politicians
politicians
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Is Everything Political Or Non-Political?

You can read the title of my weblog in two ways. Yes or no with the brackets. How you read this may depend on how you are in public administration or how you view politics. And that is not very strange. Both movements occur among administrators and politicians.

 

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Everything is political
On the one hand, there are the politicians for whom everything is political. On the one hand, they make use of compelling visions, but also regularly make use of pre-hopeless motions. After all, symbolic politics is also political. Or make politics of agendas and procedures. Policy continuity is not important to them. If it is more convenient to change course, it will. Everything is political. This is often tiring and disruptive and that is sometimes the very goal of the politicians involved. For them, politics is not the means, but the end.

Not everything is political
On the other hand, there are politicians who emphasize that not everything is political. For them, there are fixed values, fundamental principles, and lines within which a politician operates and which people want to adhere to. Governance continuity is of paramount importance to these politicians. They name subjects and seize moments that transcend politics. They put the rule of law and good governance first in their actions and they also want to keep the debate in order. These politicians apply a kind of political hygiene.

Consistency of policy
Neither of these two styles is left or right. These styles can be found on both sides of the political spectrum. Yet the style in which ‘everything is political’ is dominant is not good for our country, provinces and municipalities. Inhabitants need stability, reliability, perspective, and trust-inspiring leadership. Not a street fight or ‘village politics’. This requires a certain consistency of policy and a certain distance from the issues of the day. And exactly this also applies to the relationships between the levels of government.

Dealing with administrative structure and financial system agreements
Financial and administrative relationships require care, consistency, and restraint. Yes, political principles prevail over technocratic implementation. Yes, that can and must be tinkered with a certain regularity. Yes, system agreements must also go along and be adapted to the times in which we live. However, taking an opportunistic approach to administrative structure and financial system agreements quickly leads to cluttered up and – political or financial – accidents and, at some point, an inevitable failure of policy or problems in implementation. Everyone knows from their own domestic experience: if you do not regularly clean up the shed and just mess around, there is only one option waiting at any time: the big cleaning. There is much more to it than just keeping it in order.

Decentralization and the financial system
In the meantime, the sounds are getting louder: the decentralization in its current form is stagnating (SCP) or, according to some, rattling on all sides(Foundation decentralized administration). In addition to all the otherwise good analyzes that apply to this, in my view, this also has everything to do with the hasty transfer in 2015, the enormous budgetary interventions that went with it, and the political capriciousness with which the decentralization had to contend in recent years on both policy and financial level. Depending on the political whims, interim interventions in policy were or were not taken. And depending on what did or did not ‘work out’ politically, they decided on (usually no) money. Too little policy space for municipalities and too little money for the requested task performance. That does not go well for long. Meanwhile, the administrative and financial system is squeaking and creaking at the seams.

Featured

Politicians | Political Statement With Their Clothing

Everything has been thought about: from the color tie to rolling up sleeves. Together with image expert Zabeth van Veen, we check out the outfits of some of our own politicians.

Days like Prinsjesdag are the perfect opportunity to make a political statement through looks and clothing. For example, Carla Dik-Faber (CU) wore a dress made of old train seat upholstery in 2015 to draw attention to recycled material and sustainable public transport. In 2018, Esther Ouwehand (PvdD) wore a dress with 1,200 crosses that represented the 1,200 animals slaughtered every minute in the Netherlands. But statements are made with clothing not only during Prinsjesdag, this also happens during debates in the House of Representatives.

The blue suit
We often see politicians appear in a blue suit. Why exactly that color? “Blue subconsciously gives a feeling of reliability. That is why pilots and the navy often wear this color, ”explains image expert Zabeth van Veen. The examination of the California State University shows that in Western countries is very important in contrast clothing. For example, a dark blue suit with a white shirt radiates authority. In other countries, completely different rules apply when it comes to color.

Ties
Not only the suit but also the tie is considered. For example, have you ever noticed that Mark Rutte (VVD) never wears a red tie, but Geert Wilders (PVV) and Pieter Heerma (CDA) do? “Red is the color of the PvdA, but it is also a color that requires attention. Do you want the eyes on you? Then you choose red. ” According to Zabeth, you unconsciously look first at the person with a red tie. “Research has also shown that 80 percent of people consider a person with a dark blue suit, a white shirt, and a red tie to be the most decisive and effective leader.”

