Despairing of democracy

All right, all right, we know. The American election process sucks, and somehow a floofy-haired orange con artist got elected to the presidency, and despite being hit with trial after trial for his criminal corruption, is trying to get elected again to the highest office in the land. And a significant number of people enthusiastically favor him!

I don’t get it. Minnesota had a kook claiming to be a vampire, Jonathon “The Impaler” Sharkey, running for governor, and when his crimes were exposed, we had him arrested and extradited to Indiana. That’s the sane response to running a crook and a fraud out of town.

Then the UK fucked up thoroughly by passing Brexit — again, with a significant fraction of the population cheering it on — and as the relevance of the nation collapses in response, elects a series of Tory bastards to various high positions. Nigel Farage? How was he taken seriously? Boris Johnson? Rishi Sunak, who is simply an exploiter and parasite? It’s absurd. How can the US and UK keep digging deeper holes for themselves?

And now the Netherlands. The Netherlands always seemed like an eminently sensible, practical nation with high educational standards, but now they’ve gone and put Geert Wilders in charge of the country.

The far right’s stunning victory in the Netherlands’s parliamentary elections last fall will upset far more than the country’s immigration policies. An agreement by the four parties aiming to form a new government, presented on 16 May and debated in the House of Representatives on 22 May, also calls for cuts in science and innovation funding, rollbacks of environment and climate policies, and restrictions on the influx of foreign students.

HOW? How does an electorate decide to immolate their economy, their reputation, and their future? Wilders is a catastrophic choice, just as bad as electing Trump here. He’s also simply dead wrong on every decision that impacts science.

Wilders, who ardently denies climate science, called in his election platform for putting all climate policies and agreements “through the shredder,” but he conceded in Parliament that won’t happen. The governing agreement leaves most climate “nonsense” in place, he said. A proposed carbon dioxide tax for industry and a plan to speed up the introduction of heat pumps in homes have both been abandoned, however.

He also looks like a clown. I guess it’s good that politicians shouldn’t be elected on the basis of appearance, but you’re supposed to avoid superficialities to examine their policies critically. Wilders fails on all counts.


  1. robro says

    It’s the hair. Geert’s got it. Trump’s got it. You know it’s the hair.

  2. Artor says

    I know little about Dutch politics, but even I know of Wilders as a raving right-wing lunatic. WT actual F is going on that someone like him could be elected to run the country?

  3. Doc Bill says

    Just yesterday the GOPQ incumbent in the Texas district that includes Uvalde, eeked out a win over his Fascist challenger, a “gun influencer” who calls himself the AK Guy. In case you’re wondering, a “gun influencer” is a Bible college dropout who hosts a YouTube channel where he can be as offensive and in-your-face as inhumanly possible. He even posted a video from the gun store in Uvalde where the Robb Elementary School mass murderer bought his weapon. He got within 400 votes of winning and could ask for a recount.

  4. Matt G says

    It’s a good thing the Netherlands (nieder lände = low lands) isn’t at risk from rising sea levels.

  5. garnetstar says

    It’s been said by those thow study this that fascism globally rises up about once every twenty years. As if it’s a recurring pandemic, or the sun’s solar flare cycle, or something.

    Don’t know why that would be, but it has definitely risen up now. Not at all sure that is isn’t here to stay, at least in some countries, like, oh, I don’t know, this one (USA).

  6. garnetstar says

    robro @2, you are right! The first time I ever saw a photo of Boris Johnson, I immediately said “Trump with his hair on backwards.” Same hair, just turned around.

  7. raven says

    Despairing of democracy

    To be fair, the dictatorships aren’t doing any better.

    Among those would be Russia, Hungary, China, Syria, and North Korea.

    Their citizens aren’t voting with their feet, in many cases they are literally running for their lives to get out of their countries. To take one lesser known example, China has an ongoing emigration movement.

    Ten million Chinese have left China.

    Many young Chinese now use the term runxue, “the art of running”, to convey their desire to flee. There are about 10.5m people living outside mainland China who were born on the mainland. Only the Indian, Russian and Mexican diasporas are larger. Some of these Chinese are among the country’s richest people.Feb 26, 2024

    Living outside China has become more like living inside China
    The Economist › china › 2024/02/26

    Meanwhile the USA has a huge problem with…people trying to move here from everywhere else.

  8. mordred says

    “Meanwhile the USA has a huge problem with…people trying to move here from everywhere else.”
    Thats why a significant parr of the voters try to make the US like the part of everywhere else people are running from.
    Same here in Germany, the percentage is just lower, for now.

