Please make your voice heard
Exactly 364 days ago, we placed a call to vote for the elections to the House of Representatives. Nearly 80% of the 13 million people allowed to vote cast their votes. Now, one day after a year later, we can do it again. A lot has changed in that year. We went through the second year of Covid. The fact that we seem to be less and less tolerant of each other, persuasion appears to be more important than listening, and our neighbor in Amsterdam, Thierry Baudet, is saying more and more bizarre things, are all more than enough reasons to vote.
And there's a reason that stands head and shoulders above that. A reason that can be summed up in one word: 'democracy.' We have absolutely no words for the insane war that Russia has started against Ukraine. If you get in your car now, you will be at the Ukrainian border in 15 hours. That's about as far as Barcelona or Florence. Ukraine is under attack by a country that has systematically destroyed democracy over the past 20 years. In hindsight, it seems that a systematic plan is being implemented in which the crimes against Ukraine are a step in. You can read it almost verbatim in the constitution adopted in 2020. According to measurements by the Freedom House, Russia now scores 7 points on a scale of 100 and is awarded the lowest status, that of 'Consolidated Authoritarian Regime.'
If there had been a good force-counterforce relationship, this crime of Putin would have been unthinkable. A properly functioning democracy safeguards these forces precisely. It is a great privilege to choose our city and country administrators ourselves. And, in that same voice, send them home if we feel they didn't do a good job. We can confront and contradict those politicians without fear of decades of incarceration.
So, please: enjoy the enormous privilege of voting. In complete freedom, in total anonymity, on the party and the person, you think "yes!". And there is more than enough choice. Today it is possible. Shall we?