The illusion of the majority

The Dutch – and probably most democracies- let themselves be governed by the minority of a minority. One third of the people don’t even bother to vote even more, because they have lost all contact and trust. In fact the seats belonging to those non voters should be left unoccupied, because now a minority takes all the power.

Two thirds of the people determine who gets a seat in Parliament. But, people vote for Party candidates. The Dutch constitution doesn’t say anything about parties, yet the political field is mainly made up out of parties

Say, a number of parties divides 2/3 of the votes. 1/3 of the voters didn’t show up. 3 big parties holding 55% of the votes make up the government. Conclusion: the government is backed up by only 2/3 x 55% = 37% of the electorate.

In important matters the majority in the Parliament has an important role to play. But within the parties Fraction discipline is the rule, MP’s are expected to vote the same way the majority of their fraction votes. Even if you are against. The constitution (article 89 of the Dutch constitution) states that Members have to be able to function without counselling or burden. Apparently this isn’t important.

Say that in a given matter 60% is pro and 40% against. The decision is supported by 60% x 37% = 22% of the voters. Yes. Are we to build a new power plant? 22% decides. Does Minister X have to resign his post? Again, 22% decides And you thought democracy was about the will of the majority?

Those 22% is a rather optimistic calculation. A lot of people aren’t allowed to vote on grounds of their age. They aren’t “mature” enough to vote. People until the age of 18. As it happens these are the same children that can work MSN, unlike our ministers, even if they have ICT in their portfolio.

Have you ever seen a border? Never, I’m dead sure. I’ve seen border markers, or fences. The pavement looks different in Belgium than the way it looks in Holland. I saw the Wall of Berlin. That wall was placed a long distance before the border. But there is no border as such. The concept only exists in your brain. Forget it, there are no borders. Abroad is in your head and foreigners you only see on TV.

Anyway, the government is only backed by minorities. But, is that the whole story? No, because the division of power within the parties is at least just as strange. Even though the parties are responsible to govern every body, only the so-called members who carry a certain weight determine the order in which the names appear on the ballots.

The selection of the members of the government is done through a completely non-transparent process of meetings. The members of government are appointed from a list that wasn’t available beforehand. When the list is made up, it gets approved by the Queen and the Parliament. Also that other important document, like the all-important ” Ruling agreement”, is made up in back rooms, inaccessible for press and citizens alike. We would like to know on which conditions these negotiations take place.

So called foreigners do not participate in national elections. They were born on the other side of an imaginary line we call border. After this line “the exterior” begins, a region where a different power structure rules. You don’t have anything like it on the Internet. There is no “abroad”. You don’t even notice whether my website is in your own country or not.

I’m sure the Queen is a nice woman, but I don’t recognize the State of the Netherlands and the money with her picture on it, the Euro, as the only one.

I claim our freedom, our birthright to a free world and a free existence, without obligatory slavery to that dictatorship called “economy”.

I keep going, every day, step by step towards what eventually will be unavoidable. And when I let go, I haven’t forgotten anything.