Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A little bit Christian and a tiny bit green

Light throwing shadows, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

This is a photo of a window, showing both shadows and reflections, one such reflection, on the left, showing what looks to be, but isn't, a cross. A good time to reflect, then, on the perceived Christian influence on the plans of the new government. Het Parool made a list as follows:

- better off pensioners have to pay contributions to their own pensions
- general pardon for asylum seekers from before 2001
- continued moratorium on stem cell research
- development of alternatives to abortion
- no new experiments with further extension of euthanesia rules
- no 'coffeeshops' near school
- civil servants can refuse to officiate at marriages where both are of same-sex
- prosecute people who use under-age prositutes
- increase taxes on cigarettes and alcohol
- attention to be given to the consequences of divorce

Altogether not so drastic, even though one continues to ask oneself, why did it have to be a small Christian party called to make up the numbers, when there were other alternatives? Just as in the UK, they are making great strides in stopping religious groups from discriminating, why here in Holland so we have a government which is allowing discrimination?

Just as Europe was never mentioned during the campaigns, despite it being a major issue, the environment was also relatively ignored while people discussed whether or not kindergartens should be made free and whether or not the pill should be included in the basic health insurance policy. Again, when everyone knows that the environment is a big issue, one might have thought there would be more discussion. As it happens, the new government seems to think that spending an extra € 800 million on the environment (€ 50 each) will be enough to ensure that Holland will be the cleanest country in Europe by 2020. A mis-match between goals and resources. About half of the money to be spent will come from taxes on flights. Oh dear...

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