Dutch government collapse over Afghan front

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by azuren82, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. azuren82

    azuren82 Berserk got banned...

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Messages:
    2,795
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Singapore, Singapore, Singapore
    Ratings:
    +25 / 0 / -0
    http://news.sg.msn.com/top-stories/article.aspx?cp-documentid=3890899

    Okay, so in a nutshell, this report is about the Dutch government going kaput and hence, an early election. All of that over clashes on whether the Dutch army in the Afghan front should be pulled out. I believe Tur will give a good insight on this issue since he should have knew the whole thing by now. And Geert "Mr anti-Islam" Wilders is having a heyday in talking crap for sure. :S
     
  2. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    30,512
    Likes Received:
    361
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Belgium
    Ratings:
    +383 / 0 / -0
    Heard about it on the radio... And I thought the Belgian government was already a big mess... Surely did't expect this to happen...
     
  3. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Messages:
    7,802
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    VDNH Station,Moscow
    Ratings:
    +97 / 0 / -0
    Are the Dutch actually fighting in Afghanistan or are they in secondary missions and assignments?
     
  4. azuren82

    azuren82 Berserk got banned...

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Messages:
    2,795
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Singapore, Singapore, Singapore
    Ratings:
    +25 / 0 / -0
    To be honest from what I've understand, this is the third time the Dutch government had been dissolved within the span like of only a few years. And I'm truly interested to see your explanation on why the Belgian government is a failure

    I think they're truly on the frontline so as to say. In fact if I'm right in remembering, the NATO forces pretty much served a wide variety of purposes in the Afghan front and Holland was also amongst the NATO. Not too sure about it though since this is just only a guess. Damn where is Tur when you need him?
     
  5. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,784
    Likes Received:
    162
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Not in Amsterdam :)
    Ratings:
    +189 / 0 / -0
    lol - can I talk about this? :D

    The last week (or two) was a mess. First, there was the Iraq report. The Dutch Gouvernment (that's three gouvernments ago) supported the War on Iraq concocted by the UK and the US. Back then, the decision was taken on "confidential but pressing" evidence, that couldn't be disclosed to the House of Commons (or the Senate for that matter). A lot of doubt has come to arise to the evidence since then - internationally.

    So, after a lot of pressure, the gouvernment agreed on having an independant investigation to the proceedings. They concluded that the war should not have been supported based on the Dutch constitution and international law, given the evidence, which has since come into the open. Now, the current gouvernment is made up of three parties; the main two parties are the social democratic PvdA and the Christian CDA. It is worth noting that the prime minister (Balkenende, CDA) now was also the prime minister back when the decisions were taken. PvdA strongly opposed the support on the War on Iraq. But, although PvdA was proven right in the end, CDA and its prime minister sort of vetoed a mea culpa or any consequences - since these would come at his expense. The gouvernment shuddered and twisted. But did not fall. This debate was last Monday.

    Now, this is the setting in which the debate on the Afghanistan mission took place. But I will have to roll back a bit. Back in September, a gouvernment summit explored the possibility to extend presence in Afghanistan (currently, the Dutch army is the leading nation in the Uruzgan province, which borders Kandahar and Helmand with a presence of about 1200-1500 men). It's not entirely clear what was decided there; CDA says that a continued presence in Uruzgan was an option, although not as the leading nation. PvdA says that has always been out of the question. Either way, a CDA minister reported to Rasmussen, the Secretary-General of the NATO, that Uruzgan was an option. Based on this, NATO sent an official request to the Dutch gouvernment specifying a new mission in Uruzgan.

    This goes completely against earlier decisions of the Gouvernment. The mission, which should have lasted 2 years, was already extended with an extra 2 years once before. That extension came with the promise that that was the last of it. Again it is worth of note that, although I believe PvdA voted for the first mission, they were strictly against the second, being an opposition party back when that decision was taken.

    What happened is that after a long string of grudges to and fro, especially after the Iraq report aftermath, PvdA - and their main man Bos (Min. Finance) - held their ground and stood firm on the earlier decision of leaving Uruzgan. This was unacceptable for the CDA, who "wanted to keep all options open". PvdA concluded that this meant they couldn't continue the coalition with CDA and broke off. All PvdA ministers issued their resignation letters. The fact that they did so is very notable, since there will be municipal elections in about 95% of the municipalities, in which PvdA stands to lose a lot of votes.

    On the mission in Uruzgan; the past 4 years has taxed the Dutch army beyond their normal reaches. It is out of the question that they can indeed hold on like this for much longer - the set transition period is somewhere between July and December. However, the Dutch army apparently did come a long way in winning acceptance with the population and building on a (semi) professional Afghan army. To move from Afghanistan and handing over to another nation would mean that quite a lot of this would be lost energy (and lives), or so a lot of experts say. Which means we still have a commitment to Uruzgan. But this set against the promise of leaving after 4 years - and the impossible work load for the Dutch army does make for a fair argument for both staying and leaving.



