and counter-criticism sections is inappropriate. Especially, I highly doubt the relevance of the under-section Criticism of PES. It only contains what was written on WP:BLOGS, and absolutely does not belong here, because it does not say anything about the ECR, but only about the PES. I strongly advocate to remove this section. Do you agree? -- RJFF (talk) 09:49, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

I've removed the Criticism of PES section from here, but I've moved it to the PES article. It's certainly isn't relevant here. Arguably, it shouldn't be included there either if the citations are insufficient under policy, but I've erred for now on the side of including material. By all means, put forth a case on the PES Talk page for removing it from there. Bondegezou (talk) 15:06, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

Recentism tag[edit]

I'm curious why the recentism tag, given that major developments in the ECR do tend to happen just after European elections. Also, I don't think the section covers that much more than the 2009 election and formation sections. The first part covers members which have been speculated as potential members, which is true of the 2009 section. The second mostly deals with the differing opinions on the AfD joining the group, admittedly the cited sources are not the mostly directly involved parties, but they do reflect discussions perhaps which are going on behind closed doors. And it doesn't seem to me that this is not going to be relevant in the history of this group in the long-term, and seems somewhat analogous to the section on the problems in the Law and Justice Party section.Lacunae (talk) 19:44, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

Because it is news and speculation (as you yourself have admitted). It should be condensed to the most important information that is relevant to an encyclopedia from a historical perspective. --RJFF (talk) 14:19, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
P.S. Overly detailed information about the 2009 group formation could be condensed, too.
But you will agree that the Tories and ODS leaving EPP-ED and founding a new group was a much bigger and significant step than the question if AfD or Independent Greeks or whoever will join the ECR or not. The election is only three days over, most new parties have not declared their intentions yet, so it is much too early to write six paragraphs about the (speculated) future composition of the group. --RJFF (talk) 14:25, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

"Forcible dissolved"[edit]

The article says that the "last mixed group in the European Parliament was forcibly dissolved." This sounds most unlikely - I'm not aware of security forces or armed groups intervening in European Parliament group meetings. I suggest a source be found for this or it be removed from the article. (talk) 02:06, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

Brian Crowley[edit]

This page contains a table, which lists the various member parties in the 2014-2019 Parliament. It also lists Brian Crowley, who was elected for Fianna Fail, but is now an Independent. Someone keeps adding a note directly after Crowley's name.

This breaks the table.

The note adds a row to the bottom of the table, containing only the reference to Fianna Fail, meaning the various table options (sort by MEP, country, etc) no longer function properly. Please do not restore this note.

'Criticism' section[edit]

Why is this the only article on a European Parliament group with a section called 'Criticism'? It's not like this is the only group that has been the target of criticism from political opponents. If someone can't credibly justify keeping the section, I'll go ahead and remove it. --Jaakko Sivonen (talk) 16:46, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Please don't remove referenced material, I agree that a criticism section may not be the best way to include this material in the article, but this shouldn't mean it can be deleted.Lacunae (talk) 08:56, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
According to Wikipedia itself, Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information: "As explained in the policy introduction, merely being true, or even verifiable, does not automatically make something suitable for inclusion in the encyclopedia." Being referenced doesn't mean that information x is relevant. Wikipedia isn't supposed to be a place to dump all information that is out there on a topic: the information must have due weight and it should avoid recentism. Furthermore, having a section called 'Criticism' only in this article may be a violation against NPOV policy, since there is no such section in other EP Group articles. --Jaakko Sivonen (talk) 09:50, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
While I am inclined to be sympathetic, I do think some mention of the Halla-aho & Messerschmidt controversy makes sense. It has been in the news, and remains significant. With respect to the Latvian Legion stuff & Kaminski, I think we are at risk of violating WP:UNDUE. The Kaminski business belongs properly on his personal page; the Latvian Legion stuff was a bit of a tempest in a teapot, the only reference we have is pretty inadequate, and the substance of the accusation appears to be flimsy. Gabrielthursday (talk) 07:50, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
Given the elapsed time and the lack of an ongoing dialogue, I thought I'd try the edit again. Perhaps others will engage. Also, perhaps "Controversy" would be a better header than "Criticism"? Gabrielthursday (talk) 05:30, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't see a reason to keep a section called 'Criticism' or even one called 'Controversy', if it consists of only one piece of controversy; if there's only one piece of controversy, then there's no real reason to devote a separate section to it. --Jaakko Sivonen (talk) 12:59, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

There are several MEPs with criminal convictions in others groups as well, for example Vito Bonsignore and Aldo Patriciello (EPP). I can see how this could become a controversy, but it doesn't seem like it is one now. Just described by the Financial Times and critiqued by the Guardian (and the Private Eye - was the satirical magazine not satirical in this case?) It doesn't seem like the "criticism" or controversy received much publicity.

And by the way, it would be quite tiresome to add every criticism of the Tories from the Guardian and every criticism of the Labour from Daily Telegraph to Wikipedia. --Pudeo' 14:33, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

EU Parliamentary Committee vice chairs[edit]

2 ECR proposed committee vice chairs from Alternative for Germany rejected by secret ballot, might be worth including into the article when settled.Lacunae (talk) 21:17, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

The lead[edit]

