Monday, December 03, 2007

No Sausages Made Here

The Dutch benefit from divided government:
It is becoming clear that the coalition deal is to avoid trouble because neither party can afford an election right now. This means that either party can veto the other's proposals. Behind the scenes deals are made along the lines of "if you take your idea of the table, we'll do the same with ours".

The result has been a wide collection of things that will NOT happen: there will be no enquiry into Netherlands participation in the Iraq war; there will be no referendum on Europe, there will be no reform of firing laws and there will be no cutting back tax breaks for the rich.

....For the time being it seems we are stuck with a deadlocked cabinet, agreeing above all not to do anything controversial.

Unfortunately, the author of the above doesn't understand it's a feature not a bug:
History buffs will see a parallel with the First World War. Both sides were down in their trenches, taking occasional pot-shots at each other. Sometimes there was a bit of movement forward or back, but at the end of four bitter, embattled years little had been accomplished. And much was lost. Let's hope these are just the growing pains of a new coalition, because we really cannot afford a second year of stagnation.

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