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Debates Forum

  1. Standard member shavixmir
    Guppy poo
    21 Feb '10 04:42
    It had to happen. And not before time either.
    The Dutch government has imploded.
    Basically, in case you didn't hear, the PvdA (the Dutch Labour party... social democratic) pulled the plug over Afghanistan. The Dutch cabinet, consisting of the CDA (Christian capitalist party), the PvdA and the CU (small Christian party, morally to the right of the CDA, but economically to the left) agreed last year that they would remove their troops from Afghanistan in 2010.
    Then the NATO requested they stay on. The Christian parties wanted to discuss this, the PvdA did not. So the government, which had been dipping its toes in implosion since its creation three years ago, collapsed.

    All very well and so. I mean, Afghanistan has been discussed until the cows come home. American right-wingers believe we should remain over there chasing down freedom fighters and the rest of the world believe we shouldn't have gone in there at all. Truth be told; that's a different discussion for a different thread. Let's delve into Dutch politics and amuse ourselves...

    A quick summery of Dutch politics:
    Throughout the 20th century Dutch politics was divided into what is known as columns. The religious, the liberal (both morally as economically) and socialist column. This "Verzuiling" as it was called started in the 1840's and lasted right up until the 1970's. Sort of. Give or take a year, I'm doing this off by heart, so you'll have to forgive the details.
    basically this these political parties and their supporters didn't mingle with each other. You could say there were three distinct columns within Dutch society.

    Then from the 1970's onwards these three columns (one could say the discovery of gas in a part of the North of the Netherlands catalysed the entwining) decided it was more productive, politically and economically, to find a middle-ground.
    This was called "the polder-model". And it worked very well. Obviously left-wing extremists like myself and right-wing extremists were knocked to the periphery of the political debate, but a grand sense of stability prevailed. Not the most exciting of political set-ups, but certainly far more productive than say the dialectic situation in Britain in the 80's.

    As boring things go, politics did become dull. And along came Pim Fortuyn. Shouting and balling, but basically a VVD (economic and social liberal party) at heart, openly gay and very anti-immigrant. Within three months he managed to shake up Dutch politics and was shot as a thanks. Shot, I may add, by an enviromentalist nut-job, and not an immigrant.
    His party went on and did well in the elections and since then there's been a steady polarization of politics in the Netherlands.
    The cabinet with the dead Fortuyn's party in it didn't last long and collapsed. And since then there's been 3 other cabinets, all with the CDA as largest party.

    Now, a great-great-great grand-relative if Vincent van Gogh (you might know this painter from the fantastic song by Johanathan Richman) was a right-wing nut job and an artist. I don't believe anyone should be killed for their art or their politics, but he was murdered, brutally, by nut-job moslims.
    Naturally what followed was pandamonium in the whole post 9-11 scare-monger-situation.

    Part 2...
  2. Standard member shavixmir
    Guppy poo
    21 Feb '10 05:01
    Part 2...

    So a witch hunt was set up to catch the terrorist, alqaeda cell, responsible for this attrocity. Eventually and naturally, it turned out to be three nut-jobs and not a whole network of evil SPECTRE-like baddies from a James Bond movie who were responsible. Alas, it was too late for sanity to catch up with reality.

    Out popped Rita Verdonk and Geert Wilders.
    Rita, who I've had the unpleasant experience of meeting personally, and Geert were both in the VVD. Unlike the VVD, however, they are very anti-immigrant (anti-muslim, anti-refugee, anti-anything that's not Dutch, really). On the one hand their rhetoric is shocking. So much so that Geert is due in court for spreading hatred.
    On another hand, Rita's policies, when she was in charge of refugee affairs for the VVD, were so extreme that those policies are in court for breeching the UN declaration for the rights of children.
    And on another hand yet, a lot of Dutch people sympathise with their right-wing nut-job rhetoric. So much so that Geert Wilder's party is expected to become the second largest at a next election. An election which is now coming much sooner than expected.

    The Dutch have a saying though: The soup is never eaten as hot as it is served (which ranks just above: 'it sounds like a a pair of pliers hitting a pig' in logic and rationality). The SP (socialist party) was the second largest party at the last election and they failed to form a cabinet with the CDA. And some parties have, off hand, already excluded ever working with Geert Wilders.

    Obviously from where I stand nobody should ever work with the likes of Geert Wilders. Not only is most of his rhetoric counter-productive (like banning burkhas... of which 100 are worn in the Netherlands and there is no record of a crime ever being committed in the Netherlands by anyone wearing a burkha or the banning of women driving cars who wear headscarves), but some of it is just insanely mad: best burn half of the Koran.
    Now, don't get me wrong, I'm sure there are better things to do with most holy books rather than read them, but suggesting burning them isn't productive... no sirree, not productive at all.

    Other policies he suggests would mean the Netherlands would have to step out of various international obligations. Like the UN convention on human rights, international refugee obligations, etc. Not a realistic approach to politics, considering the rest of Europe will just bash the Netherlands, offer Antwerp as the main port, causing the Rotterdam port to threaten with its power and off-set the whole Dutch government from the start.

    All in all, a very turmoil and interesting situation here in Holland.

    My prediction for 2010?
    The faeces is gonna hit the fan in Den Haag this Summer.

