Comparing the Dutch and American Democracies

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Arjen
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Comparing the Dutch and American Democracies

Post by Arjen » October 10th, 2020, 3:56 pm

First of all, when I say democracies, please understand that the Netherlands factually is a constitutional monarchy. We do have a King. However, he has no political power. We do have universal suffrage and we vote for a house of representatives. The prime minister is normally selected from the largest coalition party. It is, for all intents and purposes, a democracy. The reason William II changed the Netherlands into a constitutional monarchy was that in 1848, the whole of Europe was revolting against the monarchs. Guillotines in Frances made for a convincing argument. Jokingly, we say he turned from conservative into a liberal in 1 night. :lol:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_I ... ands#Reign

If we compare The Netherlands with the USA, we must realise that The Netherlands is factually 1 level smaller than the USA. I will think of the EU as a governing body similar to that of the whole of the USA. I think that on the basics, the systems are pretty much the same.
1) Everyone over 18 may cast a vote to elect the members of the house of representatives.
2) Every municipality has a mayor that can't be voted for.
3) Every province has a council that we can vote for.


Some differences occur in the following places (and please tell me where I lack knowledge):
A) In the USA and in The Netherlands, there are many parties on the local levels. I think that there still are many parties on a state level in the states. But I am not sure how the states are run. In The Netherlands, we have a multitude of parties on a country level. In fact, there is never 1 party with a 51% majority, so all governments are coalitions. Currently, we have a coalition of VVD (Democratic association), SGP (Reformed Christians), D66 (democrats) and CDA (Christian democrats). The major opposition parties are GL (green), PVV (Freedom party) and FVD (Democratic Forum).
The prime minister is normally selected from the largest coalition party. A few months of negotiations take place to discuss the compromises and then the new term starts (one of the leaders of an opposition party literally grew quite a long beard waiting for the coalition to form in 2017). I think on a state level, this is the same in the USA. Correct?

B) On a federal level, the USA has only 2 parties. I imagine that all of the smaller parties on a state level align with either republicans or democrats. Am I correct in assuming that? Or is this completely separate? In the EU, we do see coalitions form between parties of multiple nations that have similar ideas, but all representatives are selected from the parties of the home land. So, that means that completely different parties might represent a country in the EU than on a national level.

C) On top of that, a number of our largest parties are "euro skeptic" and would like to leave the EU. Some countries are represented in the EU by parties that would like to leave the EU. We feel that those countries somehow conned their populations into joining the EU. One of those is The Netherlands.

Discussion topic
What I would like to discuss here is how the USA functions between the federal and the national level. My perspective is that the 2 party system is quite a weakness. a 3rd party (or more) would open up a world of changes, I think. I would also like to be informed of the politics in the USA. And, if anyone wants to explain the political system in his or her country of origin to compare, I would enjoy it.

I would like to point out that a 3rd party in the USA, for example based on the supposed ideas of BLM, would increase the will of the people in the actual governing body. Suppose 40% would go to democrats, 40% to republicans and 20% to a social party, which primarily proposes better schooling and better health care. Then, no matter who ends up ruling, they would have to cut a deal with the minority party. But, the 20% that actually voted for that party more or less made it known clearly they want some social reforms. Making that they key point of any coalition. And, if the major parties want to take back some of the votes, they will have to show more social policies. So, no matter how it ends up, those votes will end up getting things more social, because I doubt that republicans and democrats would team up against the social party, if you know what I mean. So, why ARE there only 2 parties? How does that work?

Anyway, I am hoping for interesting perspectives and some extra information of the political system of the USA.
The saying that what is true in theory is not always true in practice, means that the theory is wrong!
~Immanuel Kant

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Re: Comparing the Dutch and American Democracies

Post by LuckyR » October 11th, 2020, 2:00 am

I will give you my perspective on the American federal political (as opposed to governmental) system. True it is essentially a two party system. There are a smattering of Independents (Bernie Sanders being the best known example but as most know he ran for the Democratic nomination for president).

In Modern (post Gingrich) times the weakness of a two party system has been realized. Namely, the abandonment of the center, as candidates pander to the fringes. Historically the opposite was the case. The previous case was: let's say I am a Republican seeking the presidency, I would campaign further right than I actually am during the primary to appeal to the more dedicated Republican voter (who will reliably vote in a primary). Once I obtain the nomination, I campaign further left than I really am ie towards the center, in order to appeal to Independents (which both parties need to win, since 31% of voters are Democrats and 25% are Republicans). The Democrats would do the same on the left.

