News - September 5, 2012

Dutch Elections

As a foreigner from a democratic developing country with little common sense of politics, I'm overwhelmingly impressed by the approaching Dutch parliamentary elections.

The perfect place for pranks
But I'm not going to eulogize the Dutch polder model, especially given my experience as a dabbler in Dutch politics last year. I'm just amazed by some funny episodes during the campaign.

Eredivisie match review?
One day last week I turned on TV and saw rows of the club-symbol-like icons rolling on the screen behind the anchorman. Had it not shortly switched to the interview with Geert Wilders, I might have still thought it was the weekly review of Eredivisie, the Dutch Premier League. It's said up to 20 parties are vying for 150 seats in the Dutch Low House. I was wondering: how many Dutch can enumerate all those 20 symbols?
Voting compass
Dutch love efficiency. For the election, of course they have found a shortcut to help voters go through the jungle of parties. They've created several voting tools for political preference identification. Out of curiosity, I chose a famous one to test myself. Within 10 minutes I got the result: ‘you agree most with 50Plus'. If I were Dutch, should I vote them based on this result, or do more other tests? Thankfully I was born in a one-party country, so now my life is free from such troubles with choice.
Poster jokes
All parties hang their posters on the election billboard. It turned out to be an ideal prank platform: there can you find a woman with a goatee, or a man with panda eyes and so forth. But I don't dare join the graffiti because of my fear of those voluntary poster hangers who take this job as their life. I prefer to be a bystander to appreciate such Dutch arts for free.
Anyway I don't care about the election result, it won't change our life: the politicians will continue their polder model, and I will continue to eat my polderbrood.
Vid of the week:
A poster pasting guide