The lead of this article looked rather strange, bordering on WP:POV. Like it or not, it is a matter of fact that this group in the EU parliament includes several parties that are routinely described in neutral, reliable sources as "far-right" and "anti-immigration". This is highly relevant for the lead. As it was the lead only used old sources, dating to the former group with a very different composition, to describe it as conservative and anti-federalist. That was entirely true in the former EU-parliament, but the dynamics of the group changed quite considerably after the latest elections, as several new parties were included. This includes parties that used to sit with the extreme far-right and that are still described as far-right.
To use definitions from after the elections of 2009 to describe the group and to exclude how it looks after the most recent elections look very much like white-washing, not as serious WP:NPOV.Jeppiz (talk) 14:06, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Two of the proffered links are decidedly not to neutral sources: both The Guardian and Huffpo have long-established antipathies towards the UK Tories; it may further be doubted if Huffpo really is a reliable representative of neutral journalistic standards. Nor is a blog a reliable source for this even when hosted by the Washington Post.
Let's not forget that the lead summarises the topic, it shouldn't include minor details. The ideological orientation of two of nineteen member parties strikes me as the kind of debatable detail that should be covered in the body of the article, not the lede - which it very much is.
I do agree that ideally, we should find up-to-date references for the ideological descriptors of the ECR; but unlike the EFDD, the ECR remained quite similar in overall composition (though greatly enlarged) post-election, so I don't think the older refs are inapplicable. Indeed, since the article covers the ECR since its inception, perhaps we simply should keep at least of the old refs and simply add some new ones. Gabrielthursday (talk) 01:19, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
I agree that HuffPo is not a reliable source, but the Guardian - its known editorial stance aside - is if supported by other sources. However, the issue with describing each party in turn is that the article is about the ECR, not individual domestic members of its individual parties (or even individual parties or individual MEPs). Notably, the sources that are cited *do not mention the ECR are at* - as such, it seems like WP:COATRACKing, particularly to include it in the introduction.
Statements included in the lead should pertain to the overall nature of the ECR. You might, after all, also state that Syed Kamall is the first non-white person or Muslim to lead an EP group, Nirj Deva was the first not-white candidate for EP President, and Saj Karim was the first Muslim candidate for EP President - all of which are easily heavily-referenced facts and would give a very different impression of the ECR. But they don't pertain to the basic nature of the ECR - not as far as reliable sources are concerned, anyway - just as discussion of the DP's ideology doesn't. Bastin 02:04, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
I fully agree about the Guardian being a reliable source; my reservations were purely based on the notion that in this instance, it is not a neutral source given the political salience of this language. I think these kinds of adjectives are terribly difficult to deal with in an neutral manner. Still, we should do the best we can, but in these sorts of things it is better to have examples from US papers, and better to have them from centrist publications (such as The Times) rather than those further to one side or the other (The Guardian, The Telegraph). Ideally, I think you'd want to have those references from a more distant source- I think the Washington Post would be pretty much the ideal in this instance. Gabrielthursday (talk) 05:15, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
This seems to be a typical case of WP:IDONTLIKEIT; when someone dismisses both The Guardian and Washington Post as not being WP:RS, well, it's rather revealing. Once again, it is a matter of fact that this group includes both 'mainstream' eurosceptic parties and far-right anti-immigrant parties. I gave some sources, but it's not hard to find more, such as Reuters[14], New York Times [15] and Irish Times [16]. So the facts of the matter are hardly in doubt. Nobody has said that the entire group is far-right but it's quite simply a fact that some parties in the group are routinely described as far-right and anti-immigrant by respectable news organizations all over the world. I'm removing Huffington Post as it was objected to and replace it with NY Times, and I hope to see this attempt at censorship by WP:IDONTLIKEIT come to an end.Jeppiz (talk) 10:31, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
No, it's a case of whether your points are applicable to the ECR as an entity. Sure, the points would be suitable in the lead for the respective party articles, but I really don't think these labels are applicable here where the politicians are a minority of 6 out of 70, and 2 out of 20 parties in the ECR. The points you wish to include are already raised in the body, where I think they belong. I also think the designation far-right is also incorrect, even if supported by media sources.Lacunae (talk) 11:08, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
With all due respect, I did not state that ECR is far-right. I did not claim that some parties in the group are far-right. I did say that some of them are often "labelled" far-right. And I back that up with those parties being labelled "far-right" by New York Times, Reuters, Washington Post and The Guardian. I'd say that that is pretty solid reliable sources. This group in the EU parliament is made up of both mainstream euro-sceptic parties and by far-right anti-immigrant parties. The latter dominate, which is why the the infobox exclusively talk about euro-sceptiscim and why the lead mainly talk about euro-scepticism. But by trying to purge both the infobox and the lead of all reference to the far-right parties entirely, it looks more like censorship. Around 10% of the MEPs in this group come from parties often referred to as far right. Even now, the infobox makes 0% reference to it and the lead less than 10%. I really see no WP:NPOV reason to exclude it altogether. If it was one MEP at odds with his own party, sure, it could be seen as WP:UNDUE. But when it's two (at least, question mark for the Latvian party) parties, each of them a major party in their own countries, and where anti-immigration is at the core of the parties' policies, it is hardly so irrelevant that there could be no mention of it in the lead.Jeppiz (talk) 12:56, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
You are very free with your accusations, and this poisonous mode of discussion can only make WP a more unpleasant place to contribute and collaborate. I take umbrage at your claims of my motivation, and direct you to WP:AGF and WP:CIVIL. Scurrilously accusing others of censorship when they have clearly expressed a legitimate viewpoint is counterproductive and offensive.
Furthermore, if you are going to sling around various accusations, I think it is rather incumbent upon you to accurately comprehend what one is objecting to. It is not true that I claimed the Guardian and the Washington Post are not reliable sources- I suggested that the Guardian was not neutral in this matter, and that a blog hosted by the Post is not the same thing as the Post itself (to elaborate, blogs hosted by the Post are not subject to the same editorial oversight as the main paper, nor are they subject to the same fact-checking requirements). I was actually rather explicit in stating that I view the Guardian as a WP:RS, and I recommended the Post as basically the ideal reliable source for these kinds of political descriptors; so I am unsure how I could have been clearer in my views on this matter.
To reiterate, I have no problem with this information being included in the article; but I do not see it as appropriate in the lead, for the reasons I expressed earlier, and I further agree with the reasons offered by Bastin. I am also concerned that such a summary in the lead would essentially introduce a criticism without mentioning any defence to or mitigation of such claims. In my view, where a controverted statement is made, it is generally best to treat it with at the length and with the necessary balance in the body of the article. Gabrielthursday (talk) 07:24, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
No intention to offend, and my apologies if I sounded harsh. It would seem then that we agree that this group include parties that are often labelled "far-right" and "anti-immigration", and we agree we have several good WP:RS-sources to back that up. The only disagreement is then whether this fact should be in the lead or not. I think it is relevant. These far-right are not marginal, they are major parties in the countries from which they come. As it's a matter of fact that this group is made up both of eurosceptics and of far-right parties, I think it's highly relevant to include it in the lead. It's not even in the infobox, and it's only mentioned in one sentence in the lead. I don't see an argument to ignore it completely.Jeppiz (talk) 13:02, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
First of all, the sources that the current version cites hardly support the Finns Party's label as far-right: the WaPo source says (note the bolded part): "Notably, there are a couple of important borderline cases, i.e. parties that some scholars consider to be far right and others do not. Of these, some have far right factions, but are not overall far right parties – this is the case with the Finns Party (PS) and the Latvian National Alliance (NA). ". Furthermore, the Finns Party is not included in the table titled "Main Far Right Results" that accompanies the piece. The other source you cite that mentions the Finns Party is the Reuters article. It says: "As well as the AfD, the group has taken in the far-right, anti-immigrant Danish People's Party and the Finns, a nationalist Finnish party that has shaken up domestic politics." The adjective used of Finns Party there is nationalist, not far-right. The party is not included in the NYT table titled "The Appeal of the Fringe". If you take a look at the Finns Party article, you can see several cited political researchers who do not consider the party to be far-right – some of them, in fact, call the party left-wing on some issues. I can translate a couple for you: Juho Rahkonen, researcher for the polling company Taloustutkimus, says: "The Finns Party is not a right-wing populist party, but rather a centre-left party. It is a common misconception that the party were right-wing." (source) Tuomas Ylä-Anttila, researcher for the University of Helsinki, says: "The Finns Party is more like a centre-left conservative party. Timo Soini [party's chairman] for example is left of the average social democrat on fiscal issues." (source) Considering that some editors view the party as far-right, it's ironic that in Finland the party recently actually had to defend itself from critics, who said that ECR might be too right-wing for the Finns Party: the party secretary had to make this statement: "We are a centre-left workers' party. The choice of the European Parliament Group does not change that fact." (source)
Second, I agree with Bastin that this seems to be a case of coatracking. Consider the fact that the EPP group now includes Alessandra Mussolini of Forza Italia, who has been described by many as a far-right politician. So should we add to the EPP article's lead that the group includes a far-right politician, a granddaughter of Benito Mussolini? --Jaakko Sivonen (talk) 14:30, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Jaakko Sivonen, a lengthy discussion of the policies of the Finns Party may be out of place here. It's a fact that the party has been labelled far-right and anti-immigration, and it's not hard to find additional sources, if that's what you want. As for the Mussolini in EPP, may I point out that WP:OSE is not a valid argument on Wikipedia. I would agree that if we had one xenophobic politician in one mainstream party, the lead would be unsuitable for that information. The situation here is very different as we have several parties that are anti-immigration. In the case of the Danish People's Party anti-immigration is the raison d'être of the party, and harsh anti-immigration rhetoric seems to be the main (sole?) claim to fame of the leading MEP of the Finns Party.Jeppiz (talk) 17:23, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
It's also a fact that there are several researchers who don't see the Finns Party as far-right. I have mentioned a couple and can mention more. One of your own sources says that the party is "not overall far right". Thus the label is obviously not commonly accepted. --Jaakko Sivonen (talk) 19:19, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Sorry but I'm not sure what point you're trying to make. Few labels are commonly accepted in politics, particularly labels such as 'far-right' or 'far-left'. It appears that you want to discuss the political ideology of the Finns Party, but that is not really relevant here. The article isn't (exclusively) about them and once again, it never says they are far-right, just that they are often labelled far right, which can be backed up by numerous highly respectable sources in several different countries using exactly that label. Here are some additional ones from leading media in Italy [17], France [18] and Spain [19] to add to the English language media already cited. I won't engage in any discussion about what the party actually is as that always comes down to personal views and contravenes WP:NOTFORUM and WP:TRUTH. That leading international media all over Europe describes the party as far-right is beyond dispute, regardless of whether one agrees with the label or not-Jeppiz (talk) 21:15, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
If the Finns Party and the Danish People's Party are used in the lead of this article as examples of far-right elements within the ECR group, then it certainly is relevant, whether they actually are far-right or not. I value the views of researchers, like political scientists who have actually studied the politics of the party, over the views of journalists. A few more sources from experts that go against the far-right label in addition to the earlier ones: "defining the True Finns as a far-right party is problematic" (source). "The Finns Party is hard to place on the left-right-axis of party politics" (source). "Timo Soini of the True Finns [...] also shows no racist or radical features. It would be a mistake for political opponents of these populists would [sic] to put them in the racist, extremist corner". (source)
If the labels used by media are faulty according to experts, then there is no reason to mention them, especially not in the lead, no matter how widespread they are. As an example, I'm sure the numerous newspapers and TV stations in Russia, Iran, Venezuela etc. use all sorts of negative labels in their coverage of the United States, but that doesn't mean we need to mention those labels in Wikipedia articles related to USA. --Jaakko Sivonen (talk) 21:42, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Jaakko Siivonen, you're free to start your own encyclopedia, but here we follow the rules of Wikipedia. You've already been blocked repeatedle, even banned from the site, for refusing to follow these rules. Almost everything you write above contradicts several Wikipedia rules.
You're perfectly free to disagree with these rules, but you are required to follow them. This is not the place to discuss the rules, though, nor to discuss what you think about the Finns Party. Read WP:FORUM. I'm in no way trying to blame anyone and I'm sure your motives are good. Sometimes people do not agree with Wikipedia rules. Still, if we are to edit here, we follow the rules regardless of whether we agree with them or not.Jeppiz (talk) 22:43, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
I'll ask you to keep the discussion in the topic instead of my persona. Also, please spell my name correctly. You are the one who is going against Wikipedia policy, namely WP:COATRACK and possibly WP:NPOV (specifically WP:UNDUE; devoting a part of the lead section to covering two parties in a coalition of twenty parties is undue weight). And by making this discussion about me you are effectively breaking WP:PERSONAL ("Comment on content, not on the contributor"). I have cited several academic researchers, who study Finnish politics or European politics as their job. You have not even attempted to respond to them. Of the five links I've provided to you here only one has been a blog - and it's a blog by a professional political scientist who works for a respected Finnish thinktank. You've linked to one blog as well, I'll remind you. I don't know how active you've been with editing Wikipedia articles on political parties, but the general policy has been that views of professional, academic researchers trump newspaper articles. I have provided several reliable sources, that contradict with some of your sources (although at least one of your sources actually agrees with me, as I've pointed out). That has nothing to do with WP:TRUTH. That is a case of some credible sources saying one thing and others saying another thing. In such a situation we need to refrain from giving the other side all of the coverage; this is the core of the neutral point of view policy. Finally, I'd like to point out that Wikipedia operates on consensus and you're going againgst the consensus here, since you are at the moment the only editor who is pushing this version of the lead, while there are several who disagree with you (I count four editors against your version, taking into account both this talk page and the article's edit history). Remember that consensus does not mean unanimity. --Jaakko Sivonen (talk) 03:01, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Jaakko Sivonen, I'm not discussing you apart from assuming your motives are good. I explained the rules to you, there is nothing personal in that.
Frankly, most of your arguments are beside the point. You seem to discuss the character of the Finns Party. I have no interest in that and it's not the topic. What the lead says is that some parties in the group are "often labelled" far-right and anti-immigration. At this stage, that is by far the best supported fact of the entire article.
The remaining question is then whether it's WP:UNDUE. While that label has been thrown around, no argument has been made for it. Leading politicians from the two parties mentioned have been convicted for hate speech against immigrants, this is hardly marginal. As I already stated Around 10% of the MEPs in this group come from parties often referred to as far right. Even now, the infobox makes 0% reference to it and the lead less than 10%. I really see no WP:NPOV reason to exclude it altogether. After I wrote that, some leading British media has used the same label for AfD, meaning it's closer to 20% of the MEPs in this group who come from parties labelled that way. If there's an argument for why it would be undue to mention that at all in the lead, it has yet to be made.Jeppiz (talk) 09:46, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Jaakko Sivonen (I assume) was trying to show you how it is not so clear-cut to simply label these parties (or even state that they have such labels) as far-right just because it says so in a newspaper article somewhere. And the designation of far-right is controversial, or in some instances just plain wrong. The labelling of these parties requires more explanation, on their own article pages as to their orientations, that cannot, and would not be suitable in the lede of the ECR article. To state that AfD, Finns and Danish People's Party are labelled as far-right here would also does not fit the subject, which is the ECR. Stating that AfD, etc...are labelled as far-right in some newspapers seems awfully WP:POV as it does not take into account the many counter points of view.

