Thursday, June 29, 2006


Politiek Café
Originally uploaded by
Nic Name.
We´re living exciting times in the Netherlands. Yesterday evening the government discussed about the Ayaan Hirsi Ali issue until three in the morning. Today one of the parties in the cabinet coalition (D66) has announced that they will support the vote of no confidence to Minister of Intergration Rita Verdonk.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is Dutch (again). Her lawyer proved that the name Ali is in her family and therefore she was not lying because the Somali habit of using last names differs from the Dutch concept of names. In her letter attached to the minister´s letter to the parliament Ayaan Hirsi Ali apologised for misleading the minister.

If Verdonk gets a vote of no confidence, that would probably mean that the Dutch government is dissolved. As pointed out clearly by the leader of the Social Democrats yesterday, this is not only about Verdonk, it is the Prime Minister who has to carry a substantial amount of the responsibility of this incident.

The big discussion is now about the implications of this turnaround when it comes to the other asylum seeker decisions.

I have been learning a lot of Dutch words lately. Here are a few:
Turkije (Turkey), partij (party), slagroom (whipped cream), vlak (area), kunstenaar (artist), keuze/kiezen (choice, choose), talentontwikkeling (talent development), te hulpen (to help), twijfel (doubt), onderwerp (enterprise), bedoeling (meaning), achtergrond (background), samenleving (society).

1 comment:

Tommi Laitio said...

Well, there is still some slight reason for optimism when it comes to politics. Prime Minister Balkenende will hand the resignation of his cabinet to the Queen tomorrow (well, basically today) and this will probably be followed by early elections.

I think this is an excellent thing - even free from the issue itself. It shows that there are still consequences from hasty actions in positions of power.

Interesting to see what happens if the elections are this autumn. I would expect a highly polarised debate with CDA and VVD in an extremely unpleasant situation. I find it extremely interesting what position Verdonk will take and is given in the campaign of VVD. Even if most of the elite would be against her actions, she is still one of the most popular (and most hated at the same time) politicians in the country.

VVD's Rutte said today that he was angry to D66 for their actions. Angry for what? I think it is clear that if a party loses its trust to a partner in a coalition, that is the end of that coalition.