Clothing as a marketing tool
If we zoom in on the personal clothing choices of politicians, we quickly arrive at the set that Mark Rutte has been wearing for years when he meets the people. Arjen Lubach has already made an item about this. When Rutte goes on a campaign, he almost always ‘buy‘ and wears a light shirt, a hoodie, and a blue padded jacket. “Rutte looks a bit like the average student. If he would look extremely fashionable, people would immediately think: why does he have time for that. Actually, you can never do it right.”

Turtleneck and rolled up sleeves
Another thing that we see more and more among politicians lately is wearing a turtleneck sweater in combination with a jacket. We saw this among others with Farid Azarkan (DENK) and Jesse Klaver (GL). “It’s winter, of course, but a turtleneck sweater also radiates intellect. Consider, for example, Steve Jobs. It suits GroenLinks and Klaver can take it well.”

The sneakers from Kaag
Finally, we must also talk about the clothing of women in the House of Representatives. Zabeth is convinced that women should earn more than men when you consider the clothes that need to be purchased. “Men have a few suits and shirts and then it’s okay. Women are viewed much more critically. If a woman puts on the same outfit five times in two weeks or if their hair is not in the right place, the reaction is much more violent.”

Outstanding colors
Another thing that stands out is that women often wear colorful clothes. Just look at Lilianne Ploumen (PvdA), Esther Ouwehand, Corrie van Brenk (50Plus) or Lilian Marijnissen (SP). “That way you can stand out, but politicians have to be careful with bright colors. Striking colors look very good with Lilianne Ploumen, but with Lilian Marijnissen it could just be that the colors run away with her, so to speak. That has to do with what color type you are. That all works very technically.”

Elections | There’s A Lot Of Promises But Little Is Fulfilled

In an election battle, it is not who is right that counts, but who is right. This sometimes makes campaigns and debates entertainment, but more often a source of great irritation. Logic loses out to rhetoric. But as an audience, this is partly our own fault, because we determine what scores. A series by philosopher Arno Bouwes on logic and illogic in election time.

A good election slogan does not repel potential voters, it attracts them. The best slogans that they will print using the best printers such as ‘printer for avery labels‘ are a mirror in which everyone can see their own preferences reflected. The PvdA wants to “Move forward together. Let’s build the Netherlands together that everyone can be proud of”, D’66 “gets it done. Good work, good education, good care” and for the VVD it’s about “Normal. Doing it. . ” They are slogans that you can hardly disagree with, because moving forward, normal and good can mean something different for everyone. Even with many points of view, you can only agree. Hugo Borst visited all political parties and discovered to his great surprise that they all really want the same thing: good care. But of course, the party that strives for bad care, bad work, and bad education has yet to be founded. In the run-up to the elections, there is, therefore, a lot of shouting, but little said. Precisely because it is too little about the content, politicians talk about each other too often. Rutte lies, Buma is a pouting toddler, Jesse Klaver is a bad imitation of Obama and Wilders is insipid and indecent. The other is no good, but this doesn’t tell me who to vote for.

Everyone wants a better, just society that you can be proud of. But what does this look like? Nobody wants ambulance personnel to be abused, annoying neighbors, pollution, or heavy taxes. But how do we achieve this and what do we sacrifice for this? In other words: what are the choices we will soon face as a voter? If you are in doubt about who to vote for, you can start by asking yourself the following two questions: 1. What are the parties saying about their own content? And especially 2. Do they say something that you can also disagree with? A statement that you cannot disagree with is almost always meaningless.

The problem with meaningless positions is that political policy must eventually become concrete. The content comes later and with it the disagreement, division, and disappointment. The care plan will not get off the ground like this, Elke1 will simply become everyone for himself again and the new prime minister will (again) turn out to be a disappointment. You had imagined something different about “the Netherlands you can be proud of.” So let’s hope for election debates with propositions and substantiation that you can wholeheartedly agree with, but especially disagree with so that there is a clear choice in the elections.