Now-a-days, the opposite happens, moderates (centrists) in both parties are voted out in primaries within their own parties since they are felt to be too milquetoast, in favor of fringe candidates and the center is abandoned. Compromise (or horsetrading) which used to be how large things got done, doesn't exist, so nothing big gets done. No big problems can be addressed. Stalemate ensues.
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Arjen
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Re: Comparing the Dutch and American Democracies

Post by Arjen » October 11th, 2020, 4:10 am

What kind of thing do you think could cause that direction towards the extremes? Something is offsetting the balance, right?
The saying that what is true in theory is not always true in practice, means that the theory is wrong!
~Immanuel Kant

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Re: Comparing the Dutch and American Democracies

Post by chewybrian » October 11th, 2020, 4:52 am

Arjen wrote:
October 11th, 2020, 4:10 am
What kind of thing do you think could cause that direction towards the extremes? Something is offsetting the balance, right?
I'd say the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine was huge, though it went largely unnoticed. In the past, media outlets were required to give candidates equal time, to give both sides of issues, and to provide public services and educational programming. In the early 80's they took that away, so that people could then embrace the confirmation bias and see nothing that challenged their views. Now, when people choose a source for their news, they are effectively choosing a side. Most of what they find will be manipulative, using emotion to guide them further toward one extreme or the other as well.

Prior to that change, there was a shared reality, while we have split realities today. When every piece of information you receive is pre-filtered through the lens of one extreme view, then someone with a different view no longer seems like a rational person. Nothing in the 'information' you have seen says their ideas could possibly be correct.

There are few people left who are willing or able to consider the facts objectively. There would be little percentage for a politician to seek votes from those few. In terms of votes, their time is better spent getting their base angry and worked up enough to actually get out and vote.
"If determinism holds, then past events have conspired to cause me to hold this view--it is out of my control. Either I am right about free will, or it is not my fault that I am wrong."

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Arjen
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Re: Comparing the Dutch and American Democracies

Post by Arjen » October 11th, 2020, 10:22 am

That is an interesting take on things. I would expect that, even with a fairness doctrine being repealed, truth would come before political views. Do you experience the news as still showing facts, or not? And do you think the media is the cause for the escalating schism? @chewybrian
The saying that what is true in theory is not always true in practice, means that the theory is wrong!
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Re: Comparing the Dutch and American Democracies

Post by Sculptor1 » October 11th, 2020, 11:27 am

Arjen wrote:
October 10th, 2020, 3:56 pm
So, why ARE there only 2 parties? How does that work?
It does not. The USA is democratic in name only, much like the satallites of the former soviet union.
In the USA there is one party with two branches. This party is the party of the rich and powerful. They own the media and the two branches both follow the dictates of Milton Frieman. They both use increases in unemployment to control inflation and interest rates, and both blame the unemployed for failures of government economic policy.
They are both obsessed with the deficit and wrongly assume that the only way to spend of through taxation. In this way both parties miss the important fact that public debt is more important than government debt.
Both parties are happy to maintain significant levels of poverty, low educational achievement, high infant mortality and to restrict public services to the minimum.

No two party system can possibily represent any large number of people, and any country with a two party system is fooling itself to call itself democratic.

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Re: Comparing the Dutch and American Democracies

Post by Arjen » October 11th, 2020, 12:15 pm

Sculptor1 wrote:
October 11th, 2020, 11:27 am
It does not. The USA is democratic in name only, much like the satallites of the former soviet union.
Since when are the states communist then?
In the USA there is one party with two branches. This party is the party of the rich and powerful. They own the media and the two branches both follow the dictates of Milton Frieman. They both use increases in unemployment to control inflation and interest rates, and both blame the unemployed for failures of government economic policy.
They are both obsessed with the deficit and wrongly assume that the only way to spend of through taxation. In this way both parties miss the important fact that public debt is more important than government debt.
Both parties are happy to maintain significant levels of poverty, low educational achievement, high infant mortality and to restrict public services to the minimum.
I am curious what gave you that idea. I think that this is coming from the media, is that correct?
No two party system can possibily represent any large number of people, and any country with a two party system is fooling itself to call itself democratic.
Maybe you will enjoy my topic comparing Dutch and American politics? It would fit right in.
The saying that what is true in theory is not always true in practice, means that the theory is wrong!
~Immanuel Kant

