It’s time to vote in the new Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) for the next 5 years! Voting takes place across Europe between today and the 25th of May, depending on which country you’re in (the UK for example have already voted, see below to find out when your country is voting).
Since these are European elections, it’s worth taking a bit of time to examine your candidates’ EU-wide election policies (not just their local ones). After all, these are the policies your elected representative will spend most of their time working and voting on.
So how do you do that? First, you need to know the European Parliament is divided according to pan-European political parties made up of national political parties in alliance with each other. Parties of parties, if you get what I mean.
Next, you’ll need to know what national political party the candidates you are considering voting for are in, so that you can check what European parties your local candidates’ national parties sit in
Once you’ve done that, go and find out what the main European parties’ policies are. Chances are your main MEP candidates will be aligned to one of these big parties (and if they’re not, they’ll certainly have to work with them to get anywhere). Sadly, the European Pirate Party isn’t a big contender in this year’s European elections…though if you have any of their candidates running near you you may want to check them out as well. 
I’ll be voting for my local ALDE (Alliance of European Liberals and Democrats) party representative in the elections. Why? I love their manifesto and firmly believe they’re the only ones with a credible plan for Europe’s future. Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE leader) was fantastic in the EU presidential candidates debates and I’m very much behind his ideas about completing the EU’s single market as fast as possible to boost jobs and growth in Europe. 
You should of course vote for who you want to vote for, but before going to vote, please take a moment to read the manifestos of the biggest pan-EU parties. Yes, the European Union is more complicated than national politics, but it’s not too hard to dig a bit deeper to find out what major policies your local candidates are aligned with.
You can find out what day your country is voting here.
I really hope you’re voting, because if not Voteman will be angry (video below, NSFW):