  9. birgerjohansson says

    With a bit of luck, Geert Wilders will follow the example of the first leader of the Austrian extreme-right party and drive drunk, thus winning the ‘Darwin Award’ (and posthumously exposing the fact that he had been stealing money from his own party).

  10. awomanofnoimportance says

    Trump is not that difficult to explain. Globalization wiped out a significant chunk of the American middle class. People who for generations had secure jobs at factories no longer did. Neither party did anything to remedy the situation, meaning an entire generation has grown up with no real hope and no real prospects. There has been a massive transfer of wealth from the poor and middle class to the rich. They can see who benefits from globalism and it ain’t them. So when Trump comes along and says he’ll fix the problem by going after the globalists and the immigrants, they bought into it.

    Their solution of electing Trump will only make things worse, but their diagnosis of the problem is dead on accurate: They’ve finally figured out that the party establishment of neither party actually cares about them. Neither does Trump, but at least he hates the same people they hate.

    And liberals with their sneering condescension of Trump’s base only make it worse. Hillary’s comment about deplorables, and Obama’s remark about clingers, may be perfectly true, but why would they vote for people who insult them? I’ve seen research that indicates a lot of Red state voters vote Republican, even though they know it’s not in their best interest, because they feel disrespected by the left. So they vote with their middle finger.

  11. robro says

    Speaking of disturbing shifts in the world of authoritarian fascists. This is from the ACM TechNews email about an AP story:

    China’s Latest AI Chatbot Trained on President’s Political Ideology

    The China Institute of Cybersecurity Affairs announced that its latest AI chatbot, launched for internal use, was trained on seven databases, including one focused on President Xi Jinping’s doctrine. The Xi Jinping Thought database is comprised of 14 principles, including ensuring the absolute power of the Chinese Communist Party, strengthening national security and socialist values, and improving people’s livelihoods and well-being.
    [ » Read full article ]
    Associated Press (May 24, 2024)


  12. birgerjohansson says

    Robro @ 12
    “strenghtening national security and socialist values” can be shortened to “national socialism”. They already have experience in building concentration camps.

  13. birgerjohansson says

    awomanofnoimportance @ 11
    Populists get votes from what Brits call gammons (after a bright red porcine meat product, mimicking the red color of really angry people).
    Sometimes they have real reasons to be unhappy. Sometimes they are unhappy that London or Houston have a lot more non-english shop signs than in their childhood.
    Populists are not new – in the 1950s Pierre Poujade led a powerful movement (he disliked a young troublemaker named LePen) but that movement faded as true populist movements tend to do.

    The current faux-populism of Tories and Republicans is kept going by conservative client media that are utterly shameless and will use any lie to help ‘their’ party win.

  14. djudge says

    I’m afraid Belgium will be next. Disbelief in climate change and fear farming regulations to protect the environment mean the end of food is rampant here. Meanwhile everybody keeps burning 100% imported fosil fuels.

  15. kitcarm says

    @awomanofnoimportance. I’ve seen first hand the reasoning voters give to vote Republican as someone who lives in a politically conservative area and mostly agree with your analysis. However, you seem to be giving far too much weight on the idea that those people are voting Republican to send a message against leftists for hurting their feelings. Don’t get me wrong, leftists can be extremely aggravating, self-righteous and elitist and that can shape the views of some voters. But that assumes that many conservatives or conservative-leaving voters are tuned in to everything leftists say about them, which is untrue unless you spend your time terminally online talking about politics. If you live in an area surrounded by conservatives like I do, it’s pretty clear that many vote Republican for many reasons that often don’t include “liberals are mocking me so I’ll show’em”. While it’s true that those people left behind are looking for a solution, even a delusional one like in Trump, it always brings up interesting questions. Like, why isn’t this theory of “other side is the acting like we’re stupid so I’ll vote against them” apply to Blue state voters? Research has shown that Republicans/conservatives have a more negative view of Democrats/liberals than the latter do of them. Also, conservatives are more ideologically intolerant of opposing views and if conservative or even centrist media or commentary is a indication, they mock liberals more than liberals mock conservatives. Yet, voters in blue states vote for centrist Democrats and even Republicans at times, a phenomenon rarely seen in red states, where voting for more extreme candidates has become the norm. Often, globalization has done severe harm to people in blue states as well but you don’t see this similar descent to madness. Either way, I’m not sure there’s anything we can do about it and it’s looking bad for the future.

