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So yesterday the glorious and free Kingdom of the Netherlands went voting. It was a lesson in Democracy for our American friends, as well as a show of examplary unity, with 98.6% of the people voting for our Great Matriarch Queen Beatrix!

Okay, well, no, that's not quite right...

Voting in The Netherlands might be quite different than what the American readers may be used to, however. This time we voted for a new parliament, which is the highest power in the country. We had a choice of some 17 different parties, which may seem like a lot, but only 10 of these eventually managed to get one or more seats, so it's not as bad as it may seem. Naturally, with so many parties the Dutch political system is centered around the forming of coalitions. Since no party ever manages to get more than 50% of the votes, elections are always followed by difficult negotiations in which two or three parties, together making up a majority, try to come to an agreement on the formation of a new government.

This time the outcome is unusual and complicated; normally at least one of the major parties walks away with at least 40 seats out of the 150 available, but this time the biggest party has 32 seats. The only coalitions possible seem to be those made of sworn enemies or four parties. In these times, the country is divided, and so is parliament. I stubbornly refuse to see this as a problem, though. Each and every one of the people involved believes themselves to be among the best of us, good enough to run the country itself. Surely such exceptional people must be capable of working together even with those they don't like?


In other news, while this comic is one day late, Beedoo! finished it yesterday. I just didn't get round to scanning it until today. It also seems to be a particularly poor scan, this time round. We always struggle with quality a bit - because Beedoo! doesn't ink the drawings, because otherwise this site would start to become a job - but this time we just couldn't keep this thing from being pixelated no matter what we did. Ah well, at least the original looks good. :)

I don't have much to add to this... I came, I sat, I didn't participate. ;p I honestly don't see how the Dutch government gets anything done at this rate, but then I guess they won't get snap government decisions like we do in the States either. o.0 Politics is really not my thing, though Arno has droned on and on about how interesting this election has been, and I've tried to figure things out a little as he tries to explain the current standings on TeleTekst (the local tv news bulletin (("NATIONAL bulletin," Arno says over my shoulder, so, basically the same thing...)) ). All I know is that their Prime Minister was Harry Potter, and now it's not.