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Old Apr. 26, 2012, 02:46 PM   #1
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Default On politics

Specifically, Dutch politics.

Our government collapsed last saturday. The three governing parties have been in conclave over the past seven weeks to reach an agreement on extensive budget cuts in response to deteriorating economic circumstances.

Specifically, the government consisted of parties VVD (right-wing liberals) and CDA (confessionals), receiving toleration-support from a third non-government party, the PVV (anti-immigration). The three parties had 76 seats out of 150 in the second chamber of the Dutch parliament, a very small majority.

The PVV, led by mr. Geert Wilders (of whom some of you may have already heard), has long been seen as a major liability in the collaboration. The PVV has repeatedly demonstrated itself to be worthy of being considered the enfant terrible of Dutch politics, attempting to pass ridiculous bills, insisting on arbitrary protocol (which is usually ignored for the sake of expediency) as a form of protest, and at one point even going so far as to literally walk out of a general meeting simply because of the fact that the issue at hand was already set for a governmental majority and the issue was not really open to debate.


Anyway. Saturday, after seven weeks spent, according to other parties, in constant agreement over the impending package of measures, the PVV decided to drop out of the negotiations and withdraw in full its support for the government, thereby causing the government's forced resignation and early elections, now scheduled to be in september.


The issue at hand, however, is that the newly-established European commission for stability and growth is expecting the Dutch government's preliminary budget for 2013 in 5 days, which is set to have to fit rather strict terms for fear of the EU issuing a fine. Also, Standard & Poor's is threatening to revoke Dutch AAA credit status, which is all causing something of a panic on the stock market, all pretty bad for the economy.


The evaluatory debate on the governmental crisis took place last tuesday.

Today, the remaining government parties, being VVD and CDA, have managed to gather three other parties for a new budget agreement: ChristenUnie (even more confessionals), GroenLinks (eco-socialists) and D66 (liberal democrats), each good for 10 seats, resulting in a total majority of 77 seats. They also receive support from the SGP (religious conservatives), but that's only 2 seats.

I'm not watching the debate at the moment (today's budget debate was postponed to start 2 hours ago), but an interesting bit is that the PvdA (labour party) was blowing their nose at the government last tuesday for having their own full budget already calculated, which they would be imminently gathering majority support for. Apparently, they were not invited for today's talks with mr. de Jager, treasury minister. They were pretty pissed.




So why is this interesting? Well, consider the following.


- The PVV claimed that they dropped support because budget cuts would be mostly targeting the elderly, and intensified due to a notion of sycophantism towards the EU. Recent polls have revealed a 25% drop in political support for the PVV, and I read a press ditty about what is basically a trade union but for pensioners declaring that they think Geert Wilders is a jackass.

- It took 7 weeks for the government to come up with a full budget for 2013. It took 2 days for the government to come up with one which is actually quite a bit different. Note that the government has kept complete radio silence during the past 7 weeks - all parliamental questions on the subject were dodged, and all refused to speak to the media.

- The PvdA has recently (a few months ago) acquired a new political leader after the last one resigned as a result of quite a lackluster performance. In an attempt to profile himself in the current pre-election environment, he has in fact forced himself out of what has been the most important political decision for the foreseeable future, and according to reports is spending most of the current debate complaining about how he was kept out of the loop.

- ChristenUnie, D66 and GroenLinks have made a masterstroke. By jumping on the chance to get the job done, they've forced the government to severely adjust its scope for budget cuts, causing quite a few political wounds, and at the same time have demonstrated their capability of being a responsible government partner, an attitude they must be known to posess if they want to be able to get into any coalition. They're small parties, but this display may well even the playing field with the SP (socialist party), a party of similar size, which has actually been leading the polls over the past few weeks, and was getting away from them quite drastically. Meanwhile, VVD chamber spokesman Stef Blok was heard shamefully admitting that the cuts would be increasing costs for independent businesses.



Yes, this is shaping up to be a very interesting campaign.
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Old Apr. 26, 2012, 02:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: On politics

DUTCH politics?
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Old Apr. 26, 2012, 04:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: On politics

The Dutch have politics now?