  16. says

    As a Dutchman, let me try to apply some nuance here.

    Unlike the US and (practically) UK, we don’t have a two-party system. That means that governments are generally coalition governments. And sometimes the coalition doesn’t even have a majority. In which case the coalition has to convince other to support its plans on a case by case basis.

    For Wilders’s party to form a coalition, they had to tune down the crazy, so to speak. Some of the PVV party’s wishes would violate the constitution, and the other parties weren’t having that.

    This is one of the reasons why forming the government took months. A lot of parties wanted nothing to do with him, and the ones willing to cooperate had some boundary conditions.

    Furthermore, it seems that Wilders himself will not be prime minister, AFAICT. Not sure why, but it’s easier to comment from the sidelines than to actually steer the ship of state. As we say, people who think they are the best helmsman are usually ashore.

    In my opinion, populists like Wilders are basically useless. They might talk a good talk, but as we’ve seen during the pandemic populist governments generally don’t have a good track record of actually doing something if reality doesn’t align with their ideas.

  17. =8)-DX says

    Since you touched on the UK,don’t forget that after Boris Johnson (and before him Theresa May), neither Liz Truss nor Rishi Sunak were elected to be leaders of the country by the voters and Rishi Sunak wasn’t even chosen as party leader by a majority of his own party. Not to mention that in the first past the post system, it’s quite possible that in the next election two parties (Greens and Libdems) might well gain a combined 20–25% of the votes, but could still be assigned only 2 seats out of a 650 seat lower House. Not to forget the House of Lords which still seats literal aristocrats and prelates with hereditary lifetime appointments!
    Representative Democracy!

  18. gijoel says

    I feel like we’re being invaded by sentient wigs, who are taking key positions of power before the invasion force arrives.

  19. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    HOW? How does an electorate decide to immolate their economy, their reputation, and their future?

    I’m not saying it’s aliens, but…

  20. John Morales says

    [Must be hell on Earth, that place. Immolated! Zero rep! No future!]

  21. DanDare says

    I have trouble trying to explain why compulsory voting is important.
    The voters don’t actually have to vote but do have to show up and move a ballot paper to the box, or mail one in.
    What’s good about forcing everyone to do this?
    It stops large scale disenfranchisement strategies dead in their tracks.
    You can’t put obstacles in the way of voters, close the mail in systems, change polling locations, put people off with psych ops etc. The public have to vote, so people doing those strategies are obstructing a civic duty.
    Works just fine here in oz.

    The next step is getting preferential voting systems but that’s a whole other story.

  22. Silentbob says

    @ 20 Morales

    Your own link says

    The present-day concept of a constitutional monarchy developed in the United Kingdom, where the democratically elected parliaments, and their leader, the prime minister, exercise power, with the monarchs having ceded power and remaining as a titular position.

    So in other words, a representative democracy cosplaying as a monarchy

  23. F.O. says

    This is the kind of shit that made me lose faith in social democracies.
    Italy? You’d think we’d know better, but we elected actual fascists, with Mussolini paraphernalia, roman salute and all.
    Sweden? We’re about to elect our local necktie nazis, while reducing taxes on airplane fuels.

    We still worship the rich, the powerful and the greedy, we let them control our media, our discourse, our information.

    We still kick down even against our own selfish interests, so that some fascist asshole can control us.

    The only long-term solution I see is a society where power, and the people trying to accumulate it, are seen as a threat.
    We need this entrenched in our culture.
    Then decentralize power as much as possible, so that the people involved in a decision are actually the ones affected by it.
    Anarchism, libertarian socialism, the Rojava model or whatever the Zapatistas are doing, whatever.
    I guess it’s useful to know which direction we need to move?

    But even if we can ever get there, it’s going to get much worse before it gets better.
    We need to organize, join groups, build communities and prepare.
    If anyone has a better idea, I’m all ears.

  24. jo1storm says

    Geert Wilders looks like Slobodan Milošević reborn and that’s enough for me to dislike him on sight alone. Reading about the politics make me feel as close to hating a stranger as I can.

    As for why people vote for people like that: in the time of any crisis, people want someone decisive that offers simple solutions. Far right populists use that, because they don’t value honesty only power. So they have advantage there, because a simple lie and solution gets further than a complicated truth. By the time truth catches on, damage is done and that damage might be unrepairable.

  25. says

    The only long-term solution I see is a society where power, and the people trying to accumulate it, are seen as a threat.

