Thursday, 16 March 2017

Dutch elections

After much anticipation (I'm not sure why, as I really don't fully understand British politics, let alone Dutch) it seems that the election results here are in.  If I understand it correctly, there are still a few more to come, but the outcome is pretty much set in stone.  VVD (Conservative) has won, so Mark Rutte will remain as Prime Minister.  PVV (Freedom Party) has come second.  Although I think that has still to be confirmed.  So, will Mark Rutte and the controversial Geert Wilders agree to form a coalition and share their toys or not?  I understand 'not' is the answer to that, but only time will tell, I guess.
 Forgive me if I make mistakes, but how I understand it, there is no complete winner.  Mark Rutte won, thats for sure, but in the Netherlands, government is always formed as a coaltion.  So Rutte will have to make up the seats he didn't win from other winning parties.  I believe normally, he would look to whoever came in second place, but that isn't looking likely.  So, as a dumb Brit, I can only ascertain that nothing really will change.  Ok, maybe the parties that form the coalition will be shaken up a bit, perhaps a few changes, but that we as mere citizens/residents won't notice any change.  Well, I'm not completely dumb, but to claim I understand it all would be a massive lie, as I don't.  But I have been watching with interest.  More curiosity than anything.  Yes, I live here so it affects me.  But I do fully agree that I shouldn't have a vote.  I'm not a Dutch citizen, so why should I.  I was curious after Brexit and Trump to see how this country would vote, whether they'd follow suit or not.  My one true observation of it all is that the pictures of Rutte in todays news look happier than that of Nigel Farage being offered free beer (hypothetically speaking, of course)!  Is that even possible?!  Wilders looks kind of happy too actually - me finks somebody has put something in their liquorice!

Brexit, of course is huge to me as it will affect me.  I'm in no panic about it, as that will serve no purpose.  My life hasn't changed in any way.  I expect it will at some point.  I may be faced with the choice of integrating and becoming Dutch or going back to the UK.  But pondering about it won't achieve anything, so I shall just wait and see what transpires and how it will affect expats like me.  I was curious how Dutchies would vote though.  Now my curiosity is over.  No Nexit.  I guess that simplifies things for people like me, but I'm indifferent about it anyway.  Well, not completely.  I do have an opinion, but don't wish to share it with the world.  Todays results don't seem to imply that I will be forced into wearing clogs though.  I don't think that would be the case if another party had won either, but who knows?!  Actually, not many Dutch wear clogs, so that's unlikely.  Now I've burst everyones bubble, haven't I?!

Theo went to vote yesterday.  I know who he voted for.  Had I been allowed to vote, I would probably have voted the same, but I'm not too bothered.  That sounds bad but I truly don't consider I have the right to vote here.  It isn't that I'm not interested.  Anyway, whilst at the polling station he bumped into his Dad, a neighbour and an old friend.  All three quizzed him on why I wasn't voting!  Well, that in itself must show I'm integrated!  Well, perhaps not integrated as such.  My Dutch is lacking somewhat, but I am now accepted.  (Not that I wasn't ever accepted.  In my early weeks/months living over here, whenever meeting anyone new or bumping into a neighbour, I'd be asked how I was liking this country - like I was on holiday!  Now that has stopped, and apart from the lingo, I'm almost one of them - can't fake my height I'm afraid, although platform shoes help a little, but I can ride a bicycle!)  Those who know me, or even us, automatically assume I have the same rights that they do.  It made me feel all warm inside!  Doesn't mean I'm going to start eating salty liquorice though!
Dutch flag

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