Achieving what the Wikipedia community understands as neutrality means carefully and critically analyzing a variety of reliable sources and then attempting to convey to the reader the information contained in them fairly, proportionately, and as far as possible without bias... Editors, while naturally having their own points of view, should strive in good faith to provide complete information, and not to promote one particular point of view over another. As such, the neutral point of view does not mean exclusion of certain points of view, but including all verifiable points of view which have sufficient due weight. Observe the following principles to achieve the level of neutrality that is appropriate for an encyclopedia.

As the designation of these parties is more complex than using the far right label, the editors thought it best dealt with in the body of the article. Regarding the AfD I suggest you go and look through more articles and analysis, as you'll find only a very small minority, and mostly for political reasons would regard the party as far-right.Lacunae (talk) 16:49, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Yes, I would not regard the AfD as far-right myself. Then again, The Economist argues this week that AfD has only recently turned to "xenophobia". I think we agree that it's not for us to make that call. However, I must object when you say just because it says so in a newspaper article somewhere. I'm sure your motives are the best, but you are seriously understating the case. When he have the New York Times, Washington Post, Reuters, El País, The Guardian, Repubblica and Tf1 all saying it, then we have a consensus from a large number of the leading media in the world. As I already wrote, I doubt that there is any fact in the entire article that is so well supported by multiple WP:RS. So I agree with what you quote Achieving what the Wikipedia community understands as neutrality means carefully and critically analyzing a variety of reliable sources and then attempting to convey to the reader the information contained in them fairly, proportionately, and as far as possible without bias. That is exactly what I've been trying to do. I don't want to misrepresent anyone's position, but the arguments against mentioning this fact do seem to circle around the idea that it might be something negative and critical. But that is no reason not to include it. We're not writing an ad here. Just as your quote says, we should represent a variety of reliable sources and then present them without bias. A wide variety of highly respected WP:RS sources use the label 'far-right'. To remain neutral, the current lead says that the label is used, it does not say whether the parties are far-right or not. In other words, I find the current version perfectly WP:NPOV while removing anything that some may perceive as critical no matter how well-sourced it is would be WP:POV.Jeppiz (talk) 17:25, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

yes, but you've so far not explained why it needs inserting into an article about the ECR group. Using, what I think you can see are terms that shouldn't really be used without further qualification, which are applicable to a minority of members. I think to insert it in such a prominent place in this article you'd need a source which actually said "some ECR members are far right" or some such, otherwise it seems a bit like you're using sources about individual members/parties to try and portray the ECR as being a far-right organisation, or possibly even smear it as being a cover for such.Lacunae (talk) 19:01, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Sure, but one of the sources, Reuters already says that. If additional ones are needed, The Independent very accurately predicted the make-up of the group, including the Danish People's Party and Finns Party and also talked about the far-right [20] (though I don't think that particular article is very good as it's written before the elections, thus speculative). More to the point, Financial Times also points out the same thing, using the label 'anti-immigration parties' [21], and Business Insider says exactly the same, using both "far right" and "anti-immigration" [22].
So at this point I'd like to turn the table around and suggest it might be an option to include the label in the infobox as well, with the qualification that it only applies to a minority of the ECR group. Once again, it's better sourced than anything else in the article.Jeppiz (talk) 19:33, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't agree in that they do say "some ECR members are far right" in an explicit way, only that certain parties are considered as such. The issue appears to be that you regard the ECR perhaps as merely the sum of its parts, rather than as being an entity in its own right. In the same way I wouldn't agree with saying the ECR is Central European because I have newspaper sources who say the Civic Democratic Party and Law and Justice are regarded as Central European parties. I don't think it's a viable option for the lede or the infobox until you have a source which deals directly with the ECR, not the parties.Lacunae (talk) 20:26, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
The lead never says ECR is far right, it says "The ECR includes some parties often labelled as far-right and anti-immigration, such as the Danish People's Party and the Finns Party". That is perfectly factual and perfectly well sourced.Jeppiz (talk) 20:57, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Except you yourself have proffered links which clearly state that some people reject the Finns party are far-right. Also this article is not about assigning labels to the constituent parties, but about the ECR. In some respects you could be doing original research in claiming that the links saying the parties are labelled as such, applies to the ECR. Also, I don't understand your obsession intransigence with the label anti-immigration, as far as I can tell it is a perfectly legal stance to adopt in a democracy.WP:NOR.Lacunae (talk) 22:48, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
There's a broader issue which is being missed here: WP is an encyclopaedia; it should not usually "cover the coverage", execept where such media coverage is itself encyclopaedic. Media sources should be cited for establishing what really is the case, not for what they claim. However, irrespective of these side issues, it appears that aside from Jeppiz, there is no support for including this information in the lead. I am therefore removing it. Gabrielthursday (talk) 00:30, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

Well, we already have a sentence in the lead precisely where we report what media says the group is. So so satisfy Gabrielthursday, I'm including it in that sentence and to satisfy Lacunae I'm only using sources that explicitly say that ECR contains far-right anti-immigration parties. To respond to Lacunae's breach of WP:CIVIL, I don't have an "obsession" with the label anti-immigration, I just so happen to believe in trying to establish an article that is WP:NPOV.Jeppiz (talk) 19:28, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

Apologies if you were offended by my choice of words Jeppiz, given your own rather combative style I wrongly assumed you wouldn't mind.Lacunae (talk) 20:36, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, it certainly wasn't very serious, perhaps I should just have let it pass. And I agree with you what being opposed to immigration is a perfectly legal stance. I see it as a factual description of some parties, not as derogatory. I'd expect neither the DPP nor FP would disagree. Hence my surprise at the opposition to it.Jeppiz (talk) 20:54, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
Do you really believe you are satisfying either my or Lacunae's concerns wholly? You are incorrectly assuming that I am perfectly content with the existing sentence; I am not, though I do see the difficulty in eliminating such information. More importantly, the broader objection is that your proposal manifestly does not belong in the lead, whether it meets the general standards for WP or not. Gabrielthursday (talk) 19:52, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
It all depends. If your concern is an WP:NPOV article where we pick sources based on how relevant they are, not based on what we want them to say, then I assume a version that reports what leading media says in 2014 should be preferable to what some media said back in 2009. As for the information not belonging in the lead, I have yet to see one argument in favour. Lacunae's argument was that the articles did not say "far right parties join ECR". Well, all the current articles used as sources do. You said we should not cover the coverage, yet that is exactly what the article has done for years, with no objections. So what is really the argument for not saying that the group includes parties on the "fringe" (not my expression) despite it being frequently reported in the media. Media says it's partly centre-right, and we say that. Why not report what media really says?
In case we cannot get any further, we could of course always go for an RfC.Jeppiz (talk) 20:13, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

I though you were not saying they were far right, but were labelled far right. A label which in none of the sources you have so far provided are directly applied to the ECR group, but individual parties. I'll give another similar example from my experience, to see if it helps... for the St Jude Storm article, I inserted a sentence which mentioned a similar storm had happened some years ago on the same date, this was challenged as original research, despite that it was perfectly sensible to me to include this, and so I had to find a source which supported this statement. I think your argument is similar, you want to apply sources that state parties are labelled as far-right, to the ECR group, which is not supported, because none of the sources label the ECR as far right. Then we come on to the other problems regarding the validity of the labels even when applied to those certain parties. Then thirdly whether your phraseology describes the situation in the most NPOV manner, and fourthly whether it needs such prominent placing in an article whose subject, the European Conservatives and Reformists, has never as far as I can tell, been wholly described as far-right.Lacunae (talk) 21:07, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

Relevant points. I'll start from the back, I don't think there have been that many descriptions of the ECR group as a whole after the election. Media seems to point out that it has become less defined, more heterogeneous. As an example outside of what we're discussing, it now includes both very strong EU-sceptics as well as very strong proponents of deeper EU-integration. About the phraseology, I'm not at all claiming I'm phrasing it in the best ways, of course I'm open to discuss other ways to state it. Then, I do not want to say that the whole ECR group is far-right. I repeat, as you've made the same claim before, I do not, and none of my proposed versions say anything like that. I've stated that the group includes parties that media labels far right. That is quite different. Europe includes Germany, but we would never say that Europe is Germany.Jeppiz (talk) 21:26, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
Two things: I'm aware I've been critical of the references used: I want to say that I'm sure we could find refs that say precisely what you are looking for- that isn't an overriding concern of mine. However, if you wish me to explain on the limitations of the references that you have used, I would be happy to do so in the spirit of productive criticism. Secondly, I remain unclear on why you think this needs to be included in the lead especially when the kerfluffle over the DPP & Finns is covered (I think) in a relatively deep and balanced manner in the body of the article. Perhaps you can explain your thinking with greater clarity in this respect.
Okay, a third thing- on further reflection, I tend to think that the older "media descriptions" that you highlighted in the lead are troublesome, inasmuch as they are "covering the coverage" and to a certain extent unneccessarily duplicate the objective and academic references in the first line. Perhaps before I go doing anything drastic, others would like to comment on the matter. Gabrielthursday (talk) 21:47, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm of course happy to explain my thinking, though I'd think I've been reasonably clear. A substantial part of ECR, as it's composed after the latest election, is made up of parties from the far right. It's not the odd MEP, it's (at least) two parties that are so extreme that half their elected MEPs have criminal records, usually for hate speech. The lead, in my understanding, should give a short and succinct overviews of the most noteworthy aspects of the article. I think that the composition of the group most definitely is one of the most noteworthy aspects. This is not a political party but a very lose group and its composition would seem very relevant to me. In short, the lead seems to very much pre May-2014, it should be post. Of course that does not mean a complete rewrite, but I think it should reflect, much better than now, the actual composition of the group.Jeppiz (talk) 21:54, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
Again, the far-right label is contested (I've supplied sources that describe the Finns Party in detail, and there are sources that deny the far-right labels of DPP, AfD and the Latvian National Alliance as well.). Your latest proposal was: "After the 2014 elections, media reported that the group now also included far-right anti-immigration parties." That still gives voice only to one side. It is possible to preface almost any sentence imaginable with the words "media reported" if you don't want to pay attention to contrary views in other media and among scholars (who have studied the subject longer than journalists). I see that you removed the Washington Post link from your list of sources in your latest version − Did you do that, I wonder, because its writer undermines your point by saying that the Finns Party and the Latvian National Alliance "are not overall far right parties"? First you presented it as a credible source, but when you noticed that it didn't support your argument, it suddenly stopped being one? You don't think that's cherry picking sources?
A more neutral way to put your sentence would be to say that some have described certain parties as far-right, while others have objected to such a characterisation. Going into such detail, however, is not what an article's lead is meant to do, especially when it doesn't concern the great majority of the coalition's parties. BTW, international media is full of all sorts of unflattering characterisations of the Fidesz party (the WaPo writer previously referenced mentions that it employs a "a far right discourse", and there are others who have argued along the same lines: Spiegel), which is one of the biggest member parties of the EPP Group − would you like to see those characterisations added to the lead of the EPP article, perhaps alongside a mention of EPP MEP Alessandra Mussolini and the labels used of her? Fidesz MEPs plus Mussolini = 12 MEPs, twice the number that the DPP and PS have combined.
Oh, and I find it a bit disingenuous to argue that the Finns Party is "so extreme that half their elected MEPs have criminal records" without mentioning that the sample size is two persons. --Jaakko Sivonen (talk) 00:39, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
As almost the whole argument above is a long straw man consisting of faulty assumptions of my motives and then attacking those made-up arguments, there is nothing to add. Except perhaps that reading WP:CIVIL could be relevant. As for the last point, I doubt Financial Times, who are the ones who claimed that half of these MEPs have crimial records, will care much about being called "disingenuous". The lack of any factual argument is striking but not surprising.Jeppiz (talk) 12:40, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
As I thought, you are unable to properly defend your arguments. You apply one set of standards to ECR and another set of standards to other groups, and you disregard sources that don't support your argument. Well, it's a good thing we can end this conversation here, since it is clear that your stance goes against the consensus of editors. --Jaakko Sivonen (talk) 18:30, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
I gladly motivate my reasons in discussion with any WP:CIVIL user. I respect WP:FORUM and I certainly see no need to answer erroneous straw man arguments that consist of unsubstantiated speculation about my personal motives and do not contribute to improving the article. Kindly read WP:NPA. As for the so-called "consensus", it consists of three people. I already suggested an RfC.Jeppiz (talk) 21:04, 4 September 2014 (UTC)


Under ideology, the infobox currently lists

  • Conservatism
  • Economic liberalism
  • Soft euroscepticism
  • Anti-federalism