    Hella yeah. Let the party begin.
  3. 21 Feb '10 06:54
    area of West Virginia: 24,078 sq miles

    area of Netherlands: 16,033 sq mi
  4. 21 Feb '10 06:55
    we'll swap ya.
  5. 21 Feb '10 06:55
    it's a great deal! 8000 sq mi bonus!
  6. 21 Feb '10 07:05
    It's going to be a long cabinet formation indeed, will top the 100 days easily. My prediction? A Purple 3 government.
  7. 21 Feb '10 07:09
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    it's a great deal! 8000 sq mi bonus!
    We have had bad experiences with swapping. Never should have traded New York!
  8. Standard member shavixmir
    Guppy poo
    21 Feb '10 09:46
    Nobody interested in Dutch politics, uh?
    Whodda thunk it?

    Let's up the odds on this little faecal spout that's on the brink of squirting...

    Geert Wilders lobbys for the Israeli embassy.
    He has close connections to extremist parties in Belgium and Germany (read: extremist facist parties).
    He may well become the next prime-minister of the Netherlands, europe's door to trade.

    Nobody like to expres a view on this?
    Anybody think this might have consequences for world politics?
    Bets on an assissination?
  9. 21 Feb '10 09:51
    Originally posted by shavixmir
    Nobody interested in Dutch politics, uh?
    Whodda thunk it?

    Let's up the odds on this little faecal spout that's on the brink of squirting...

    Geert Wilders lobbys for the Israeli embassy.
    He has close connections to extremist parties in Belgium and Germany (read: extremist facist parties).
    He may well become the next prime-minister of the Netherland ...[text shortened]... s?
    Anybody think this might have consequences for world politics?
    Bets on an assissination?
    It's very unlikely he will become the next prime minister. The biggest possibility is a minority CDA/VVD cabinet with Racist Party support.
  10. Standard member Scheel
    <blank>
    21 Feb '10 10:41
    Originally posted by shavixmir
    Nobody interested in Dutch politics, uh?
    Whodda thunk it?

    Let's up the odds on this little faecal spout that's on the brink of squirting...

    Geert Wilders lobbys for the Israeli embassy.
    He has close connections to extremist parties in Belgium and Germany (read: extremist facist parties).
    He may well become the next prime-minister of the Netherland ...[text shortened]... s?
    Anybody think this might have consequences for world politics?
    Bets on an assissination?
    Prefer not to bet on fatalities.

    Electing someone like Wilders must be a big disgrace for any country, let alone electing him to become prime-minister.

    But consequences are likely to be more quiet than you maybe envision.
    Austria have excelled in electing strange and vile creatures from their past, and yet the world continued. Most of the other EU countries have their own hate spewing right wing parties to deal with so I don't think any one would line up to ridicule the Dutch.

    The final dispute that brought the cabinet down seems more like an excuse than a real real difference that could not be overcome, we were talking of extending or not extending the presence in Afganistan for ½ year.
    Does the Conservative hope to form goverment with Wilders after the election ?
  11. 21 Feb '10 10:58
    Originally posted by shavixmir
    It had to happen. And not before time either.
    The Dutch government has imploded.
    Basically, in case you didn't hear, the PvdA (the Dutch Labour party... social democratic) pulled the plug over Afghanistan. The Dutch cabinet, consisting of the CDA (Christian capitalist party), the PvdA and the CU (small Christian party, morally to the right of the CDA, b ...[text shortened]... was pandamonium in the whole post 9-11 scare-monger-situation.

    Part 2...
    "Over there chasing down freedom fighters" ???
    Some freedom with the taliban ? unless you want your woman covered head to toe and stoned to death at your local football ground . On the grounds of when her husband decides he has had enough of her !!
  12. 21 Feb '10 11:03
    Originally posted by Scheel

    Does the Conservative hope to form goverment with Wilders after the election ?
    I doubt it. Balkenende has poor experiences with right wing loons in the first Balkenende government, and the Racist Party has even more incompetent idiots than those guys. If they do form a government with the Racist Party, it will be with the explicit intention of having the government fall quickly and decimate the Racist Party.
  13. Standard member shavixmir
    Guppy poo
    21 Feb '10 11:05
    Originally posted by Scheel
    Does the Conservative hope to form goverment with Wilders after the election ?
    I don't know about the Christian conservatives, but I'm pretty sure the VVD (economic conservative/liberal party) would. That wouldn't be enough for a majority though.
  14. Standard member shavixmir
    Guppy poo
    21 Feb '10 11:06
    Originally posted by phil3000
    "Over there chasing down freedom fighters" ???
    Some freedom with the taliban ? unless you want your woman covered head to toe and stoned to death at your local football ground . On the grounds of when her husband decides he has had enough of her !!
    What they're particular brand of freedom is, is of no concern to me. They're fighting an imperialist, invading force. Hence they're freedom fighters.
  15. Standard member Scheel
    <blank>
    21 Feb '10 11:08
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    I doubt it. Balkenende has poor experiences with right wing loons in the first Balkenende government, and the Racist Party has even more incompetent idiots than those guys. If they do form a government with the Racist Party, it will be with the explicit intention of having the government fall quickly and decimate the Racist Party.
    And the PvdA (assume these are the Social Democrats), what do they hope to achieve at the next election ?