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A naturalised expat's view of Dutch life and politics

Wilders stole D66's thunder on election night but his words have come back to bite him

By Nicola Chadwick (@amsternic)

Dutch politics blogger Nicola Chadwick reflects on the outcome of the September 12 election.As predicted, the biggest winners of Wednesday's municipality election were the Democrats D66. The progressive-liberal party took traditional Labour Party strongholds like Groningen and Amsterdam as well as several other cities. But the losses were not limited to the social democrats: their coalition partners, the Liberal VVD party, had a poor showing too. The only surprise in the municipal elections was that the Christian Democrats held on to most of their municipal seats in spite of poor showings in the pre­election polls and even the first prognoses. It means the Christian Democrats still have the biggest number of local council seats across the country.

The Socialist Party built on its previous successes by fielding more candidates in more towns than ever.  The unsung winners of the night were the local parties, which also took many VVD and Labour seats up and down the country.

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Read more: Wilders stole D66's thunder on election night but his words have come back to bite him

Why Fortuyn's ghost stalks the Dutch political landscape as local elections loom

By Nicola Chadwick (@amsternic)

Dutch politics blogger Nicola Chadwick reflects on the outcome of the September 12 election.The local elections in the Netherlands are just under a week away. On a personal note the vote marks the end of my partner's political career as he stands down as an alderman in North Amsterdam's district council. At the same time, the capital's district councils will be stripped of many of their powers as the municipality goes back to a centralised system of local governance. Maybe that’s why there are so many women heading the polling lists in North Amsterdam for the new executive committee, which replaces the old structure. Once the power goes, so do the men, it seems.

The move is meant to save money, but the central council has already been criticised for spending a whopping €100,000 on a new house style. Essentially the only change was one press on the enter button, as 'Amsterdam' is now written underneath 'Council' rather than next to it.

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Read more: Why Fortuyn's ghost stalks the Dutch political landscape as local elections loom

Will success on the ice of Sochi rekindle enthusiasm for an Amsterdam Olympics?

By Nicola Chadwick (@amsternic)

Dutch politics blogger Nicola Chadwick reflects on the outcome of the September 12 election.Never before has a Dutch team done so well at the Olympics as at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. The Dutch took home 24 medals and swept the podium four times during the competition. Speed skater Ireen Wust took home more individual medals than any other athlete. But the Dutch wouldn’t be the Dutch if they didn’t complain. It’s not done in the Netherlands to excel. So the criticasters grumbled when it started looking like the Netherlands was the only country winning in the speed skating events.

They were not the only ones as the Olympic authorities are looking into why other countries did so badly. The Norwegians even pulled out of the 10 kilometre race, as did the Russian silver medallist Ivan Skobrev. The Americans blamed their Dutch-made suits when they failed to win a single speed skating medal. US speed skater Jonathan Kuck even decided to hang up his skates after the games.

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Read more: Will success on the ice of Sochi rekindle enthusiasm for an Amsterdam Olympics?