None of these appear to be properly sourced. What few sources there are seem to date several years back, to an ECR with a completely different set-up of parties. Since then, the ECR has taken in both parties advocating stronger European integration (NVA), parties that are strongly anti-immigration (several), and parties that do not favor economic liberalism. Are there any current, good sources to motivate those four points in the infobox as summarizing the ideology of the ECR?Jeppiz (talk) 21:03, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Are you aware this article is titled European Conservatives and Reformists? if you are, you should be able to account for two.Lacunae (talk) 22:50, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm sure that some additional sources can be eventually found. But I tend to disagree about the ECR now being a "completely different set-up of parties". The ECR certainly added a number of new delegations to the fold, but it also retained just about all its old members. While the ECR is probably a slightly more hetergenous group than before, I'm not sure that the various new parties have actually significantly altered its characteristics as a whole. So while I support updating & improving the references, I don't think we ought to worry overmuch about the current ones. Gabrielthursday (talk) 00:50, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

Request for Comments[edit]

There does not currently appear to be clear consensus in support of adding "far-right" to the lead. --slakrtalk / 07:46, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

There is currently disagreement about how the lead and infobox should described the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR). The ECR is a political group in the EU Parliament formed after the election in 2009. At its formation, it consisted of centre-right Euro-sceptic parties; this is what both the lead and the infobox says. After the election in 2014, the composition of the group changed somewhat. Most controversial (judging by the media coverage) was the decision to take in some parties that often are labelled either "far-right", "anti-immigration" or both. This fact can be easily sourced. As shown in the discussion, this is precisely what leading international media such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, The Guardian, Reuters, El País, La Repubblica and TF1 have reported.
Nobody suggests that the lead should say that the ECR as a whole is far-right, but given the extensive media coverage of the new composition of the group, and the fact that about 10% of the group now comes from parties labelled "far-right" and "anti-immigration", I think it's perfectly WP:NPOV for the lead to mention this. Along the same lines, I find it WP:POV to suppress any mention of it from the lead.
In a long discussion, three users (GabrielThursday, Lacunae and Jaakko Sivonen) disagree that this should be in the lead. Their main argument (and I hope GabrielThursday and Lacunae correct me if I'm wrong, I don't intend to put words in their mouth) is that the ECR as a whole is never called "far-right". They are correct, which is why I've never suggested saying anything like that. However, my own view is that the fact that this group is not "just" made up of mainstream centre-right parties is relevant, is abundantly well covered in WP:RS sources but is currently completely kept out of the lead. A reader who just reads the infobox and the lead of the article will not get a correct picture of the current composition of the ECR. This is why I have proposed one sentence, backed up by several sources, in the lead to say that the ECR also includes parties often labelled far-right.Jeppiz (talk) 21:24, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

I don't wish to go over the same points as have been discussed before, but I think that the lede should reflect the most salient points in regard to the ECR as a group, and that these designations of a minority of parties would be best dealt with in the article body or even the respective party pages (as these labels are contested by the parties and other media/academic commentary), where the relative viewpoints can be explored more fully and given relative weighting in regards to their importance to the ECR. The edits Jeppiz has suggested, and the brevity of depth with which they are handled in his edits suggest to me that the addition of these points in such prominent places would appear to act as a badge of shame upon a the group as a whole. (As an aside the idea that Danish People's Party is not mainstream, having gathered the most votes in a national election, voter turnout aside, is also questionable).Lacunae (talk) 22:58, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
Just three very brief replies.
  • It would seem to me that you're saying, by the argument of "badge of shame", that we should not include information that some people might see as negative. If that is your view, and correct me if I'm wrong, I must disagree. We are writing neutral articles with factual information. If a fact is accurate and well established in several WP:RS sources, I don't think the arguemnt that some might not like it should be an argument to exclude it.
  • As for "the whole group", it's a fact that the whole group decided to welcome these parties, despite knowing full well what kind of parties they are. There are several sources of how they were urged not to exclude these "far right parties" (as the sources say). So of course it's relevant for the whole group. They decided to welcome some parties, and not to welcome some other parties, based on their policies. That was decided by the whole ECR.
  • I must disagree strongly with the suggestion that a party is "mainstream" just because it wins the most votes. Le Pen's National Front also won the most votes in the same election, few would argue it is mainstream. However, the National Front often is lumped together with the Danish People's Party.Jeppiz (talk) 23:58, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
Your second point seems to be original research. As to your first point, I'll refer to WP:INDISCRIMINATE: "As explained in the policy introduction, merely being true, or even verifiable, does not automatically make something suitable for inclusion in the encyclopedia." Your suggestions would give undue weight to certain views. Furthermore, an article's lead should be compact, and it's not supposed to include all the information on the topic. These issues are already dealt with in greater length in the body of the text. --Jaakko Sivonen (talk) 03:20, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment Firstly, this RfC has been improperly made- an RfC should be neutral and brief. Instead, one side of the question has been advanced by Jeppiz. This creates a bias in the pool of commenters, as they will be initially exposed to one point of view. In this case, I am afraid the summary of the issue he has made, while doubtless made with the best of intentions, is misleading in particulars and does not accurately articulate objections to the proposal. While I appreciate that Jeppiz has attempted to articulate the objections to his proposal, I'm sure he'd agree that an opponent's articulation of one's viewpoint is rarely going to meet with approbation. I would suggest that perhaps the best course would be for him to change his summary to be both neutral and brief, and allow the disputation to remain on this page. Gabrielthursday (talk) 01:40, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

It's interesting how on the article for EVERY SINGLE left-wing coalition or group of parties, if it contains 1 communist party, then "Communism" and "Far-left" is put as the group's ideology. Meanwhile if a centre-right or right-wing or conservative or liberal coalition contains far-right or neo-Nazi parties, then of course we'll never see such labels in the article for the group, which instead claims that it is "completely normal" (when it obviously is not). I think this is another type of information-totalitarianism, media-terrorism, and other concepts which come to be represented here in Wikipedia through bourgeois hegemony. That's my $0.02. So yeah, I support far-right and whatever else being put both in the lead and infobox of this article if it's reliably sourced. Zozs (talk) 01:42, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

Well, those claims are not reliably sourced. Everyone should read the previous discussion under the title 'The lead'. There are no sources that describe the ECR as a far-right group. At most there are some sources that describe a couple individual parties in the coalition of twenty parties as far-right, but even in their case there are several other reliable sources that directly dispute these labels. By the way, the current version of the article on the GUE/NGL group does not use the word "far-left", so your first claim is plainly wrong. --Jaakko Sivonen (talk) 03:07, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

Jeppiz wrote: "and the fact that about 10% of the group now comes from parties labelled "far-right" and "anti-immigration"" I don't like repeating myself, but I suppose I have to, since Jeppiz has avoided responding to my arguments in detail in the earlier discussion above ('The lead'). I have provided several sources to show that the far-right label is explicitly rejected by several researchers, who have studied one of the two parties in question; among these sources is one originally put forth by Jeppiz himself (Washington Post) that directly contradicts his point by saying that the party in question is "not overall far-right". In short, Jeppiz wants to present only one side of the issue and disregard the fact that there are several sources that disagree with his view. And of course there is the issue of undue weight; Jeppiz seems to want to make the article about the 10%, not the 90%. --Jaakko Sivonen (talk) 03:34, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