    As to the future... this is what I fear most. There probably will be elections in about 100 days or so - and there are 5 parties which stand to get about 20-25 of the available 150 seats in the House of Commons - CDA; PvdA; Geert Wilders' new PVV; LibDem VVD and Social Liberal D66. First of all, this means it will take at least 4 parties to gain a majority coalition to form a Gouvernment. Since stakes are high, the differences between parties will be quite notable compared to earlier elections. Finding consensus with a seat majority will be near impossible, even without PVV

    However, there is a real risk that PVV (Wilders) will come out as the largest party of The Netherlands. Traditionally, the largest party will deliver a Prime Minister which would be Wilders - although he would have to seek coalition with other parties to gouvern with; and since remote support for Wilders' ideals outside his own party is rare, he will probably fail. However, there is also a real risk of PVV joining a coalition; but not being the largest party. This would, of course, severely limit the impact the PVV will have. But still; I would fear the day PVV will take part in the gouvernment...

    Beyond that, I think other parties will take it upon them to keep PVV out of the gouvernment, in stead accepting a - probably very complicated - deal of some sort. However, since the background and ideals of these parties are quite far apart, I would wager a bet that they won't make it a full 4 years either. This would mean a succession of no less then 6 gouverments to break up.
     
  6. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Messages:
    7,802
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    VDNH Station,Moscow
    Ratings:
    +97 / 0 / -0
    Is it me or there's some kind of an image of "dissolution" in the European Union countries lately?
     
  7. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,784
    Likes Received:
    162
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Not in Amsterdam :)
    Ratings:
    +189 / 0 / -0
    I think gouvernmental dissolution is part of the European democracy. But I think these are relatively difficult times with the EU struggling to find a more permanent shape.
     
  8. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,784
    Likes Received:
    162
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Not in Amsterdam :)
    Ratings:
    +189 / 0 / -0
    Well, municipal elections have come and passed. PVV, Wilder's party entered in two out of about 400 municipalities up for election. Of course these represent two hot spots of his support, being two metropolitan cities (Almere; ~200.000 inhabitants and The Hague; ~500.000 inhabitants). In The Hague, PVV gained 8 out of 45 seats (second-largest party) and in Almere, they gained 9 out of 39 seats, making it the largest party there.

    National elections (for House of Representatives, gouvernment is formed indirectly from coalition) will be held on June 9th. And PVV has proven they have a solid base. It's going to be a very tense election period...
     
  9. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,784
    Likes Received:
    162
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Not in Amsterdam :)
    Ratings:
    +189 / 0 / -0
    soo... it's a bit over 100 days since the collape, meaning we had elections.

    For those curious, Wilders' PVV managed to capture 15,5% of the votes, making them the third-largest party of the country. He ended behind liberal VVD, 20,4% - and socio-democratic PvdA, good for 19,4%. Now, these are elections for the Second Chamber (House of Reps, Commons), from which traditionally a Gouvernment coalition arises. A lot of number crunching yields that PVV can only be part of one of the combinations (with VVD and Christian-democratic CDA), but this only yields a 1 seat majority (76 out of 150 total). Given the ubstable nature of PVV and, to some lesser extend, VVD as well, projections are that this won't work out. Yet, other combinations are pretty impossible as well. What will happen is anyone's guess.
     
  10. Running Wolf

    Running Wolf Join the Madness

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    Messages:
    6,485
    Likes Received:
    200
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Bittersweet Hell
    Ratings:
    +231 / 0 / -0
    What I heard on the news today, is that right parties won many votes compared to the last few elections.
    Is that true?


    Plus, Germany's government is failing as well, I dunno if you guys have heard:
    The president stepped back a week ago. After the minister of one of our states stepped back. And the coalition that "rules" atm does not really know what they're doing and everyone who voted them thinks: I'll never vote them again.
    We are a mess right now as well.
    Yay -.-
     
  11. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    4,907
    Likes Received:
    215
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    England
    Ratings:
    +225 / 0 / -0
    With GDP falling all over Europe, the next round of EU contribution negotiations should be entertaining. Has the EU recognised yet that they need to tighten their belt like member nations are having to?
     
  12. Ser Land

    Ser Land New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Messages:
    458
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Azores, Portugal
    Ratings:
    +6 / 0 / -0
    Economic instability brings in political instability.
     
  13. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,784
    Likes Received:
    162
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Not in Amsterdam :)
    Ratings:
    +189 / 0 / -0
    Definitely. Sort of...

    Compared to other European nations, The Netherlands doesn't have a right-wing tradition at all. However, people do seem to get going about this whole immigration and integration issue that's been going on. Personally, I hardly see any of it (and that's not because I live in some sort of upperclass area) - but it seems to bug people. The other reason is economic reform. Especially liberal, right winged VVD, who ended up being largest, issued a very ambitious economic reform agenda. And that's what people have put their trust in.


    I did hear about the President. I didn't know, however that Merkel was on thin ice as well - apart from the issues that arose from that Greek little problem. I'm not sure at all it'd be good for the EU or Eurozone to have further political instability in the economic heart. I rather thought an instable Belgium was bad enough. Elections are due this weekend in Belgium, btw.
     
