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


What Government?

Way way back in July, I may have mentioned something about the collapse of the Dutch government. Well, they finally got around to hosting their elections this week with an outcome that's no more certain than some recent U.S. elections.

At the moment, Europe basically has the same problem we do - a largely divided electorate. I mean, how long did it take for <tony voice>Aaangerlaaah</tony voice> to grab hold of power in Germany? If you even remotely cared about Italian politics, you'd know that their latest elections were a far cry from decisive. Tony Blair seems to be refusing to step down, but "The Economist" has been predicting his demise since the summer. France is still a question mark, but we all know they have issues.

The outcome of the Dutch elections, from what I can decipher of the labyrinth of acronyms, seems no better. The right-wing Christian Democrats seems to have held on to the "most" (not majority) seats in the 150 person parliament. However, the closest party to them ideology-wise did not win enough seats to form a majority coalition. The options: cozy up to extreme nutters on the farther right, or reach across the political divide to the socialists, who increased their standing from nine to a whopping 26 seats.

What to do? What to do?

Local papers are predicting a "long and difficult process" to form the government and may result in some kind of weird minority rule, which hardly sounds like representative democracy to me. The fact that extremists on both sides picked up seats won't make the process any easier.

The only thing we know for sure is that I don't have to learn to pronounce the name of a new prime minister.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmm, if anything a parliamentary system that allows representation of different views through different parties is much more "representative democracy" than the US system where the idiologies of one party can more easily dominate and fail to represent the diverse views of a diverse country...

7:05 PM GMT+1


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