Election

A mannequin on top of a billboard holds a sign asking “How long do I have to sit around?”, it’s part of a campaign relating to high numbers of young people unemployed in the Netherlands. The site claims that the numbers of young unemployed is 121,000 which constitutes 1 in 10 of all people under 27.

Today there is an election, so there have been billboards covered with posters from all the parties around town. Some, like this one, have extra campaigns added to them drawing attention to specific issues.

Currently we have a centre – left coalition. But in a crisis there is very often a swing to the right, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens here.

The campaigning has been tough, with candidates of various parties making direct attacks on each other, including Job Cohen (former Amsterdam Mayor) who seems to be campaigning specifically against PVV, the anti-islamic party led by Geert Wilders. I admire him for trying – and his statesmanship was part of keeping Amsterdam calm after the murder of Theo van Gogh by a young Dutch-Moroccan guy – but I’m not sure that it’s a good platform, and the reaction I’m hearing from Dutch friends is that they don’t think Cohen makes a good politician. (The Amsterdam Mayoralty is a royal appointment so not a political post in that sense).

Usually with Dutch elections there is a gap of a week or so between the results of the election and the formation of a stable coalition. Lets see how long it takes this time.

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