  • Comment I respect the opinions of Gabrielthursday and Lacunae, but I must protest at all the false claims Jaako Sivonen spreads about me, repeatedly breaking WP:CIVIL. JS claims I "want to make the article about the 10%, not the 90%." Not true, all I have done in my edits is to mention the 10% in one sentence in the lead. So instead of the lead ignoring the 10% altogether, I've tried to make the lead 3-5% about the 10%. That is not making the article about them. JS also insinuates I want to "describe the ECR as a far-right group" Also not true, as anyone can see my edits and see that I've always taken care to just write that the ECR includes parties labelled far-right. Quite different from what JS claims. This, together with the long post yesterday with false speculations about my personal motives, make it impossible for me to keep WP:FAITH in JS. My future interactions with them will be at WP:ANI if they keep up the lies about me. Fortunately, all the other users who disagree with me are perfectly factual.Jeppiz (talk) 08:40, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
And, as previoysly mentioned, there are several credible sources that dispute the far-right label of the Finns Party (most are in Finnish, but I've translated the key parts):
As for some of your links, Huffington Post's reliability as a source has already been called into question. Your New York Times link does not even mention the Finns Party, and as I've shown, your Washington Post link actually says that the party is not overall far-right. If you list the Finns Party as a party that has been labelled as "far-right" by some media, I will add another sentence making clear that there are several researchers and media that dispute that label. That is how Wikipedia's NPOV policy works. As for using the far-right label to discredit the ECR as a whole, I remind you that this is an article about the ECR as an entity, not as a sum of twenty individual parties. Your comment above, where you argue that the issue is relevant because the whole group decided to admit the parties in question, sure makes it seem like you want to make this characterisation of the whole group. Also, the comment left by user Zozs certainly made it seem that this is the impression he/she got from your introduction (which, as Gabrielthursday mentioned, is not neutral). And, as has been said before, Wikipedia articles should not simply be "coverage of coverage", since Wikipedia is not a place to dump all the information that is out there of a subject: "merely being true, or even verifiable, does not automatically make something suitable for inclusion in the encyclopedia". Information must have due weight. The issue of the admission of the two parties in question is already covered in the article, and that coverage is longer than one sentence. An article's lead should be compact and it's not supposed to include all the information that the article presents.
Finally, I'll again ask you to abide by WP:CIVIL and WP:PERSONAL; accusing other users of lying is a personal attack, and this is not the first time in this discussion that other users have complained about your combative style of discussion. --Jaakko Sivonen (talk) 19:12, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Permit me to say that I think both Jaakko Sivonen and Jeppiz could both be a little more circumspect in their language (let's try to assume good faith, even if it's difficult); and it also appears that both could be a little thicker-skinned. Y'all have both made positive contributions to the discussion, but perhaps we can reduce the heat a little. Thanks, Gabrielthursday (talk) 19:56, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose To start off with, I do not believe Jeppiz's summary of objections to his proposed edit is accurate. A number of objections have been made, each of which, taken individually, ought to be sufficient, but taken collectively are, I submit, an overwhelming case.
Firstly, the lead of an article ought to be concerned with the subject of the article as such. The composition and ideology of the ECR are thereby appropriate to the lead; the ideology of one or two component parties is a step away from the subject of the article. Put simply, the proposed edit is an example of a tertiary question that ought to be dealt with in the body of an article, if at all.
Secondly, the lead of an article ought to deal with the core facts of the article, not extraneous details. The ideology of the DF is a detail that would be given undue weight if it were included in the lead. It could also be seen as Coatracking as Bastin noted.
Thirdly, we ought to be quite reluctant to "cover the coverage" - WP:NOT; except where the news coverage itself becomes notable, journalistic descriptors are not notable in themselves. We cite WP:RS usually in order to establish the facts of the matter, not simply to note that it is said. In the matter of ideology, reliable journalistic sources can be used to establish the actual ideology of the parties involved, since such usage (presumably) reflects the institutional knowledge and editorial policy of the source. Where this is disputed or variable, or where the subject is only occasionally covered by the outlet, journalistic sources are much less useful. Academic sources should be greatly preferred.
Fourthly, the presence of one viewpoint in the lead, without context or contradiction, is a violation of WP:POV. This is especially the case where the statement made is vague, unspecific and controversial, as this proposed edit is.
Fifthly, it seems clear to me that the Finns Party should not be included among those highlighted as supposedly "far-right". Academic sources are far better for such evaluations of ideology, and should be preferred; Jaakko Sivonen has amply demonstrated that such sources do not support a "far-right" descriptor. Noting less-reliable references to the contrary simply violates WP:POV when such descriptions are contradicted by reliable sources.
Lastly, I again object to the manner of this RfC, where the request was not made in a neutral manner. It is difficult to resolve disputes where the procedures meant to ensure equal treatment of both sides are not followed. Gabrielthursday (talk) 20:36, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
I must admit I'm a bit surprised at Gabrielthursday's repeated complaints about how the RfC was started. I suggested an RfC to them several days ago, they could have started it themselves. Once I did start it, I immediately left a note at Gabrielthursday's talk page to inform them about the RfC, encouraging them to take part in the discussion and to present their view. In short, I think I did all I could for a neutral procedure.
Second, and more importantly, it's quite simply not accurate that we're just covering the coverage. We're trying, or at least we should try, to establish as accurate a picture of any group as possible.
  • It's a matter of fact that the lead for this group was written when the group was composed of somewhat different parties than now.
  • It's a matter of fact that the composition of the group has changed to some degree and that the lead does not reflect this.
  • It's a matter of fact that the new composition of group was controversial, due to the inclusion of these parties. No matter what Jaako Sivonen or Gabrielthursday believe the parties "really are" (WP:TRUTH), their inclusion was controversial.
In short, the current lead gives an accurate description of ECR in 2009, but it not relevant for 2014.Jeppiz (talk) 23:37, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
I will briefly address the RfC issue, since it appears to be that Jeppiz is misunderstanding my concern. I wish to credit him for notifying me of the RfC, which was considerate. The issue is that the summary created on the RfC noticeboard is not neutral. This is what is meant to be neutral and brief, for the simple reason that it is the first thing new commenters will see. I hope that clears up the misunderstanding. I hope to address the other points raised above at a later time. Gabrielthursday (talk) 02:17, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
Again, this has nothing to do with WP:TRUTH. I have provided several credible sources to back what I'm saying and cited them above. I'm not expressing my opinions, but the views of several researchers and major media outlets familiar with the party. Controversies related to MEPs Halla-aho and Messerschmidt are already dealt with in the article, in more detail than one sentence; the lead isn't supposed to include every detail. As for changing compositions, it is nothing out of the ordinary for European Parliament groups to undergo changes in membership from one election to another. It should be noted that the two parties that had a majority of the group's MEPs in the last parliament also have a majority now (UK Conservative Party and Poland's Law and Justice). I haven't seen sources to support the claim that the ECR's policies have changed significantly after the 2014 election: the group is still described as conservative and anti-federalist in its policies. --Jaakko Sivonen (talk) 02:31, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
I second Jaakko's sentiments about the inapplicability of WP:TRUTH to this discussion. Perhaps Lacunae has once or twice made side arguments that the Danish People's Party "really" is mainstream (and comments in Talk pages should not be held to the same standard as edits to articles), but I cannot recall Jaakko or myself making claims about what is "really" the case without reference to reliable sources.
While I appreciate that Jeppiz is trying to "establish as accurate a picture" as possible, it remains the case that his proposed edit attempts to do so by "covering the coverage", which I still maintain should be avoided when possible.
Again, I understand and recognise that the ECR has changed composition somewhat following the 2014 elections, and the lead does mention the largest parties currently in the group. However, if we are to make the case that the character of the group as a whole has changed, I think we need to find a WP:RS that says so, and is authoritative (and this would probably be a detail that wouldn't belong in the lead anyways). Given that it's only been a few months since the 2014 election, it isn't surprising there haven't popped up such authorities. Gabrielthursday (talk) 07:37, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
Looking at the length of this discussion, may I suggest that we (the established editors) suspend discussion for a few days (perhaps Jeppiz could amend his RfC summary, though, if possible) and wait for new comments to be made? If that doesn't change things, I submit we should recognise that there is no consensus for the proposed edit, and attend to other concerns. Gabrielthursday (talk) 07:43, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

Came here from an invitation posted on my talk page. Per WP:LEAD, the lede should summarize the main aspects covered in the body of the article: The lead serves as an introduction to the article and a summary of its most important aspects. The lead should be able to stand alone as a concise overview. It should define the topic, establish context, explain why the topic is notable, and summarize the most important points—including any prominent controversies. As it reads now, the lead does not represent what is included in the section "2014 European Parliament elections"; without information about the current composition of this political group, the lead is neither balanced, nor representative of the article's content. - Cwobeel (talk) 00:33, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

