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Elections in the Netherlands (again)

 
 
nimh
 
Reply Sat 18 Jan, 2003 09:01 pm
Hi y'all.

Regarding "able2know", one thing I currently know some about are the new parliamentary elections here in the Netherlands, that will take place next week.

Of course this is a small and rather insignificant country. Nevertheless, I was wondering whether anyone out there has at all followed any of the news from here the past year or so. The murder of would-be PM Pim Fortuyn and the subsequent electoral upset last year I think has attracted some international media interest. I doubt whether the same can be said about the rather quick downfall of the government that was voted in then and the new elections taking place now.

Two questions, thus, really. How much of what has happened here has 'gotten out' to the media / public awareness abroad (I suspect a big difference there between other countries in Europe and the US), how have they been interpreted, and do you in consequence have any opinions on the current state of affairs here? I'll be happy to answer any questions or offer my own take on the matter ;-))

no-itsme (again)

(and, this being my first post on able2know, herewith a shout out to little k who took the trouble to remind me about this place & invite me in, and of course i hadn't forgotten you ;-) ... and to jespah who had included me in her initial mailing around about this place, and, err, i had been round to take a look, honest, but then, err ... well, anyway.)
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Type: Discussion • Score: 5 • Views: 26,998 • Replies: 296

 
pueo
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Jan, 2003 09:21 pm
i don't know much about the netherlands, but i'll be looking in to see what's going on.

welcome to a2k. if littlek referred you, you must be alright Very Happy
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chatoyant
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Jan, 2003 09:29 pm
no-itsme, hey it's you! Glad to see you here. Remember sunniegirl in Abuzz? I live with her (and I live alone).

I remember reading about the murder of Fortuyn, but I haven't kept up with what's happened since. I'll be checking in here hoping to learn more.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Jan, 2003 09:53 pm
yeh i remember sunniegirl! <smiles> so you really are all here Wink

what's happened since fortuyn's murder ... long story. i'll come in again tomorrow (or so) to see what Q's might have been posted about it in this thread, and then i'll answer in more detail.

for a first approximation of how volatile voter preferences have been, in any case, in the months before and after fortuyn's murder, last year's elections, the forming of the new government with the List Fortuyn, its fall after 5 months or so, and now the new election campaign, you can take a peek at the top graph on http://home.wanadoo.nl/anepiphany/opinie02.html - it's an overview of what the opinion polls have been saying, the numbers on the left are number of parliamentary seats, n=150.

Of course that's only a fragment of the story, a sideshow to the actual business of how the country was governed, which turned out to be a rather chaotic and acrimonious affair this past year. But: without further violence, thank god.

Considering the abbreviations, btw (also for the graph):
CDA = Christian Democratic Appeal
PvdA = Labour Party (social-democratic)
VVD = People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (conservative liberal, and yes, that definition makes sense in Europe)
LPF = List Pim Fortuyn (populist-liberal with a nationalist bend)
SP = Socialist Party (radical left)
Groen Links = Green Left

(the TK in the graph is for parliamentary elections, the GR for last year's local elections, and "val kabinet" for the government's dissolution).
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Jan, 2003 09:59 pm
<wink> hiya nimh! Where's Anastasia?

<Now, did I know Chat was sunniegirl?>

I haven't been following the news on the Netherlands at all..... But, here you are to inform us all!
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Jan, 2003 10:24 pm
I'd been following a bit, but lost track of who was really who in Holland - it's all those danged abbreviations, that never seem to man what i think they should. why don't they ever ask me?

It seems to me that the U.S. is really only following one topic, and it's only really following it as it applies to the U.S. It's a bit different in other countries.
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Diane
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Jan, 2003 10:24 pm
Hi nimh and welcome to a2k. Like littlek, I'd like to know what you've done with anastasia?

I haven't read anything of the Netherlands. With so much news devoted to the possible war with Iraq, the Netherlands have been overlooked.

It was very surprising to me to hear of violence in your country. I've always thought of the Netherlands as being one of the most civil and laid back countries in Europe.
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chatoyant
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Jan, 2003 11:30 pm
nimh, thanks for the information on The Netherlands. Like Diane, I always thought it was a quiet, peaceful country until I read about the murder of Fortuyn. The reading I did about that event gave me a glimpse of what politics are like there.

My grandfather's family migrated to the U.S. from The Netherlands, so I've always had a special place in my heart for that country.

I can't think of any specific questions to ask, but I'll be checking in to see what you have to say.
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Mapleleaf
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Jan, 2003 02:21 am
Hey, I'm ignorant...like to learn more.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Jan, 2003 02:54 am
Welcome, nimh, here!

Actually, of course, there are reports about this election in Europe, especially neoghbouring countries.

I wont to do any guess - was completely wrong the last time.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Jan, 2003 09:00 pm
click for reply ;-)
so ...

<waves to everybody who appeared on the thread, i'm kinda surprised and glad about the interest>

... using diane's post ("I've always thought of the Netherlands as being one of the most civil and laid back countries in Europe") as a quote, i started to write a reply -

keeping in mind that most of you won't have heard much of developments here i 'surrendered to the story' - or its historical backdrop, to be precise. It turned out as something distinctly more like an article than a forum post. It's pretty long.

To avoid needless possible annoyance on the forum moderators' part, i therefore decided to upload it instead. Anyone interested can read it @ http://home.wanadoo.nl/anepiphany/elections1.htm . I hope you are, and I'm curious about your take on it. In any case, I'm definitely way over my quota of time to spend on this forum for the night!

<waves goodbye & till a next evening>
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jan, 2003 05:05 pm
sending a note to another interested party and then back to read
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jan, 2003 05:14 pm
oh my gawd nimh! That's a pageful!
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jan, 2003 05:27 pm
littlek wrote:
oh my gawd nimh! That's a pageful!


err yeh. well it is, like, the condensed political history of the country <grins>. hope anyone's interested, otherwise i wrote it for nothing! ;-) (although it might make a good primer text for students of "dutch studies", perhaps, if such a thing exists anywhere Wink. anyway, i added paragraph titles to make it a bit clearer to read, and if you're specifically interested in the background to these latest elections (last year and this year), just skip the "pillarisation" one. and all the tasty details are in the "pim fortuyn" paragraph ;-))
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jan, 2003 05:39 pm
reading 'the page' - holy synthesis batman! good work - sent the link to the question and 'the page' to hamburger - we were talking about fortuyn on the phone last night.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jan, 2003 05:41 pm
There's nothing like a friend's effort and expertise to get me interested in regional history. Just ask my Slovak housemate.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jan, 2003 05:42 pm
(I'm reading it now. back soon.)
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jan, 2003 05:46 pm
Very true, l'k. Getting the on-the-ground perspective really makes things much more interesting. I'd been very lazily following this, but now i'm all hepped up again. I doooooooooooo love politics.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jan, 2003 05:51 pm
dang.

excellent.

I'd read some really good articles about Fortuyn -- one in the New Yorker comes to mind -- but this is really wonderful historical context. Seems to come down to this:

Quote:
So - what happened to "one of the most civil and laid back countries in Europe"? Well, as it turns out, you can't keep everybody happy all of the time, in the long run, and the bubble burst even before the economic crash of the past year. Because the perennial evasion of conflict had its costs.


This makes tons of sense.

I'm fascinated by the whole "separate but equal" aspect of the pillars -- what if a Catholic girl and Protestant boy happened to catch a glimpse of each other somewhere and fell in love? How rigid were the boundaries? Are there still echoes? (There must be...)
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jan, 2003 06:11 pm
ehBeth wrote:
reading 'the page' - holy synthesis batman! good work - sent the link to the question and 'the page' to hamburger - we were talking about fortuyn on the phone last night.

canadians talking on the phone about dutch politics? mentionings like that never cease to amaze me. i guess pim fortuyn (or "pimmetje", as his fans like to call him) did change things, eh. well, that partly answers my question about whether any of the news got abroad much.

how is (was) he perceived abroad? as part of the right-extremist wave in europe or just as a mainstream-populist (Ross Perot-style, say)? or was the emphasis more on the more colourful aspects of the story, say?

edited my post above, btw - wanted to make the read a little easier on y'all ;-)
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