Since Dutch-style party platforms are such an alien concept to Americans, I thought I’d show you how it works. Sure, both parties in America have their platforms, but they’re ultimately useless texts, because each individual representative will say as much as possible what all the voters in his/her constituency want to hear, and then mostly do what the big donors want done or what gives the best chance of getting elected again two years later, which often means not rocking the boat.
Getting an overview of what the different parties want to do about the issues has become easier than ever in Holland, because independent organizations now provide websites like this one where you can punch in an issue and see what each party has to say about it. You can search more general terms like education, or specific terms like health insurance deductibles.
Here you can visit the website of D66, generally viewed as the most centrist party. It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand Dutch. Just scroll down and see the degree of detail it offers about their stance on the issues. When you scroll down, each broader subject is indicated like a chapter, and then there are links to click on for more specific issues, like what D66 wants to do about the big blob of plastic trash that is floating in the oceans. (D66 wants the Netherlands to initiate international laws that regulate financing of the clean-up by the polluters.)
The next post in this series is about the financing of politics.