On Nov. 23, 2005 I moved to The Hague from Washington, DC. This is my new Dutch life.


Oh Yeah, I Forgot to Mention That the Dutch Government Collapsed Last Week

Proving that the Dutch can land themselves a high-profile spot in international media every now and then, they opted this time for governmental collapse - you know instead of marrying two women.

In a nutshell, a small faction (3 people) of the ruling party's governing coalition resigned, leaving the PM without the necessary votes to enact legislation. See, in parliamentary systems the parties actually have to work together to get anything done. So, instead of sitting on their bums doing nothing until next May, the Prime Minister decided to dissolve the government and call early elections. It's all a little smoke-in-mirrors on a practical level b/c they still get to keep their jobs until November, though agreeing not to push anything controversial... or something. Also, the PM has to tender the government's resignation to the queen who technically decides the fate of the land. Of course the people advising her were the ones who couldn't keep it together. Makes sense. Sure.

For further reading, I found CNN's coverage to be the most thorough. That is to say, they actually mention that Rita Verdonk, the crazy immigration minister who refused to step down after revoking a member of parliament's passport, was the cause of the collapse. The passport disaster was the penultimate move in a long string of ass backwards policies designed to harass immigrants rather than just not invite them over in the first place.

Sorry I didn't mention this sooner. It's hard to care too much as can't do anything about it even though it nominally affects me as a tax-paying resident of this country. I'm in a political limbo land cultivating apathy at its finest.



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