    I really don’t understand why that’s not obvious to more people. People who play for power are at best short-sighted, at worst deeply suspect.
    Even if the “right person” gets the power, it’s only a matter of time before they die, leaving a position of power empty for some maniac to step right into. This was always the problem of monarchy; the king may be good, but what happens when his son takes over?
    Any position of centralized power is a ticking bomb. At least in a monarchy you know who to preemptively assassinate, but in a “democratic” nation, there’s a never-ending parade of yahoos aspiring to be the next tyrant.

    To quote George Carlin:

    Maybe it’s not the politicians who suck. Maybe something else sucks around here. Like the public. The public sucks.

  26. Grace says


    It stops large scale disenfranchisement strategies dead in their tracks.

    You probably just convinced me that voting should be compulsory. Up until now, I had wondered why you would want to compel low-information voters to the polls, but the fact that compulsory voting would sideline so much fuckery with disenfranchisement and the resulting skewed results is tremendously compelling, whether you articulate it as the lesser evil or not.


  27. says

    @#16, kitcarm:

    While it’s true that those people left behind are looking for a solution, even a delusional one like in Trump, it always brings up interesting questions. Like, why isn’t this theory of “other side is the acting like we’re stupid so I’ll vote against them” apply to Blue state voters?

    Why? Because both you and awomanofnoimportance (and the Democratic Party, for decades) are overlooking and/or deliberately ignoring people who do not vote. Turnout keeps falling, because people on the left who don’t want to vote for a right-winger have mostly been left with no option to vote for since 1992. If you’re politically aware and have more than two working brain cells, you will have noticed that despite the rhetoric, Democrats and Republicans are extraordinarily similar on policy in every major way. On issue after issue, unless you have a defective long-term memory you can’t help but notice that Democrats are worthless. Take abortion: Democrats talk big about defending abortion, they even had encoding access into law in 2008, but even though they took a majority in both houses of Congress and the Presidency, they actually did nothing, and Obama announced after the election that it was no longer a priority. And then the next Democrat to get into the White House was Joe Biden, a man who spent over 30 years in Congress trying to ban abortion and whose administration is very obviously sitting on its hands to avoid even looking for an effective strategy to combat the overturn of Roe v. Wade. And this keeps happening time after time. (The next paragraph is examples; if you don’t need them and just want my argument, you can skip it.)

    Clinton twisted arms and called in favors to get Reagan’s union-busting NAFTA ratified (after Bush signed it but couldn’t get it past Congress) and endorsed GHWB’s “global policeman” doctrine to send troops around the globe. He listened to the big-L Libertarian Alan Greenspan, a colleague of Ayn Rand, and pushed for market deregulation like the repeal of the Glass-Steagall trading regulations, which led directly to the 2008 economic meltdown. (He also had Trump-style revolting sexual sleaze, but that’s not policy… but it certainly has not helped turnout that basically the entire Democratic Party said “so what if there are tapes of Bill exchanging government employment for sex and he has a long history of equally plausible accusations, we’re going to stand by him anyway because he says he won’t do it again” and then he was publicly proved to be unable to keep it in his pants even after that.) Obama kept fighting GWB’s wars, including asking for more money for them, kept funding GWB’s DHS and ICE, and kept GWB’s tax cuts. You may remember “Total Information Awareness”, a super-authoritarian all-encompassing spy system proposed by GWB, which the Republicans had to back off from because both the press and the Democratic Party lambasted it as an obvious jackbooted authoritarian power-grab (which it was) — Obama implemented everything about the proposal except the name. Biden kept up Trump’s Covid denialism once in office, and actually expanded it — Trump may have permitted Covid relief practically at gunpoint; Biden has ended Covid relief and declared the pandemic to be over even though the average monthly death rate has continued to be greater than 9/11. (But he did extend the 9/11 State of Emergency, even though there has conspicuously failed to be any more 9/11s for 23 years — in 2023, there were sixteen deaths of US citizens by terrorism, which was considered to a very bad year… compared to over 51 thousand deaths by Covid alone — not as a comorbidity — by the end of September by CDC figures. But the 9/11 Federal State of Emergency was renewed and the one for Covid was not.) Biden is still building Trump’s border wall, he continues to put “kids in cages”, and he has expanded funding for ICE. He has approved more fossil fuel extraction on public land than any previous President. And then there’s the Israeli genocide, which you might have noticed.

