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Dutch politics primer just in time for the parliamentary elections


Whoa, I thought. It’s one thing to be intellectually aware that modern Dutch society is pretty calm about people having long-term relationships and raising families without the sanction of old-fashioned marriage. It’s another thing to see a rising center-right Catholic political leader using, as the acceptable storyline to explain a resignation, his desire to spend more time with his family by a woman to whom he isn’t married.

It’s these little moments of eye-opening difference that make PPK’s blog coverage of Dutch politics so fascinating to me.

Patrick Nielsen Hayden explains why the things I take for granted about Dutch politics may be absolutely fascinating to outsiders.

Or as Abi Sutherland explains in the posting that Nielsen Hayden responds to:

We’re in an election cycle here in the Netherlands, after the government fell (and fell hard) in February, and it’s like nothing you’ve seen in the English-speaking world.

We have a controversial figure who tries to make the entire conversation about himself. We have two major-party resignations on the same day, both to spend more time with their families. We have parties moving left and still picking up right-wing polling numbers, witness parties both religious and animal-rights, socialists, greens and populists.

And best of all, we have someone explaining it all in clear and accessible English.

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  1. Orangemaster says:

    It is fascinating because since the last cabinet fall, every day brings either a new scandal or a new resignation.

    And now the mayor of Amsterdam (already ex-mayor) is going to attempt to be the beacon in the storm.

    As far as anything in English-speaking countries, Canada and the US, both with different political systems, aren’t republics, so no cabinets falling, just scandals.

    The Dutch situation is also proof that talking like old maids leads nowhere in the end and that’s a good idea. That I am happy about.

  2. BM says:

    Canada is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy.
    The US is a republic.

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