05/03/27 Current events, links, tarot progress #6
05/03/20 Links, novel progress #49
After prime minister Jan-Peter Balkenende's unlucky experiences with Pim Fortuyn's heirs in his first cabinet, yet another Balkenende cabinet may bite the dust. The reason: elected mayors.
To understand why this relative non-issue would be enough to endanger the cabinet we have to go back to the last general elections. In these, the Christian-democrats (Balkenende's party) ended up the winner, with Labour as the first runner-up. The formation of a coalition with the two largest winners didn't work out and Balkenende ended up in a cabinet with the liberal conservatives and the D66 political reform party, needing the latter in order to achieve a parliament majority. Among D66's conditions for participation in the cabinet were the elected mayor (mayors are currently appointed by the Crown) and a reform of the election system.
So far, so good. D66 politician Thom de Graaf became cabinet minister for governmental reform and deputy prime minister, and the process to change the constitution to allow for elected mayors was set into motion. The Second Chamber of parliament approved of the change in the constitution, possibly because the change is necessary both to have mayors elected by the population (as D66 wants) and by the town council (as the left-wing opposition wants). In the First Chamber, however, it failed to get the required two-thirds majority, with Labour voting against. As a consequence, De Graaf has decided to step down, and since then the Cabinet and the D66 leadership have been negotiating the terms for D66's continued participation in the government (if they decide to call it quits the cabinet loses its parliament majority, which will probably lead to new elections).
The latest news is that there's a proposal for compromise (neither elected mayors or the election reform will happen in the near future, but there'll be more money for education, one of D66's other priorities) and the D66 membership will have to decide next Saturday about their party's continued participation in the cabinet.
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Dutch politics in 2005
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First drafts of The Empress.
Sorry it took so long. I'm trying to get back into the habit of weekly blogging.
Catching memories before they're gone.
Drawings people want.
Are we having fun yet?
AskMe: Where's the fun?
Where to go when you have nowhere to go?
The Guardian: Home truths
Life without religion.
AskMe: Losing faith
One new episode in the past weeks, 537 new words, 65,601 words total.
Introduction and start of part 3
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And again, more work on IV The Emperor.
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