  • Comment The composition of a coalition of political parties is rather essential information. If a coalition of left leaning parties included marxist or separatist parties after an election it would be rather notable even if those parties represented a small proportion of the coalition. I would imagine if a coalition of green parties decided to include pirate parties or animal rights parties it would also be notable and essential information to include in a lede. Conflicting ideologies of constituant parties is not a tertiary question. That would be the conflicting ideologies of individual members of those parties or between like minded parties. It seems entirely reasonable to include a short sentence regarding the notably different ideologies of a number of minor parties in a coalition in the lede of its article. --Shabidoo | Talk 02:36, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, GUE/NGL includes parties that have been described as far-left (SYRIZA, Die Linke, Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia, and others), yet the Wikipedia article does not use the term far-left. The EPP Group includes Fidesz as one of its largest member parties, yet the EPP article does not mention in its lead that the group includes a party that, according to some, "employ(s) a far right discourse", or not even the more common claim of populism. Furthermore, the far-right label is disputed with regard to several ECR parties of which it has been used; there are reliable sources that explicitly deny it. --Jaakko Sivonen (talk) 16:56, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
The lede of the GUE notes that the composition of the group is left and communist parties. You don't have to qualify a communist party as far-left. That's fairly self evident. This is a fairly clear and honest description of the group. Imagine if the lede omitted "communist parties"? That would be rather dishonest.
Fidez is listed as centre-right to right on the info box in their article. That doesn't sound like it's far right (though it wouldn't be the first the ideology of a party as listed on an info box is dishonest). I don't know much about Fidez so I can't argue if they are far-right or not. If they are a far right party then it should be mentioned in the info box on their page as well as in the lede of EEP.
Claiming that there are not far-right elements in the group (there is a clear demonstrable consensus on the issue in both main stream media and specialised political commentary) would be disingenuous and dishonest in my opinion. This is a tired debate. --Shabidoo | Talk 17:45, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
Except that I have provided sources to show that there is no consensus on the far-right label of the Finns Party, which is one of the two parties that Jeppiz wanted to call far-right; on the contrary, there are several experts of the Finnish political system that deny that label. The other party is the Danish People's Party. I'm not that familiar with DPP, but looking at the sources used in the DPP article, there seems to be more sources for the descriptor right-wing populism than for far-right. "Right-wing populist" is not the same as "far-right"; the latter has much more extreme connotations. --Jaakko Sivonen (talk) 18:44, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
I would add that we ought to be particularly careful about the use of terms that are often used as terms of opprobrium. "Far-right" and "far-left" are often (though not always) used simply for polemical purposes, without much clear denotative content. Terms such as "national conservative" or "populist" at least have greater meaning. I am not saying we shouldn't ever use "far-right" or "far-left" - simply that we should be somewhat wary of using them in disputed circumstances, or where such a use would be gratuitous and unneccessary. And that would seem to be the case here. Gabrielthursday (talk) 20:01, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
There is the weight of the international media ( New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, Huffington Post, The Guardian, Reuters, El País, La Repubblica ad infinitum) and the following academic sources which describe and analyse the DPP as far right here, here, here and here ... these two NGOs here and here and per the fins party the following academic sources here and here, and a more indepth analysis of the fins party here a post grad researcher from findland here and an indepth chapter on the extreme right in Findland here, and from policy analysts here. --Shabidoo | Talk 20:19, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
This Policy Network source does not call the Finns Party far-right, so I don't know why you provided it as a link. Crossing the Baltic seems to be a blog; why should it be considered a reliable source? (In any case, even that source describes the party as having "left-leaning economic policies".) Your Strategic Culture Foundation link states in its title that the European Parliament's new "far-right" is actually "not so far-right". It also says that the Finns Party's and the DPP's acceptance to the ECR meant a "marked move to the center for both right-wing parties" (meaning that they don't, afterall, stand out too much among the ECR parties). There are some writers who have described the Finns Party as far-right, but above in this discussion I have also cited several experts on Finnish or European politics as well as major Finnish media outlets that have explicitly disputed such a label. So there is no consensus on the issue. If the article includes a sentence about the party being labeled as far-right, Wikipedia's NPOV policy requires that it be followed by another sentence making clear that this label has been disputed by many experts and by the Finnish media. Your Global Policy Journal source states that "Moreover, the policies of parties grouped under the heading ‘far right’ are diverse." When this is the case, why should we use a charged term which has diverse meanings and the accuracy of which is disputed, when there are better terms available - terms like 'populist', for example. --Jaakko Sivonen (talk) 21:38, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
Note: I wrote this while Jaakko was writing, resulting in an edit conflict. Rather than rewrite, I'll let it stand as is, regardless of whether there's duplication with Jaakko's comment. My comment is in reply to Shabidoo.
I'm afraid that's really non-responsive to my concerns expressed above. However, let me address some of the references proffered. Since Jaakko has amply demonstrated that "far-right" is vigourously contested in relation to the Finns Party, I'll just address the DPP sources. Firstly, NGOs are not necessarily neutral or authoritative, and thus are not necessarily WP:RS for this kind of information. Ignoring that for the moment, neither linked piece directly describes the DPP as either "far-right" or "extreme-right". The analysis notes in the subtitle "let’s not lump together a wide assortment of unique parties" and uses a number of different terms to describe various parties. The term applied to the DPP is "populist right". The other article uses scare quotes around "far-right", clearly indicating scepticism. The whole thrust of the article is to challenge the unreflective attribution of such terminology to conservative populist parties in Europe. Moving to your "academic sources", an article in a university newspaper is not an academic source. Nor does it describe the DPP as "far-right" or "extreme-right". Also, a poster found under a heading of "undergraduateMScStudents" is not exactly the epitome of peer-reviewed scholarship. It certainly doesn't appear to be the production of a professor. The Rydgren article is a good reference... for the use of the term "radical right-wing populism". Rydgren, of course, would need to be weighed against the comments of Bjørklund, who says "It is, however, questionable if the label "extremist" is at all appropriate. In relation to a continental European context, the parties cannot be regarded as extremist..." That's a pretty damning comment, and illustrates the serious disagreement over the characterisation of the DPP. I also note that the report you linked to "Preventing and Countering Far-Right Extremism: European Cooperation, Country Reports" has a fairly exhaustive chapter on Denmark. It only mentions the DPP to note that the DPP has thrown out of the party those with links to the extreme right.
So, to summarise: of the references produced, only two of six attribute a "far-right", "extreme-right" or (to be generous) a "radical right-wing" label to the DPP. Half of the "academic sources" are nothing of the kind. Two of the sources offered clearly argue against your conclusion. Your hand-picked sources illustrate just how divided and weak the evidence for the "far-right" character of the DPP is. Gabrielthursday (talk) 01:33, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm quite happy to discuss this with both of you, however please keep in mind my response here is per a request for comments. Reviewing the talk page as it is I find it shrouded in quite some level of hostility. A rfr is a chance to bring it down a level and get some fresh perspectives. Please keep that in mind when you reply and write your edit summaries. --Shabidoo | Talk 03:46, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
That's fair enough, and I appreciate the reminder. I apologise unqualifiedly for my overly aggressive tone. Gabrielthursday (talk) 04:18, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes. Scratch the blog. Two of the sources I mentioned indeed qualify them as "not so far right" or "also having some left-leaning qualities", however not so far right is still far right (even if they allow for some Scandinavian social programs). The other sources still label them far right as well as the entire international media. In any case. While there are some nuanced dissenting voices it seems to me that there is a general consensus that they are far right. Users were invited to give input and this is my reading of the sources I've seen so far. --Shabidoo | Talk 00:30, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment After the RfC was launched, all users who have commented seem to be in favour of mentioning the composition of the group in the lead. I've stayed out of the discussion this far as I agreed when Gabrielthursday encouraged the users who already had discussed this to take a break. As I see that Gabrielthursday did not care much for his own recommendation as both he and Jaako Sivonen repeatedly continue to challenge everybody who do not share their view, I see no need to continue to stay out of the discussion. Contrary to what Jaakko Sivonen seems to think, no consensus is needed to describe a party (or company or organization) as something, as long as there is substantial support. It's possible to cherrypick sources disputing that ISIS is a terrorist organization, yet the lead of that article uses that label. In the case of the parties in ECR, we have unusually strong sources as [New York Times]], Washington Post, Reuters, El País, The Guardian, Repubblica and Tf1 all use the label. And I repeat (for the fifth time, but JS keeps ignoring it) that nobody has suggested saying that these parties are far-right, just to say that media says so. That is an undisputed fact. Whether JS think the label is true or not is quite frankly of no relevance.
    As all those who have commented in the RfC have been favour, I am reinserting the information in the lead. Once again, it is the best sourced claim of the entire article. If GT and JS continue to remove it, I would appreciate an argument in support for that edit, an argument that does not simple consist of WP:TRUTH or WP:IDONTLIKEITJeppiz (talk) 11:09, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
As for the break in commenting, two weeks have passed, and there have only been a couple new commentators. As for the issue itself, you keep ignoring the several sources that I have provided, both from scholars and from Finland's leading media outlets. You also keep ignoring the fact that your own Washington Post source states that the Finns Party is "not overall far-right". This has nothing to do with WP:TRUTH; I have provided several reliable sources to prove that there is no consensus on the Finns Party's far-right label. This is about WP:NPOV: if the article has a sentence that reads that the group includes parties labeled as far-right, it must be followed by another sentence that points out that the label is not accepted by many scholars and media outlets familiar with those parties. Or, alternatively, we leave out the far-right allegations altogether. Keeping the allegations without mentioning contrary views, backed by reliable sources, is not an option. That would go against Wikipedia's neutral point of view policy. --Jaakko Sivonen (talk) 13:46, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
I must protest Jeppiz's continuing snide attacks on User:Jaakko Sivonen and myself. It is not a fair comment to attack Jaakko or myself for answering points raised after being silent for two weeks, which I would say was a lengthy suspension of the debate. Nor is it fair to characterise the detailed objections made as being reducible to WP:IDONTLIKEIT. One need not agree with either Jaakko or myself, but it is incumbent on editors to at least treat others' arguments with respect, rather than, in essence, attributing bad faith to those with whom one disagrees. Gabrielthursday (talk) 05:37, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
Going back to the journalistic sources you've cited, I'd like to make a few observations. Firstly, the Reuters and NYT links indeed clearly describe the DPP (but not the Finns Party) as "far-right". The Irish Times, Guardian and Independent articles use "anti-immigrant in various formulations to describe the DPP. So far, so good, though we should not treat these terms as synonymous. However, some of the other articles cited don't quite establish what is desired. The FT article deals primarily with two particular politicians, and doesn't ascribe any particular descriptor to their parties as such. The Tf1 attribution of "far-right" seems to rest on the headline, which is normally not written by the author of the piece; and for a television station, not likely subject to the same editorial control as major newspapers. The text includes the line: "il faut s'attendre à une forte poussée des partis "populistes" de droite, voire ouvertement d'extrême-droite" which means, roughly "we must expect a big jump from "populist" right-wing parties, even openly extreme-right parties". The following list would therefore seem to encompass both "openly extreme-right" and "populist right-wing" parties. Finally, The Italian piece appears to be an opinion piece, which can't be attributed to La Reppublica. While we clearly have some sources to attribute "far-right" or "anti-immigration" to the DPP, the sources are far weaker for the Finns Party. I think we also need to recognise that the descriptor "far-right" is disputed in at least some sources. All of this, of course, is pretty far from the question of whether some kind of line as proposed should be included in the lead. Gabrielthursday (talk) 20:03, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose: In my opinion, the description of some member parties (not the group as a whole) by a number of media outlets does not belong in the lead section. As I have said before, the article is based too much on day-to-day media reports, rather than scholarly literature with a more general view and some historic distance (which is at the moment inevitable as the most recent developments are not yet reflected in literature). The lead section should provide a concise introduction to and overview of the subject. The labelling of a few member parties by some media is not a necessary part of it. (It will be, if this point shows up in literature in, say, a year's time. But let us not speculate if this will happen or not). --RJFF (talk) 18:23, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