    People who are eligible to vote but do not do so are a huge group. In 2016, there were more of them than there were votes for either major party candidate. Polls in the US consistently show that people who are eligible to vote and do not do so overwhelmingly support Democratic rhetoric and platforms over the Republican equivalents (polls differ by how much, but I’ve seen results claiming it’s anywhere from 2:1 to 10:1, so they are a potential landslide victory waiting to happen). The Democratic Party and its partisans seem to be vaguely aware of that. But when the pollsters ask why they don’t turn out and vote, the answer is overwhelmingly: because once they get in office the Democrats abandon their rhetoric and govern too much like Republicans, and Democrats (and Democratic partisans) absolutely refuse to even talk about this, most likely because every election the candidates the party establishment insist on running — and I remind you that the party was sued in 2016 over their treatment of Sanders, and admitted that they had basically fixed the primaries, and the ruling was that since the Democratic Party is a corporation it can choose its leadership however it likes and therefore there was no wrongdoing; it is no longer plausible to deny that the candidates are chosen by the party, not the voters — are further to the right than the previous batch. We’ve got the pro-segregation, pro-1%, pro-war, anti-abortion Joe Biden in charge now, and he has been deliberately funding a genocide against brown-skinned people! How on earth could anybody mistake them for a party which is even slightly on the left?!

    All of this is predicated on the idea that the public wants a right-leaning Democrat. And the “proof” of this is Bill Clinton’s win in 1992 — but that doesn’t hold up to scrutiny; Clinton won because Perot acted as a spoiler to Bush. Exit polls showed that Perot voters preferred Bush to Clinton by about 5 to 1, and if you do the math, that means that if he had not run, Bush would have beaten Clinton by more votes than Clinton actually beat Bush. (Clinton is also noteworthy for never getting a majority of the popular vote; every other Democrat who has won the Presidency since Kennedy — even Jimmy Carter — managed to do it except him.) Every other Democratic candidate since then has either campaigned to the left even if they governed to the right (Obama and, up to a point, Biden) or lost. The public does not want a right-of-center Democrat. A much better fit for the data of the last 30 years is that, thanks to Clinton’s lackluster performance, the public hates right-of-center Democrats so much that they will only trust the party with the Presidency when the Republicans have irretrievably screwed up to an unbelievable, disastrous extent — but the Democrats continue to run right-of-center candidates. They refused to hold a primary debate, and there have been some really disturbing other shenanigans — I’m told the Florida Democratic Primary ballots deliberately left off any candidates challenging an incumbent.

    In other words: turnout is the key if the Democrats wantedthe worst possible thing the Democrats could have done was to run a series of increasingly right-of-center war-mongering pro-rich candidates, but that’s what they have done for the last 30 years. It is probably too late to do anything about the 2024 election, because they are committed to just about the most repellent politician they could realistically have nominated out of all the choices available.

    (I’d also like to point out that the hand-wringing about “why do only Republicans respond to [underhanded tactic] with increased loyalty? Why can’t Democrats behave like that and mindlessly vote a party line” which I keep seeing in veil language is actually a question which answers itself: people who are like that are right-wing. Chasing those voters means abandoning all other voters. If you want to chase the voters who are sympathetic to the causes that Democrats claim to support, then you need action to happen first, even if it’s just Congress members in the minority constantly introducing bills which get killed, and then you’ll get turnout. The “let’s not even try to take a hard stand because the Republicans will be unpleasant” mindset kills turnout — Harry Reid and more recently Chuck Schumer let Republicans kill bills before introduction by threatening to filibuster them, but don’t extend that same rule to Democrats. The result is that the bills before Congress are always right-wing, and the Overton Window keeps moving. Either that’s deliberate or a sign of total lack of understanding of how a democracy works in practice.)

    Personally, I think the Democrats are this way on purpose. The Purpose Of A System Is What It Does, and the Democratic Party is a system to absorb well-meaning votes and prevent them from accomplishing any reform. Voting Blue will never accomplish much of anything; at best you’ll get crap like the ACA — a mandate to force everybody to buy insurance from private, for-profit companies, without price controls, based on a system originally proposed by a right-wing think tank and implemented by Republican Mitt Romney in Massachusetts. It’s saner to take a chance on a third party, who might conceivably pull off a miracle and then actually govern decently, than it is to keep putting Democrats into office who deliberately do not govern decently. A zillions-to-one chance is still better than zero.

  28. John Morales says

    If you’re politically aware and have more than two working brain cells, you will have noticed that despite the rhetoric, Democrats and Republicans are extraordinarily similar on policy in every major way.

    A most blatant untruth.

