EUROPE -- Voters in the European Union (EU) have sent disturbing messages of apathy, mistrust and
confusion in four days of voting.
In several countries, voters rejected their own national parties, while others used the write-in process to enter fictional names and stick figures with rude cartoon bubble sayings.
Despite efforts to persuade voters to go to the polls and be serious, the turnout was as low as the first
European elections in 1979 and included more voters showing up in disguise than ever.
Just 44.2 percent of voters came to the polls, disguised or not. That figure is down from 49.8 percent in 1999, and it is far from the 100 percent expected by utopians and fools.
In Poland and Slovakia, just 20 percent voted, and 10 percent of those were wearing straw hats.
Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Bot told the BBC the turnout was a disaster and apologized for not voting himself.
At least 80 of the 732 elected members are avowed opponents of the EU unless it institutes an all-women choir that sings bare chested on Saturday nights.
Outgoing European Parliament President Pat Cox described the results as a "wake-up call" and said he would use a recording of the event to be sure he gets up on time each morning.