Tag: The Netherlands

AOBTD: Dutch Govt. Flops over Afghanistan

Another One Bites the Dust: The Dutch Government (Parliament Coalition) Collapses over the issue of staying in Afghanistan Saturday morning.  

The Dutch had been scheduled to end their participation in NATO’s mission in Afghanistan in August of 2010, with their troops to be out by December, but had been asked to stay longer.  Concerns over the Dutch budget deficit, which meant that either tax hikes or spending cuts were looming, doomed the coalition led by Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende’s government.

“I unfortunately note that there is no longer a fruitful path for the Christian Democrats, Labor Party and Christian Union to go forward,” Balkenende, who leads the center-right Christian Democrats, told reporters.

Balkenende wanted to extend the Dutch troop deployment in the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan past an August deadline, but Deputy Prime Minister Wouter Bos’s Labor Party opposed any extension.


Parliamentary elections to form a new government could be held by the summer, but establishing a functional coalition between 4 or 5 parties to get a majority may take some finangling.

The Dutch have been participating in NATO’s Afghanistan occupation since 2006, and have lost 21 troops out of about 2000 deployed.


Dutch POV: McCain “acts like angry neighbor”

I live in Leiden, one of the smaller big cities in The Netherland’s (NL) most heavily populated region, the Randstad. I am learning, or trying to learn/understand/speak/read the Dutch language. As it turns out, Dutch is considered by many as the second toughest language to learn… after Chinese! Holy moly.

However, I have learned one thing: politically, the Dutch are as tough as their language. It is a complex mix of parties that fosters ever-shifting coalitions among its liberal, conservative, socialist, green, and religious members.

Along that spectrum, there is, according to local papers here, a place for GOP VP nominee Sarah Palin: seems a small minority have adopted Gov. Palin as a role model for Dutch womanhood.  However, most of the Nederanders I know will be stunned if Senator Barack Obama loses to Senator John McCain on 4 November 2008.

cross-posted at dkos