Friday, March 12, 2010

Hans van Mierlo

Now normally this blog is about climbing and related issues.
So, I thought I should change it a bit. Just because climbing is not the only thing in my life. But it's difficult, almost scary to write about different issues. Especially scary to write about politics, because it's so sensitive.

These days Dutch politics are a big issue.
We have IceSave, the we have the former finance minister (Wouter Bos) who quit today, we have the Prime Minister (J.Peter Balkenende) who only wants to get back in politics if he can become Prime Minister again (is he a Dictator?), vote recount in Rotterdam after the municipal elections, the fall of the Dutch cabinet, et cetera...

And last week politician Hans van Mierlo died at the age of 78. He was one of the main figures behind the left-wing liberal party D'66. (Democrats 1966, established in 1966 by van Mierlo and others)
He was basically the political embodiment of the Dutch cultural revolution of the 1960's.
Van Mierlo's impact on the Dutch politics goes further then just being the figure of a sudden successful political party.
Through the years he analyses the political system is dynamic, and his conclusions of the failing political system are confirmed. The increased attention to the individual and the development of the information society were a proof of his analysis that politics would become less about parties and more about the people leading, voting and using the party. The new politicians (Pim Fortuyn, Geert Wilders) and parties (PVV, LPF, Animals Party) are a vivid example of van Mierlo's ideas that politics will turn to a play of individuals.

Van Mierlo was philosopher, bohemian, romantic, bon vivant, master of paradox, eternal doubter, and also politician. I hope his ideas can stay alive and we can keep changing the world to a liberal, social and democratic place with the fun of our freedom.

I'm member of D'66 and I'm inspired by people like van Mierlo.
(Picture by Vincent Mentzel, Hans van Mierlo in 1986)

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