Dutch elections 2017

Now Trump officially has been inaugurated as President of the United States, time has come to focus on the elections in the Netherlands. On the 15th of March the Dutch will choose their new Prime Minister for the coming four years. As an international, busy with uni and parties, it might be easy to forget about the local news. No worries, we are here to provide you with the ins and outs of Dutch politics. Because despite the fact you can’t vote, it’s of course important to have some basic knowledge on what keeps the country you’re living in busy!

Pressing questions of the day

Dutch politicians definitely agree on one thing: something needs to change. Just like the rest of the world, a big part of the Dutch society feels like problems are approaching us from all sides. Climate change, the refugee crisis, the threat of terror and polarisation in society are issues of the day which occupy the minds of so many. Every political party claims to have the right solution for these complex problems. From the populist right wing Freedom’s Party of Geert Wilders, to the extreme left wing Animal’s Party of Marianne Thieme: the Dutch political spectrum offers opinions in all corners!

geert-wilders
Geert Wilders of the Freedom’s Party: ”The EU leaves us no freedom to determine our own immigration and asylum laws. That’s why leaving the EU is necessary.”

 

Dutch elections following the American example

In the Netherlands you won’t find such an extreme bigmouth such as Donald Trump. However, our own populist Geert Wilders (Freedom’s Party) might show some resemblance … Instead of that you’ll usually find many politically correct ladies and gentlemen who’ve been in politics for some years already. For instance, Mark Rutte of the liberal VVD (who’s been our PM for  six years already) is normally seen as an intelligent and reasonable man. Even by the people who don’t share his political opinion. Still, it somehow seems that these elections follow the American example. Just this week Mark Rutte said that anyone who rejects the values of the Netherlands should leave: ‘’Act normal, or go away’’, were his exact words.

mark-rutte
Mark Rutte of the liberal VVD: ”Leadership does matter.”

The green alternative

On the left side of the debate is the young Jesse Klaver. This promising leader of Groenlinks, a party who describe themselves as ‘green, social and tolerant’, believes that it’s time for a change. The title of GroenLinks’ election programme even is ‘time for change’. Doesn’t this remind you of another promising American politician of a few years back, Barack Obama? Together with the other left-wing parties, such as the Social Party (SP) and the Labour Party (PvdA), the socialists vote for more tolerance and a humane solution to the refugee crisis.

jesse_klaver_congres_2012
Jesse Klaver of Groenlinks: ”I want to write history.”

So, eat your heart out future Minister President of the Netherlands! The 2017 elections are going to be more exciting than ever and the debates are going to be fiercer than ever before. It feels like we are standing on a turning point and that we’re going to take either the turn to the left or the right. So to the Dutch voters stands the tough job to choose either one side or another.

P.S. In case you haven’t seen this video yet, I couldn’t withhold it from you. It’s a warm welcoming word of the Netherlands to the new President of the USA, Donald Trump. And of course this video is accustomed to his rhetoric, so we’re sure Trump will get the message.

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