    The Purpose Of A System Is What It Does, and the Democratic Party is a system to absorb well-meaning votes and prevent them from accomplishing any reform.

    Always the Democratic Party, for you.

    (Obs, Obama’s fault, and Hillary’s, too!)

  29. John Morales says

    Gotta love how Vicar (the) claims to imagine that, say, the two parties’ environmental policy is “extraordinarily similar”.

    (And with a “straight face”!)

    “The environmental policy of the Donald Trump administration represented a shift from the policy priorities and goals of the preceding Barack Obama administration. Where President Obama’s environmental agenda prioritized the reduction of carbon emissions through the use of renewable energy with the goal of conserving the environment for future generations,[1] the Trump administration policy was for the US to attain energy independence based on fossil fuel use and to rescind many environmental regulations.[2] By the end of Trump’s term, his administration had rolled back 98 environmental rules and regulations, leaving an additional 14 rollbacks still in progress.[3] As of early 2021, the Biden administration was making a public accounting of regulatory decisions under the Trump administration that had been influenced by politics rather than science.[4]”


  30. John Morales says

    “The Trump administration supported energy development on federal land, including gas and oil drilling in national forests and near national monuments and parks.[5][6] Soon after taking office, Trump began to implement his “America First Energy Plan” and signed executive orders to approve two controversial oil pipelines.[7] In 2018, the Department of the Interior announced plans to allow drilling in nearly all U.S. waters, the largest expansion of offshore oil and gas leasing ever proposed.[8] In 2019, the Administration completed plans for opening the entire coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling.[9]

    Trump and his cabinet appointees did not believe the consensus of most scientists that climate change will have catastrophic impacts[10] nor that carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to climate change.[11] Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris climate accord, leaving the U.S. the only nation that was not part of the agreement. He avoided environmental discussions at both the 44th G7 summit held in Canada and the 45th G7 summit held in France by departing early from these conferences.[12] In September 2019, the Trump administration replaced the Obama-era Clean Power Plan with the Affordable Clean Energy rule, which did not cap emissions.[13] In April 2020, he issued his new vehicle emissions standards, which were projected to result in an additional billion tons of carbon dioxide, increasing annual U.S. emissions by about one-fifth.[14] In 2020, environmentalists feared that a successful reelection of Trump could have resulted in severe and irreversible changes in the climate.[15]

    The administration repealed the Clean Water Rule and rewrote the EPA’s pollution-control policies—including policies on chemicals known to be serious health risks—particularly benefiting the chemicals industry,[16][17] A 2018 analysis reported that the Trump administration’s rollbacks and proposed reversals of environmental rules would likely “cost the lives of over 80,000 US residents per decade and lead to respiratory problems for many more than 1 million people.”[18] ”


    extraordinarily similar!

  31. rietpluim says

    As usual, the right wing extremists do not gain power by their own effort — they are aided by allegedly moderates. The VVD party calls itself ‘liberal’ but is lead by an openly racist opportunist. The BBB party was founded by a marketing bureau to serve the interests of the agricultural industries, and is also lead by an openly racist opportunist. Expectations of the NSC party were high; their leader earned a lot of credit exposing a scandal that hit thousands of civilians, but he will go down in history as the man who made possible the first fascist government in the Netherlands since WWII.
    Note that Wilders, being the single member of his ‘party’ and surrounded by a small flock of yea-sayers, has zero candidates for a position in the new government. He had to nominate a former Labour member as prime minister (yeah, we do have a lot of political parties in the Netherlands).

  32. =8)-DX says

    @John Morales 22
    “actually, a parliamentary constitutional monarchy”
    I’m well aware of the official form of government in the UK, but actually, you just added some historical fluff that doesn’t change my comment since in the UK the monarch is a figurehead with no actual or constitutional power and the mandate for government of the House of Commons derives from the electorate. The principle of representative democracy is that the elected representatives are supposed to represent the interests of their constituents and a policy mandate which is the subject of each general election. It is this principle of representation that the UK system is desperately failing at (with unelected leaders enacting policy that was never subjected to electoral approval in the interest the moneyed classes), irrespective of its ideosyncracies. You’re welcome for a basic refresher on UK politics, maybe next time you could actually read the wikipedia articles you link to people =9)-DX

  33. John Morales says

    You’re welcome for a basic refresher on UK politics, maybe next time you could actually read the wikipedia articles you link to people

    The article indicates it’s a “parliamentary constitutional monarchy”.
    Pretty basic, that is.

    (I read it there)

Leave a Reply