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General Election

Well, I've gone and done my civic duty and cast my vote in the General Election. As I hadn't decided yet which party to vote for, I did an online vote match this morning, only to find that the party whose programme seemed most closely aligned to my own ideas wasn't actually on the list...which means they probably failed the so-called 'kiesdrempel' (voting threshold, a fixed number of signatures any party is required to obtain before being allowed to participate). And so I defaulted to the name that was within easiest reach of the furthest the red-pencil-on-a-string would stretch to without me having to shift the ballot paper around, which I didn't want to do in case I gave an inkling of what I might have voted to people waiting in line behind me, because there was no curtain to the booth! I'm definitely going to put in a complaint about that, as I didn't feel my privacy was being protected.

Now we'll just have to wait several hours for the results, and several months before a new coalition government will be ready to begin work after the summer recess. If only our lot could take a leaf out of the UK 'How To Form A Coalition Government In Less Than A Week'-book!

And YAY! it looks like we're going to have another Where I Live Day! I can't believe the last time has been over 2 years ago. Check out wild_photos for the details.



( 8 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
Jun. 10th, 2010 09:48 am (UTC)
The Brits did do rather well with their coalition.

The end of the world predicted by Labour voters hasn't quite come about yet.
Jun. 10th, 2010 11:22 am (UTC)
This morning, with 95,5% of the votes counted, it appears the Netherlands have made a swing to the right, with the Liberals (comparable to the British Conservatives in that they also represent the business and moneyed segment of society) becoming the largest party, and shamefully, Geert Wilder's islamofobic party going from 9 to 24 seats in the House, thus representing the biggest growth.

So it looks like the stage is set for a government that will focus on getting the deficit down in the shortest possible time, by cutting expenditure on social security and creating more tax benefits for businesses and investors.

The end of the world? They didn't give a time scale, did they? The bromance has only been going on for a month; I expect it'll take a bit longer for any cracks to appear...if they ever do.
Jun. 10th, 2010 09:43 pm (UTC)
The bromance is lovely. They even look the same! They are young guys with modern ways.

Interestingly, the racist British National Party did very poorly in the election. I'm not sure how well it would have done under PR but I'm pretty sure its percentage of the vote was well down.

You'll have to excuse my total ignorance of continental European politics. All I know is that you're all being asked to bail out Greece and God knows who next. That communist parties get a lot more votes than anywhere else in the world. And though I'm sure you're all mostly moderates, fascism tends to rear its head quite readily. And you see my ignorance means I have to lump all of Europe in together!!
Jun. 11th, 2010 09:17 am (UTC)
And though I'm sure you're all mostly moderates, fascism tends to rear its head quite readily. And you see my ignorance means I have to lump all of Europe in together!!

No, no, no, no, no - that's quite a valid point you're making. If we look across our borders, we can see that the shift to the right seems to be endemic in the whole of Europe. Every electorate seems to be swayed more by national issues and concerns than by European ones...even though we do tend to think of Europe (and by that I mean, Western Europe) as a cultural entity, we don't really identify with Europe as a unified political body. On the contrary, we all resent Brussels and its dictates to varying degrees. Even here in the Netherlands, and we're the ones who came up with the idea in the first place!

I can't speak for other countries, but I think what we're seeing in The Netherlands now is the culmination of a process that started directly after the last war, when the churches started to lose their grip on the electorate, and the political landscape diversified enormously. Fascism/nationalism could gain no ground here during the Depression because people voted for the parties they traditionally felt they belonged to (Roman Catholics for the Roman Catholic Party, protestants for either one of the 3 protestant parties, business people for the Liberals and working class people voted Labour), after the war there was a proliferation of all kinds of splinter parties and cohesion was lost. There were about 30 parties vying for our votes in this week's election, and none of them have the luxury of a steady support base. Add to that the fact that voter turn-out has steadily declined over the years, and the chaos is complete. In the last few elections we've seen a large number of new parties coming out of nowhere, capturing whatever fancy of the day, promising to do away with the Old Politics, targeting their campaigns on a clearly defined segment of the electorate (pensioners, Internet users, animal lovers) and consequently being elected into Parliament with a relatively large number of voters behind them...and then getting wiped out in the next elections, because another new party has risen in the meantime and managed to steal them away. Personally I think that Geert Wilders's PVV, which contrary to what the foreign press seem to want to write is not an extreme right-wing party (which would be unconstitutional and therefore not allowed to participate in any local or general elections), even though they advocate a tightening of the immigration laws and a ban on the burqa, is just one such: here today, gone tomorrow, or the day after.

Right now, of course, we're in the middle of a worldwide crisis caused, among other things, by the banks. Rightly or wrongly, so far all christian-democrat or social-democrat governments that came up with the bail-out have been held accountable by the man in the street and have been replaced by Conservative or Liberal governments who promise a different approach. We'll have to wait and see until the next elections whether this different approach has paid off. With an electorate this fickle and impatient, I'm afraid no one party can be secure in its mandate these days.
Jun. 11th, 2010 11:55 am (UTC)
Makes me think how much I take relative political stability for granted!

(Me and my boys — 8 and 11 — love Top Gear too...)
Jun. 11th, 2010 12:10 pm (UTC)
We're certainly going through some interesting times (polically speaking)!

IMO, Top Gear is the most consistently entertaining show on television bar none, and I don't even care about cars, really. But Jezza, May and Hammond, whatever their respective ages, are just such boys it's hard not to fall completely under their spell.
Jun. 11th, 2010 08:52 pm (UTC)
I read an article about the appeal of Top Gear and it said that you wouldn't want to watch stupid guys acting stupid, or stupid guys acting smart, or even smart guys acting smart. But you would want to watch smart guys acting stupid which is what you get with Top Gear. I know that some (English) people on my FL hate Clarkson with a fiery passion but I find him very funny. I know May has a thing for toys and hasn't he done a series about old toys?
Jun. 11th, 2010 10:31 pm (UTC)
I know May has a thing for toys and hasn't he done a series about old toys?

He did; toys he remembered from his childhood...and then he went and blew up his sister's tree (doll) house!

Jezza's a boor but he's dead funny with it...I don't know why lorry drivers took such offense when he made that remark about them killing prostitutes, it was so obviously one of his embarrassingly bad jokes.
( 8 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )