Today March 15 2017 is Election Day in Holland. It really should be a bank holiday, but unfortunately it’s not. We have taken this democratic freedom for granted too long. The freedom to vote is something to celebrate.
We haven’t been to the polls lately (apart from a ridiculous Ukraine referendum). It’s been a while since a Dutch government made it till the end of its 4 year term. Coalition governments (as result of our proportional representation) used to create regular early break-ups. But in times of crisis, like the financial one we just survived, politicians didn’t push it, even though the liberals had to replace ministers due to their failure to be transparent and rule their ministry.
So, today is Election Day. The Dutch can choose between 28 (yes, twenty eight) parties. Half of them are currently already in parliament. The other half are breakups from either left or right wing parties, or just wannabees. Maybe 1 or 2 of these newcomers might score just one seat in the new parliament. The largest party probably will score max 30 seats out of 150. So a coalition of at least 4 parties is the next nightmare coalition scenario. But, hey, we are used to it in this country.
So, who will become the biggest party and can start building a new government? I’ve been tempted to vote strategically in the past and help a certain party to help keep others out of government. But I never gave in and while others did it last time in 2012, they later realised that either of the two they didn’t want in government, in fact decided to join and form a new government (liberals and socialists). So, my advice: vote for the party you trust. The one that talks sense, is reliable, decent and willing to build this country. Not throw mud and scold others. As multi-party coalitions will have to be build anyway, it makes it easier today to vote according to your own flavour.