(But seriously, that was a very interesting read. Thank you for the brief explanations of each party for us ignorant Americans, too.)
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Old Apr. 26, 2012, 04:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: On politics

I love it when governments collapse

I have an intellectual boner right now



also big deal the US got downgraded like a year ago and we're still pretending everything is exactly the same
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Old Apr. 26, 2012, 04:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: On politics

now that i read it (DUTCH politics?!?!)

yes this is pretty interesting. it seems the more things change the more things stay the same; change, in this case, being simply the difference between america and european nations

i wonder what americas culture would be like if we were forced to share the same land mass with a dozen different nations, each of which tried to get us to follow their rules
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Old Apr. 26, 2012, 04:51 PM   #6
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Default Re: On politics

I've just been watching the second term of the debate, it's basically over, they're voting on some stuff right now, but that's all a formality.

PvdA and SP are piiiiiiissed. It looks like they were basically gambling on government-initiated negotiations to fail, upon which they would jump onto center stage with their already prepared budget propositions.

Now that there's an accord after all they end up looking like a bunch of losers. They're nitpicking in the margins and about formalities.

Also, they were pretty much backstabbed by GroenLinks, who are supposed to be their left-wing opposition colleagues and instead went with the current accord rather than sitting it out with them (which would have assured them success).




Tom isn't that what the US already is.
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Old Apr. 26, 2012, 05:19 PM   #7
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Default Re: On politics

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Tom isn't that what the US already is.
Actually basically. Except we claim to be 'states' in a 'nation' instead of 'nations' in a 'union'. It amounts to the same, minus having the same face for the world.
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Old Apr. 26, 2012, 05:49 PM   #8
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Default Re: On politics

If there's something we don't tend to have a problem with it's regional issues.
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Old Apr. 26, 2012, 07:37 PM   #9
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Default Re: On politics

And we have a single, unified military and other such nation-based more-unified things. Pros and cons on both.
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Old Apr. 27, 2012, 05:21 AM   #10
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Default Re: On politics

I thought we had too many, but man, you guys have way too many parties to form a realistic government
and so many acronyms, by now they all just look like band names
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Old Apr. 27, 2012, 05:46 AM   #11
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Default Re: On politics

So basically the Netherlands are Mad Max now?
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Old Apr. 27, 2012, 06:59 AM   #12
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Default Re: On politics

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Originally Posted by ifm2181 View Post
I thought we had too many, but man, you guys have way too many parties to form a realistic government
and so many acronyms, by now they all just look like band names
Something you'll note is that Dutch politicians have become exceedingly skilled at compromise. That means they're capable of coming up with a workable situation eventually (don't forget, the world record for governmental formation is in the hands of the Belgians, and we don't even get close), and it often goes pretty quickly.

The big drawback is that compromise often also means moderate policies, which often generates a rather gray-hued policy as far as our national government is concerned. This results in desillusion and an inability to motivate the populace.

I think that the advent of the PVV, which is basically a populist party, from establishment to 25% of the vote in about five years is a good reflection of this, but the fact that they've been forced to keep their heads down for fear of damaging their precarious relationship with the government over the past 18 months has severely damaged their electorate, with, as stated, the rumored 25% drop in votes.

I'll let you know what happens, the latest polls should be coming in by the end of the day.
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Old Apr. 28, 2012, 12:45 PM   #13
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Default Re: On politics

So the latest polls are in.

PvdA loses 5 seats, going from 24 to 19. SP continues to rise with a gain of 1 seat, now at 31, which ties them for largest party with VVD, who went from 33 to 31 seats.


Meanwhile 17% of PVV voters state they though it was a bad idea for the PVV to cut out of the discussion, which is accurate considering a drop from 20 to 17 seats over the past two weeks, leaving them at the lowest point since the last election (in which they ended at 24).


Everyone else wins. Biggest winner is GroenLinks, who go up 3 seats.


I was speaking to a GroenLinks party member yesterday, he was pretty pleased with himself (I said 'hey they did a pretty good job in parliament yesterday' and he said 'I know thanks!' and I was lol wut).



BTW, I wonder if you fatheads are clever enough to have deduced for which party I'm voting yet.
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Old Apr. 28, 2012, 03:04 PM   #14
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Default Re: On politics

the hippie one
which I assume is groenlinks
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Old Apr. 28, 2012, 03:09 PM   #15
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Default Re: On politics

Yes they are the hippie party and no I do not vote for them.
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Old Apr. 28, 2012, 03:12 PM   #16
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Default Re: On politics

man your country is gonna be screwed when they stop giving weed to tourists
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Old Apr. 28, 2012, 03:15 PM   #17
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Default Re: On politics

why



Also the intention is not to stop selling drugs to tourists but to stop selling drugs to Germans and Belgians who pop over the border for a huff.
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