PvdA in hot water

The PvdA is in hot waters after the elections and after their decition to take part in the new Government with the CDA and CU. Part of the problem is the SP and the other part are the overrated expectation of the party members and the public.

The public (the voters) expect instant change and expect that any ellection promise will be filled in. The PvdA is part of a coalition and that means that vou always get what you want. The SP is doing well in this situation, they walked out of the negotiation to take part in the government, they can bash the PvdA about the promises they make during the elections and get away with their support of Geert Wilders around the double nationality issue.

The PvdA party members want Bos to either to drop his function of partyleader or get out of the government. I think he should stay where he is and get to work. The party members should focus on how to win back the voters and shut up.

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Marijnissen makes a U-Turn

One month after the discussion in Dutch parliament about the double nationality of members of the Dutch Government, Jan Marijnissen of the SP makes an U-Turn. In the discussion in Dutch Parliament he didn’t agree with the remarks made and questions raised by the party of Geert Wilders. Now he says he thinks the members of the Government with a double nationality should drop their second nationality but that he doesn’t questions the loyalty of the persons in question. He actually agrees with Geert Wilders now.
Why didn’t he made the remark earlier? Because he didn’t want to be seen agreeing with Geert Wilders in Parliament. This shows two things:

  1. Open discussions are not possible in Dutch Parliament because certain parties are actively being ignored and silenced,
  2. Dutch parliament is still afraid of addressing the sensitive questions around immigration and integration.

Dutch Elections House of Lords”: SP biggest winner

Again the SP is the biggest winner in a Dutch election. This time the election for the provincial government who elect the first chamber (= house of lords). The leader of the SP, Jan Marijnissen, is almost as popular as Pim Fortuin is his days. His message is as populist and as conservative even when he is leading a Socialistic Party.

The question is: when is the man is the going to deliver? He walked out of negotiations for a role in the new government (he says they others didn’t want him but that is very questionable).
I think he is running the risk that in four years time the people are going to say, we voted for you but you didn’t do anything, and his popularity is so massive that nobody notices and sees the number two three and four in line.

Double Nationality

The first commotion has started around the new Government. Not that somebody hasn’t paid his or her taxes or done something criminal. No, it’s about having a double nationality or having two passports.
Two of the new members of the Government have a Dutch passport but also have a Moroccan and Turkish passport. The question is: can somebody in Government or Parliament have a non-Dutch nationality or can he or she have two nationalities?

I have no problem with people having two nationalities. In my work nationality is not an issue and in my day to day business nationality is also not an issue. But I am not into politics and politics is per definition local, regional and country bound. It is not like Tony Blair is going to expand the business of the Labour Party to Dutch market or apply for the position of head of the Dutch Socialistic Party and go into Dutch politics. That is not the nature of the business.
That doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t vote for somebody with a double nationality. As long as I knew where that person’s first priority lies and that the second nationality couldn’t compromise him or her. And that is where I think the problem lies. Not all countries are letting their ex citizens go that easily.

Somebody of Moroccan decent can’t help having that nationality because according the Moroccan government you are automatically a Moroccan if one of you parents is Moroccan and even if you were born somewhere outside Morocco. Even if you wanted hand in your Moroccan citizenship and passport, you cannot do that. Once a Moroccan – always a Moroccan.
That is bullshit of course.

I don’t know how easy it is to denounce your Turkish citizenship but it is a well known fact that the Turkish government is keeping a close eye on all its people in foreign countries. There where Turkey is in a bad press, Turks in those countries are influenced and pressure is applied to correct that. Think about the killing of the Armenian’s by the Turks in the First World War and whether that was a genocide Yes or No. A lot of Dutch politicians of Turkish origin came under big pressure from Turkey when they followed the official line of their parties and stated that they thought it was genocide. As a result of the pressure some of those politicians changed their statement or weakened it. Just think what could happen if that politician were Foreign Affairs Minister.

There are of course Americans with a double nationality. They can denounce their US citizenship with the added bonus that they don’t have to pay US taxes anymore. But at least they don’t get bullied about their choice. Like Arnold Schwarzenegger you can become US citizen and become Governor, however you have to be US citizen and you cannot become President.

I think I would prefer our members of Parliament and Government to have a single nationality and single citizenship.

DRM and MP3 fees

In Europe we pay a tax on mp3 recorders, empty CD and DVD material to compensate for people who copy music without paying for it. Some Dutch politicians have come up with the idea of dumping that tax and instead of that taxing all people who have internet access.

My thought: this brings in more money, you only pay a tax once on a CD but you can pay monthly if you have an internet access contract. It’s all about the money!

Link: http://www.nu.nl/news/957277/52/PvdA_en_CDA_denken_na_over_heffing_internetabonnement.html

Is the Netherlands going back 20 years?

So, it looks like we are going to have a new government. A coalition consisting out of Christian Democrats (CDA), a Socialistic Party (PvdA) and a back socks Christian party (Christian Union). A rather strange mix which is not a true representation of the Dutch society.
What will probably change:

  • Shops closed on Sunday. Sunday should be a day of rest,
  • Abortion restricted (back to the knitting needle),
  • Euthanasia restricted,
  • Increase of the high tax bracket,
  • Use of soft drugs not allowed anymore,

Yes, this is what the Dutch people asked for, NOT.

I have won (I think)

th_wouter-bos.jpg Wouter Bos, nobody will be send home. Everybody is welcome (I will be the next premier).

th_rita-verdonk.jpgRita Verdonk, I’m not reponsible anymore.

How to shoot in your own foot.

Yesterday our newly elected representatives in parliament tried to force the Minister for Integration and Immigration to change here policy. Objective is a general pardon for all immigrants who are still trying to get a permit to stay in the Netherlands since 2001.

In 2001 the rules for getting a permit became more strict. As a result some 29.000 people got into limbo because they could not show any papers or other means to be eligible for a permit. Many of these people have been granted a permit after review by the minister and many have gone back.

As we do not have a government at the moment, the minister is not allowed to make any big decision. She is only allowed to keep house and act according to the policy she followed before the elections. Part of that policy was the strict rules and no pardon.

The new parliament did not ask the minister to change her policy (she would not be allowed to according to the rules) but asked her to hold all decisions regarding the granting or denial of a permit because they expect the next government to implement a general pardon.The minister did not agree and said that would be a change of policy.

As the majority of parliament agreed with the proposal, the government (keeping shop) will have to indicate what they are going to do. If this say no to the proposal, the minister could be send away. That would not help very much because she is only keeping shop and it is very doubtful whether a replacement would agree. A compromise is also very unlikely as both parties who make up the government (CDA & VVD) are both against a pardon. The first of the two is in negotiations for a new government with the parties who want the general pardon. If they would compromise the VVD would probably step out of the government and nothing would happen. It would only frustrate the negotiations for a new government. So, every body looses.

Very clever Mr. Bos! Not only do you shoot yourself in the foot but also in the foot of Mr. Marijnissen.