I'd just like to remind all that Wikipedia is ideally edited by consensus, this means you should seek consent from your fellow editors to allow the changes you wish to keep on the page, not engage in trying to create a sort of pseudo democratic output. It seems to me that 3 or four editors favour the change to the lede, and similar numbers do not. Perhaps it would be best to try and condense what we are trying to convey with adding this contested designation to the lede? what does it tell us about the ECR group? does it inform their work? their policy? is it an ideology which is influencing the actions of the group as a whole? is it a designation used to assail the group? I still think that as it is a hotly contested label, it should be treated more roundly in the body, though I am open to arguments of why it needs prominence in the lede. I'm unconvinced by the POV arguments so far. Possibly it is convenience? Possibly it is for keeping the lede about the ECR as a group? Possibly it is a vital key to understanding the workings of the ECR in any reasonable manner. We seem to have too many arguments regarding wiki rules and not enough about the purpose of the contested label and where it should come in the article.Lacunae (talk) 19:39, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Very reasonable. We should not forget common sense and that producing informative content for readers should be the centre of article work, not WP:Wikilawyering. The current parliamentary term has just begun. I do not think that there is any evidence yet that ECR's political position has shifted following the accession of DF and PS (or other parties). Therefore it is too early to assess if the admission of these parties will influence the development of ECR group as a whole or not. I propose to wait and see. Perhaps the ECR will shift to the right, perhaps there will be internal conflict over immigration policies or the like, perhaps none of this will happen. Only then we will know if the 2014 change of membership has significance for the group as a whole, and only then should it be reflected in the lead section. --RJFF (talk) 15:51, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Should we yet attribute Europarty membership to some of the members?[edit]

Particularly with respect to the ALDE, I'm doubtful SaS will remain within the ALDE party. And while Crowley is a member of FF, and FF is a member of the ALDE party, it's a stretch to say Crowley is therefore a member of the ALDE party, especially given their anger at his leaving the ALDE group. Gabrielthursday (talk) 06:01, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

Furthermore, I'm not sure that the Finns Party and the Danish People's Party are with MELD anymore. It's true that the MELD website still lists Terho of the Finns Party and Messerschmidt of the Danish People's Party as members in the MELD Board of Directors, but − and this is a big 'but' − the MELD website has hardly been updated at all after the election: the latest updates in the 'News' section are from April. This begs the question, whether MELD even exists anymore in anything more than name only. Edit: the website also has a Financial report for 2013 that was posted last month, but the document itself was signed in April. --Jaakko Sivonen (talk) 16:49, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
I think these are reasons why it might be better to return to the version of the page which referred to which EP groups the various ECR parties previously belonged to. It provides a genealogy to the ECR that is lacking with the current version and it avoids the uncertain attributions of party membership to some ECR members. Gabrielthursday (talk) 04:44, 26 October 2014 (UTC)
I think we shouldn't. As far as I am informed, MELD never formally had member parties, but only individual members. There is no reference for Danish People's Party and The Finns being MELD member parties, only Messerschmidt and Terho are listed as individual members on the MELD website. It is not verifiable that 6 ECR MEPs (i.e. all DF and PeruS MEPs) are affiliated with MELD, you would have to provide references for every single of them being individual members of MELD. Also Crowley's joining with ECR was expressly condemned by his party leadership and the party whip was withdrawn; to me it seems totally misleading to list Crowley as "affiliated with ALDE", as he unilaterally, against the wishes of his party decided to break ties with ALDE. I agree with Gabrielthursday that Sulík's switching from ALDE group to ECR might be a sign for SaS's upcoming change from ALDE party to AECR, and that (albeit still being a formal member) in fact SaS might not be affiliated with ALDE party any longer. Therefore this information in the lead is not really helpful, but—with regard to ALDE and MELD—rather misleading. --RJFF (talk) 11:48, 26 October 2014 (UTC)

POV and description in the lead[edit]

While there was a decision in 2014 not to use "far-right" in the lead, despite a large number of sources, that does not mean we can just say "centre-right" and pretend the far-right isn't there, obvious white-washing. This group is made up of both centre-right and far-right parties, both of which can be backed up by many excellent reliable sources. Just using one and not the other is rather blatant POV-pushing.Jeppiz (talk) 11:15, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

If there has been any new information on this discussion since the closed RFC please post it, otherwise I would suggest that the same response is likely.Lacunae (talk) 21:09, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
If I may remind you, the closer only stated there was no consensus one way or the other.Jeppiz (talk) 22:28, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Beatrix von Storch[edit]

Beatrix von Storch defected to the EFDD before she was expelled from the ECR. However the ECR page incorrectly claims that she was expelled. Please revise to reflect this fact.User:RoverTheBendInSussex (User talk:RoverTheBendInSussex) 02:22, 14 April 2016 (GMT)

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Reversal of my edit describing the type of Euroskepticism[edit]

My edit describing the type of Euroskepticism (soft) was reverted, without stating a reason in the summary. Why? Bettering the Wiki (talk) 11:49, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

Misrepresentation of referenced sources. None of them say "soft eurosceptic" or " soft euroscepticism".--Autospark (talk) 13:12, 20 February 2017 (UTC)
OK, I'll take that-next time, please state your reasons for reversion, when reverting a good faith edit. Bettering the Wiki (talk) 03:16, 21 February 2017 (UTC)

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