  14. Running Wolf

    Running Wolf Join the Madness

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    Messages:
    6,485
    Likes Received:
    200
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Bittersweet Hell
    Ratings:
    +231 / 0 / -0
    Merkel is producing a whole lot of bullpoopie atm. Last term she was real good. But with the new coalition party by her side, everything goes downhill.
    If she's not careful we'll have elections sooner than she might like.
    For example:
    We need to save a little money, since giving huge amounts to greece, Opel, to the banks and I don't know what (money we, btw, don't have).
    So, of course we need to step a little shorter on some things.
    And oh how brilliant: -We skimp on the unemployed. (good idea yeah, let's treat the people in bad shape even worse, how social is that for a supposedly social state?)
    - we skimp on economy (and who'd then gonna give us all the money?)
    - and there was something else, that was as brilliant.
    The totally BEST idea however was that of the senator who stepped down:
    "We shouldn't spend so much money on education."
    That was the moment when I was ready to kill myself rather than accepting to be drowned by waves of dumbness. Luckily noone listened to him.
    Yet.
     
  15. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Messages:
    7,802
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    VDNH Station,Moscow
    Ratings:
    +97 / 0 / -0
    Don't know about the Dutch government but I hear the Belgian government is having some problems with the elections right now.
     
  16. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,784
    Likes Received:
    162
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Not in Amsterdam :)
    Ratings:
    +189 / 0 / -0
    Wellll... the federation of Belgium has a problem. There is a lot of struggle whether it should remain a federation at all. It seems a majority of the populace and politicians is actually in favour of a split-up (or, at least, more independance) but no one really seems to be able to agree on the terms. And there are some very strong words going to and fro.

    There are a lot of issues, but the focus point is Brussels and two municipalities on its south side. The controversy is named Brussel-Halle-Vilvoorde (BHV). Now, I don't know exactly the entire background - but both communities (Flanders, Wallonia) claim Halle and Vilvoorde and, subsequently, Brussels. Mainly, the Flemmish people claim Brussels, since Halle and Vilvoorde enclose Brussels in Flanders. The Walloons, too, claim the municipalities, in order to keep Brussels independant (which it is now).

    Interesting detail is that there is a sentence from the constitutional court which said that there could be no elections before there had been decided on the matter of BHV. According to some expert, this renders the current elections invalid.

    In the mean time, the Belgian economy is doing worse than average for its region. And there's no one really able to step up to the plate to do something about it, simply because all politicians are so fundamentally devided on other issues.
     
  17. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Messages:
    7,802
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    VDNH Station,Moscow
    Ratings:
    +97 / 0 / -0
    I would say "so why don't you guys just split up the country and become half part of France and half part of Netherlands and stick a very loose almost a non-existant border policy for just ex-Belgian citizens to visit Brussels whenever they want and keep Brussels kind of like Luxemburg.Semi-independent or something."
    But it looks much more complicated than all that.Is there actually a national consience?Do people proudly claim they are Belgian or do they take pride in "Flemish/Dutch" or "Waloon/French" national origin first?
     
  18. Running Wolf

    Running Wolf Join the Madness

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    Messages:
    6,485
    Likes Received:
    200
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Bittersweet Hell
    Ratings:
    +231 / 0 / -0
    I'd phrase the question in a different way: Is there economic necessitiy to keep Belgium as a whole. Or would it not matter if the Belgians just split and become even smaller countries?
    That sounds harsh, I know.
     
  19. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,784
    Likes Received:
    162
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Not in Amsterdam :)
    Ratings:
    +189 / 0 / -0
    @RW: ow, there is a very important economic reason to keep Belgium as a whole. Brussels is the capital of Europe - and having Belgium fall apart means a serious test for Europe and the EuroZone. Having a federation at the very heart of Europe disband will, in my opinion, bring on an incredible amount of fear, uncertaint and doubt in the rest of the Union.

    As to Belgium itself - it's the age old story. Currently, Flanders is the motor of the economy. Flanders doesn't want to carry the burden of Wallonia. But whether the synergy will bring in more money is doubtful. The only thing is that there is absolute free movement within the Federation of Belgium, and a unified infrastructure. I believe infrastructures are better managed on a larger scale...

    @Foin: Well, this is a bit complex. There are still a lot of people claiming to be Belgian. But they are most Waloons - and the German-speaking minority in the East Province. Unionists in Flanders are a relatively small, or under-voiced group. The Waloons don't have anywhere to go either - they don't feel like joining France, and France is not really inclined to take them in. On their own, they don't really have a right to speak or a fundation to rely either.
     
  20. Running Wolf

    Running Wolf Join the Madness

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    Messages:
    6,485
    Likes Received:
    200
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Bittersweet Hell
    Ratings:
    +231 / 0 / -0
    I wasn't saying that Belgium should split. I'm just saying that if the belgian folks want to split so badly- what keeps them from doing it? And if splitting only has disadvantages then they should stop moaning about it and just not split. There's either a yes or a no. There's no maybe. So why all this stress?