frontpage hit counter

January 22

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Jan-5-2003

Now that the Holidays are out of the way, the Netherlands is gearing up for the new elections on Jan. 22. The Father and I watched the first debate the other day- in fact, we taped it, and watched it again last night. The cast included Balkenende, Zalm, Bos and Marijnissen. As we watched it, you couldn’t help but compare it to the debates of last year, during which large clouds of dust were seen to rise above the heads of the politicians as Fortuyn spoke.

What did I think of the debate ? Not much. First of all, when five people are speaking Dutch at the same time, I have trouble following anyone. The opposition ( as the opposition is wont to do ) kept throwing the fact that little was accomplished in the few months of the present coalition’s existence in the face of Zalm and Balkenende. As I don’t find swift decision making to be one of the strong points of the Netherlands- or the Dutch in general- I found that accusation to border on the ridiculous ( To give an example, I don’t believe that The Father’s family could all agree upon a location to go to for the Summer Vacation in as small a time span as three months). A lot of non- answers, pat answers were paraded by as well as some swerving off from the topic at hand to discuss something entirely different. In a discussion held after the debate, the conclusion seemed to be that Bos came out as ‘the best’. What do I know ? This is certainly something Marjan will go into on her blog.

Of course, ‘ norms and values ‘ came up again. I find that topic very interesting as I don’t really understand how a government can bring ‘ norms and values ‘ back into a society, what programs they can come up with, what laws and in particular what exactly is meant by what is now almost a cliche : ‘ norms and values ‘.

We will continue to watch the debates. They are indeed always interesting, but will continue to vote VVD.

Oh, and just a note : someone should tell Marijnissen that the legal currency for the Netherlands is the Euro. It has been for over a year now.

  1. Marjan Said,

    I must admit that I found that weird too, Marijnissen talking about guilders. But then again, does the average man in the street (his audience) think in euro’s? No they think in guilders so he may even have done it deliberately and scored a few extra points there.

  2. sue Said,

    I didn’t know that you went so far left as the SP ! Oh ! My ! But we shan’t behave as those two did, will we ? They certainly made no secret that they don’t see eye to eye. But then, their politics really are extremely opposite.

    I’ll have you know that Han’s bowling buddy, the ‘Barney’ to Han’s ‘Fred’, used to be very involved in the SP in Tilburg. Right up until the moment they had kids. I have a lovely tomato poster from them.

  3. Marjan Said,

    Well this year I might for the first time in national elections vote SP. But then again, I might stick with GroenLinks, they are a little bit more up my alley.

Add A Comment