Another Election

pancakesThere is an election coming up next week in the Netherlands, and not to be outdone by America, US, or France, we have our own nationalist party with our own populist politician. He has permanently blond hair with the help of chemicals, and a foreign-born wife. We have a form of proportional representation here which results in multiple parties standing in each election, and most often a coalition government. Lately it’s been a centre-right coalition.

I can’t vote, as I’m not a Dutch citizen, but I’ve been watching the news and talking to Dutch friends about the election. And then I came across this image that compares the parties to pancake recipes.

dutch election

Here’s my translation;

How do you make pancakes?

  • VVD: (centre right, leader of coalition) Figure that out for yourself
  • PvdA: (labour party) You make pancakes together
  • CDA: (Christian Democrats) You make pancakes the same way you always have
  • PVV: (Nationalist) Go back to your own land if you don’t know that
  • D66: (liberal) everyone can learn to make pancakes
  • SP: (socialists) with a rotation
  • GroenLinks: (greens) using wind energy
  • Partij voor de Dieren: (animal rights party) with soya milk
  • 50Plus: (pensioners interests) with home help
  • SGP: (calvinist) with God’s help
  • ChristenUnie: also with God’s help
  • DENK: (migrant’s interests) Pancakes are racist
  • Artikel 1: Pancakes are colonialist
  • Pirate party: No-one can know how you cook pancakes
  • GeenPeil: We’ll take a referendum on this
  • Nieuwe Wegen: (new, left wing party) Wij bakken ze heel anders
  • Non Voters: ….

I guess non voters aren’t getting any pancakes.


Images; Raspberry Pancake   |   Maria   |   CC NC-ND 2.0

Dutch Pancake Election  |  Bas Bellenan via Alwin Zandvoort



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.


Today was election day for more than 300 councils around the country.

Parties have had hoardings up for weeks, and there have been groups handing out leaflets all over town.

Even tonight when I left Amsterdam Central station a young man with “Groene Links” leaflets reminding everyone to go vote.

Polling booths were open from 7am to 9pm, and apparently turnout has been the same as last year.

No idea when we get the results.

The World Votes

There’s an election coming up on Tuesday in the US, there’s a lot of encouragement for Americans to go out and vote, including instructions on where to vote, and a song to encourage your five friends to vote.

But there’s also an opportunity for non-US people to vote. Obviously non-binding, completely no effect on actual US politics, but the results are telling.

It’s a blue blue world – only Macedonia, Lesotho and Albania favour McCain. Go to to cast your vote.

results of the world votingas of 31 October 2008

results of the world voting as of 31 October 2008