News - February 11, 2011

Arnhem is a better place to be

Weekends in Wageningen are so boring that there should be a night bus to Arnhem.

That is the view expressed by participants during the election debate at the SSR-W student association. The debate was carried out on Wednesday at the student club by representatives from ten political parties. The only issue all of them could agree on was the night bus service. As for most of the other issues, it was obvious that more would be at stake than just provincial interests. The members of the Provincial Council elect the Senate, which will yield a lot of power, given the present minority cabinet. So it was a case of the minority of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and the Christian Democratic party (CDA) against the others. Did the debate influence the votes in the packed room?  That wasn't obvious.
Antoon Kanis, third year economy and policy student
'The winner of the debate was undoubtedly Bastiaan Meerburg of the VVD. Although he was often alone in stating his standpoint, he put up a good defence in that difficult position. I would vote for D66; that had been decided before the debate and I won't change that so easily. I based my vote on the propositions and the party programmes, but the party's ideals eventually determined the outcome. I am here this evening not to find out who to vote for since that had  already been decided.'
Jouke Dykstra, fourth year  student of environmental sciences
'Mies van Aar of Green Left was of course the best this evening. Well, she's also my house-mate and I am a member of Green Left myself. If I were to be more objective, things become tricky. I found the CDA just too dull. Because the CDA and the VVD often shared viewpoints which opposed those expressed by the other parties, the VVD put up a stronger show. But the other parties had very substantial rebuttals, of which I still consider those of Mies the best. I will vote by looking at the entire situation: with which party do my ideals have the best match? I also read the provincial election programme.'
Nick Huisman, first year biology student
'I have just turned 19 and can vote for the first time for the Provincial Council. A debate is useful for me and the young man from D66 was convincing. I may vote for him. At the same time, it's important who ends up in the Senate, and since the members of the Provincial Council will decide that by voting, I'll certainly consider it too when making my decision.'
The event drew to a rousing close when every student was invited to eat at Toine van Bergen's of the Van Bergen Group. He wants to prove that meals without meat can be delicious too. This Johnny-on-the-spot lives in Nijmegen, so do go if you have a valid public transport smart card.