Thinking outside of the (ballot) box: Why I love the frequent national elections
A periodical exercise to ignore slander and stay calm and not get upset
The whole time no elections are in sight, the government parties just have their pet projects, and we never are in their field of vision. But, as soon as we get elections, they wake up and play Santa Claus. It’s about time.
The opposition parties are exempt from being constructive, so from them, we get nothing at all if you ignore the slander and anger. But, when an election draws nearer, they make programs for our good as if they are the main power to decide everything already. It’s true that, as soon as they’re in the opposition again, all their plans become worthless, but it is still healing to hear politicians feverishly declaring that they care about us.
It’s just fun to see how half of these parliamentarians drop principles and loyalties, reshuffle the deck several times as if change means progress.
And then there are the polls. If you don’t have enough entertainment from the weather forecast, you get election predictions. They are nonsense and worthless but that has never made them change their methods or anyone stop wasting their money ordering more polls. They always ensure that the margin of uncertainty is larger than the threshold so they can never be blamed for most parties making the threshold or not—each of them completely changing how many seats there are for all the others. Fun is also to see them predict success for different fictitious coalitions, and most politicians believe them. It’s like watching your kids believing in Santa.
For some voters and special interest groups, elections mean secretly and openly lobbying. Some get passionate, with declarations, demonstrations, heated public/private debates, and vague death threats. Almost all fun.
Then your options. In doubt whether to vote for this or that party (leader)? No problem. This time you vote for A and in six months for B. A split vote as never been seen in any other country. You can dance at two weddings.
And then the day of the vote. The illusion that it all depends on you! Or at least that you send a signal to the politicians. As if they care.
And also, the tallying is an unparalleled circus. Almost everyone won, in some way. Some got more seats, some got more seats than expected, some got more seats in the beginning. The party leaders who lost big time but still made the threshold will resign. They won’t represent those who voted for them as they ‘understand that ‘the voters’ didn’t want them.’ And then, commentators can and will explain and explain away anything.
The last four elections resulted in a left-right deadlock, and that’s part of the fun. Our multi-party system and equal strength of the left and right mean we won’t flip between extremes, like in the US. Whatever we vote and whatever ‘analysts’ call it, the next coalition will be centrist again.
The wealthy claim that each election is very costly. This, of course, is a lie. All the money goes to people who sell, earn, and will spend it, so it’s a big boost for the economy. And, more than soccer, it’s worth every penny!
About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, an almost daily blog contributor to the Times of Israel, and previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. He's proud that his analytical short comments are removed both from left-wing and right-wing news sites. *
As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. He doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit about what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and education contribute to his visions. *
If you don't know the Dutch, get an American peek behind the scenes here: https://youtu.be/QMPp6h6r72M *
To find less-recent posts on subject XXX among his over 1600 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe, here: https://mmvanzuiden.wordpress.com/. *
Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. Yet, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people who don't deserve that. He admits that he sometimes exaggerates to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. *
Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA+, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust, and Jewish Liberation), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. *
His most influential teachers (chronologically) are his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. *
One of his rabbis calls him Mr. Innovation [Ish haChidushim]. Yet, his originalities seem to root deeply in traditional Judaism, though they may grow in unexpected directions. In fact, he claims he's modernizing nothing. Rather, mainly basing himself on the basic Hebrew Torah text, he tries to rediscover classical Jewish thought almost lost in thousands of years of stifling Gentile domination and Jewish assimilation. (He pleads for a close reading of the Torah instead of going by rough assumptions of what it would probably mean and before fleeing to Commentaries.) This, in all aspects of life, but prominently in the areas of Free Will, Activism, Homosexuality for men, and Redemption. *
He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. He loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, anti-elitism, anti-bigotry and supremacy, for Zionism, Intersectionality, and non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. *
He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), born in 1953 to parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. *
He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, empowering therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids non-violently. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's being a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. He lives with his library in Jerusalem. Feel free to contact him. *
His writing has been made possible by a (second-generation) Holocaust survivors' allowance from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having an original peek outside of your cultural bubble. *
To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. *
His newest books you may find here: https://www.amazon.com/s?i=stripbooks&rh=p_27%3AMoshe-Mordechai%2FMaurits+van+Zuiden&s=relevancerank&text=Moshe-Mordechai%2FMaurits+van+Zuiden&ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1