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Arjen
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Re: Comparing the Dutch and American Democracies

Post by Arjen » October 11th, 2020, 12:16 pm

Oh wait, we are here. :) Isn't it true that on a state level there are multiple parties, that unite into republicans and democrats? And, if you think this is not working, how could it change for the better? @Sculptor1
The saying that what is true in theory is not always true in practice, means that the theory is wrong!
~Immanuel Kant

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Re: Comparing the Dutch and American Democracies

Post by Sculptor1 » October 11th, 2020, 3:08 pm

Arjen wrote:
October 11th, 2020, 12:15 pm
Sculptor1 wrote:
October 11th, 2020, 11:27 am
It does not. The USA is democratic in name only, much like the satallites of the former soviet union.
Since when are the states communist then?
Since when were the satallites of the former Soviet Union communist?
Try to read.
In the USA there is one party with two branches. This party is the party of the rich and powerful. They own the media and the two branches both follow the dictates of Milton Frieman. They both use increases in unemployment to control inflation and interest rates, and both blame the unemployed for failures of government economic policy.
They are both obsessed with the deficit and wrongly assume that the only way to spend of through taxation. In this way both parties miss the important fact that public debt is more important than government debt.
Both parties are happy to maintain significant levels of poverty, low educational achievement, high infant mortality and to restrict public services to the minimum.
I am curious what gave you that idea. I think that this is coming from the media, is that correct?
LOL. What planet are you from?
No two party system can possibily represent any large number of people, and any country with a two party system is fooling itself to call itself democratic.
Maybe you will enjoy my topic comparing Dutch and American politics? It would fit right in.
God help you.

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Re: Comparing the Dutch and American Democracies

Post by Sculptor1 » October 11th, 2020, 3:09 pm

Arjen wrote:
October 11th, 2020, 12:16 pm
Oh wait, we are here. :)
**** Duh
Isn't it true that on a state level there are multiple parties, that unite into republicans and democrats? And, if you think this is not working, how could it change for the better? @Sculptor1

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Re: Comparing the Dutch and American Democracies

Post by Arjen » October 11th, 2020, 3:14 pm

Sculptor1 wrote:
October 11th, 2020, 3:08 pm
Since when were the satallites of the former Soviet Union communist?
Try to read.
Then what did you mean?
LOL. What planet are you from?
The saying that what is true in theory is not always true in practice, means that the theory is wrong!
~Immanuel Kant

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Re: Comparing the Dutch and American Democracies

Post by Arjen » October 11th, 2020, 3:17 pm

Sculptor1 wrote:
October 11th, 2020, 3:08 pm
Since when were the satallites of the former Soviet Union communist?
Try to read.
Then what did you mean?
Arjen wrote: I am curious what gave you that idea. I think that this is coming from the media, is that correct?
Sculptor1 wrote: LOL. What planet are you from?
I am serious, then what did you mean?

Isn't it true that on a state level there are multiple parties, that unite into republicans and democrats? And, if you think this is not working, how could it change for the better? @@Sculptor1
The saying that what is true in theory is not always true in practice, means that the theory is wrong!
~Immanuel Kant

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Re: Comparing the Dutch and American Democracies

Post by Sculptor1 » October 11th, 2020, 5:00 pm

Arjen wrote:
October 11th, 2020, 3:14 pm
Sculptor1 wrote:
October 11th, 2020, 3:08 pm
Since when were the satallites of the former Soviet Union communist?
Try to read.
I said democratic in name only.
Shall I type that again??
D E M O C R A T I C I N N A M E O N L Y.

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Arjen
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Re: Comparing the Dutch and American Democracies

Post by Arjen » October 11th, 2020, 5:07 pm

Fine. How could that approve in your opinion?
Olus: what gave you the idea the USA government controls the media?
The saying that what is true in theory is not always true in practice, means that the theory is wrong!
~Immanuel Kant

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Re: Comparing the Dutch and American Democracies

Post by Sculptor1 » October 11th, 2020, 5:14 pm

Arjen wrote:
October 11th, 2020, 5:07 pm
Fine. How could that approve in your opinion?
Olus: what gave you the idea the USA government controls the media?
"approve"??
Are you really asking a question about control of the media? Are you 12?

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