Friday, September 28, 2012

Dutch Election 2012: An Observation of a Season

Like a season that comes and goes, election must bring something new to our surrounding. The Dutch election, like no other season, was over with some hope for new things, and some more hope for a better future. That I was told, and that I would not know.

What I know was what I have observed in the past weeks leading to the September 12 election.

For precautionary measures, any observations are always coming from somewhere, a certain reference or basis of observations. In my case, it would be the Philippine context (what else but my country). But this is in no way a comparative presentation; nor an attempt to objectively cover the Dutch election. This is the 2012 Dutch election, in my observation.

Wooden bulletin boards of this size (2 x 3 meters) were strategically set-up in cities and municipalities to allow political parties to post their official campaign posters. Some posters have smiling faces of leaders, some simply have the name in the official color of the parties.

In the whole campaign period, I did not see any party officials roaming around Nijmegen.

And I saw this at the train station in Heyendaal, Nijmegen. Plain name and colors of the party, Groenlinks (GreenLeft), with the slogan, de tijd is nu (the time is now).

And this was near the Molenhoek train station. A picture of the leader of the Partij van de Arbeid (PvdA) or Labour Party with its slogan, Nederland sterker en socialer (Netherlands stronger and more social).

Then on election day (September 12), polling booths (stembureau) were put up in strategic public places such as train stations, schools, government buildings/offices, universities, club houses, canteens, and even houses.

In my university, Radboud University Nijmegen, the stembureau was set-up beside the refter (cafeteria). Students, faculty and staff could cast their votes right in their campus and workplaces. Well, it is because election in the Netherlands is not a holiday. It is a working day like any Wednesdays of a week.

Found this sign at the entrance of Erasmus building. No need for police to guard the polling booths and election observers to monitor the credibility of the election. No need. There was no report of election-related  violence either.

The results were known after several hours. There was no protest or objections regarding the election results. The winners celebrated, those who lost seats contemplated. The Dutch had spoken to their politicians; it was time to be responsive to them in a representative government.

While the people have chosen their leaders, the two biggest election winners (conservative-liberal Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie or VVD, and  PvdA or Labour Party) can start talking about forming a government. The talks may take months. Until then, a government comes around like a season where people hope new things when they know exactly what to expect.

No comments:

Post a Comment