Thursday, 22 February 2007

A new government

The new Dutch government was sworn in by Queen Beatrix today. The Netherlands has proportional representation in it's electoral system, which means that with a total of 150 seats in parliament a political party only needs 0.666% of the votes to get one seat in parliament. No single political party has ever had a majority in parliament which means that all our governments have always been coalition governments. After the 22 November 2006 elections we have 10 political parties represented in parliament, ranging from the far-left Socialist Party to the far-right and xenofobic Freedom Party. Our new government consists of the centrist Christian-Democratic Party, the left-centrist Labour Party and the economically left-centrist and morally conservative Christian Union.

Prime Minister will again be Mr. Jan-Peter Balkenende who is also known as Harry Potter. An intelligent, very decent but quite clumsy man. He is not a natural leader, he is not very charismatic, but slowly he has won the trust of many Dutch people.

Vice Prime-Minister and Minister of Finance will be Labour Party leader Mr. Wouter Bos. He used to be extremely popular, also with women and some gay men, mainly because of the size and shape of his backside. He has lived and worked for a few years in Hong Kong so he knows a bit what Asia is all about.

The previous government had an openly gay (male) Minister. No male gays in this cabinet, but the Minister for Agriculture will be Ms. Gerda Verburg who is openly lesbian.

All in all I have faith that this government will do a decent job.

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