It is time once again for the Dutch local elections. Posters are being put up, television commercials are being broadcasted and letters are been sent out to all those who can vote, including for the first time… me.
I’ve never been asked to vote on such Dutch political matters before. This probably has something to do with the fact that until a few months ago I was never actually registered as living in Holland. I spent the first eight years of my stay in this country unaware that I was supposed to go to the local city hall and say, “Hello, My name is Stuart and I’m living in your country now.” It seems obvious but at the time I simply did not know that this was part of the process.
And because of this we have to consider a very important question; given my track record, does the Dutch government really want an expat like me voting on something as important as city council elections? An expat like me who once thought it was a good idea to get his eye lashes dyed. An expat like me who once trapped himself in an elevator for four hours. An expat like me who once mistook tourists for hookers. Basically, an expat like me who has a well documented history of mistakes, accidents, disasters and cock-ups.
Being asked to vote on this issue seems like an awfully big responsibility. What if I end up having the deciding vote? What if it all comes down to me? Do they seriously trust me with this? Don’t they realize the possible disastrous out come and inevitable damage I could do to the Dutch way of life? If they had read my file (or this blog) they would have realized that it is best to keep any form of decision making as far away from me as possible. I don’t know if I can handle this kind of pressure, knowing that the fate of every Dutchman and expat lies in my hands.
Even ignoring my past exploits doesn’t the Dutch government realize that I am an expat who only has a limited grasp of the Dutch language and as such has no clue what is going on around himself at the best of times even in subjects far less simple then politics. Don’t they know that I am the kind of expat who is more likely to base his vote on who has the most colorful campaign poster because he has not got an idea what they are saying.
It’s bad enough when my attempts to understand and speak the Dutch language result in me ordering the wrong thing at my local snack bar but at least my unintended frikandel has far less reaching and damaging political ramifications than any mistake I could make in a panic during voting time.
I worry about this because if I do have the deciding vote in this year’s election I don’t think people will be very happy with my excuse of, “but they had a cute kitten on their poster,” when the newly elected Expat Extermination Party is rounding us all up.
No. It’s going to be far less stressful for me to run for the position of city council myself.