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10-09-2006

Society has its own Priorities

 

During the last four years, the political picture of Holland has undergone instructive changes.

During 2002, just a week before the Parliamentary elections, an extremist right-wing personality Pim Fortuyn who had a good chance of being elected to the legislature, was murdered after being shot several times in the head and neck by a young man with leftist views. This event rapidly changed the political atmosphere in favor of the victim?s political views and ideology and caused the parties in the government at the time, liberal and Christian democrats, to also shift to the right in order to better compete with their new challengers. This left a distinct mark on the policies of the governments of the time. One consequence of the murder was that the group of extreme right-wing Parliamentary candidates who supported Fortuyn and had gathered around to form the ?Fortuyn list? scored a momentous and unexpected victory in the elections, despite not having even a single seat prior to the event. They got 26 out of 150 seats in the legislature.

The resultant effect of these events was that the whole political climate in Holland turned to the right to an unprecedented degree. This strengthened the Dutch ?neo-conservatists?, increased pressures on immigrants and especially Muslims, and a closer affinity between the government and government of US President George Bush (especially regarding the war on terrorism). Obviously this produced a response from the left-wing groups and parties in Holland, which produced a kind of ideological confrontation on some issues such as foreign policy or anti-foreign views. This has been the climate in Holland for the last four years and debates over these issues stemming from such divergent poles have preoccupied Dutch politics and political parties and activists.

More recently, however, things have begun to change. Now on the eve of new parliamentary elections, one notices that tangible economic and social issues relating to the population in general are gradually replacing the ideological and cultural debates of the past four years. Instead of endless arguments over immigration, Muslims, etc, there are now more discussions on how to increase economic productivity, issues related to the aging population, labor shortage, etc.

How does this relate to Iran? Even though there is no real democracy in Iran, and therefore any comparison between events there and in Europe can be meaningless, still there are some lessons that may be applicable from the Dutch situation. In Iran a president came to power last year on the promise of economic and social (and not political or ideological) changes. But as soon as his cabinet took form, it began to instigate right-wing views in the ideological and cultural domains. The political and ideologic views and announcements of the new Iranian officials soon dominated the news headlines around the world.

A year later today, what is now increasingly occupying the energy and time of the new government in Iran are the tangible economic and social issues and demands. This stems from the pressures and demands made by the public who have still not forgotten Mr. Ahmadinejad?s promises of giving priority to their economic and social problems, as opposed to issues such as nuclear energy, or philosophizing about the Holocaust or letter-writing to heads of states around the world. Their calls are for job security, economic stability, fighting inflation, attending to social issues, and the likes.

With the continuation of the state of affairs in Iran where these tangible problems only get more compounded and acute, public opinion too shifts away from the irrelevant issues that have dominated the political and social atmosphere over the past year. One can expect that the focus of the government on hardline ideologic issues too will wane and be replaced with focus on the real economic and social issues that preoccupy the lives of ordinary people.

But a change to this new atmosphere will require new political relations and realities. Among the critics of the Iranian regime, are there those who are prepared to take up the management of the situation? It does not appear so. It appears that the debates and focus of the groups opposing and criticizing the Iranian regime too are merely response to and based on the political and ideologic behavior of the Islamic regime.

In fact, issues such as economic growth, combating corruption, fighting poverty, attending to social issues are still not the focus or part of the debates or discussions, and more importantly programs of the groups that criticize the regime in Tehran. And this is despite the fact the public continues to struggle with these issues on a daily basis, regardless of the ideologic battles and drives of the government.

This gap between the public and the elite has worked to the detriment of groups opposing the regime and has returned surprising results when the masses have had a chance to express their views in the past. Is it not the time for these groups to alter the focus of their attention and discussions to more realistic issues called on by the public?


news search

19-05-2007 Een parlement vol antidemokraten

Door Harm Ede Botje, Vrij Nederland; Afghanistan Special, 19 mei 2007

Oud-kamerlid Farah Karimi (Groenlinks) werkte drie maanden als adviseur voor de Verenigde Naties in het jonge Afghaanse parlement. Zij begon vol goede moed,...

Categorie: media

15-05-2007 VN in debat: Terug uit Afghanistan?

Vrij Nederland presenteert i.s.m. de Universiteit Leiden en studievereniging SPIL op 15 mei 2007: 'Terug uit Afghanistan' - Een debat over journalistiek en politiek met o.a. Raymond van den Boogaard, Antoinette de Jong, Joeri...

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9-01-2007 Interview With Farah Karimi by Sepideh Abdi

After serving on the Dutch Parliament for three terms as the foreign policy spokeswoman for the Green Party, Farah Karimi decided not to run for Parliament this year. Instead, she plans to begin a new round of civil society...

Categorie: engl media, engl items

4-01-2007 Europa grote afwezige in de Golf-regio

Europa heeft nagenoeg geen politieke invloed in de landen rond de Perzische Golf, constateert Farah Karimi. Dat is merkwaardig omdat juist Europa er belang bij heeft dat die landen zich in democratische richting ontwikkelen.

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27-12-2006 argos: Afscheids-interview met Farah Karimi

Farah Karimi (1960) was van 19 mei 1998 tot 30 november 2006 Tweede-Kamerlid voor GroenLinks. Zij stopt met het werk van kamerlid. Hoe blikt ze terug op haar periode in de Kamer? Gerard Legebeke vraagt het Karimi.

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23-11-2006 Slagveld Afghanistan - recensie van Addie Schulte

Farah Karimi, die onlangs haar carriŤre als politica voor GroenLinks beŽindigde, bracht in 2000 voor het eerst een bezoek aan Afghanistan, De taliban waren nog aan de macht. Afghanistan was destijds een vrouwengevangenis. De...

Categorie: boek_slagveld_afghan

22-11-2006 argos: kernenergie en non-proliferatie

De Iraanse uraniumverrijking, de Noord-Koreaanse bomtest, de vermeende nucleaire agende van Irak: de mogelijke verspreiding van kernwapens beheerst de wereldpolitiek. Het Non Proliferatie Verdrag uit 1968, het verdrag dat die...

Categorie: media

1-10-2006 Where is the Accountability?

The behavior of state officials in the world arena can be viewed as a reflection of the peculiarities of their country?s domestic political system.

At this year?s annual General Assembly meeting of the United Nations, I...

Categorie: engl items, engl articles

27-09-2006 argos: samenwerking tussen Nederlandse ontwikkelingsorganisaties en Taskforce Uruzgan

In Argos Supplement een debat tussen de Tweede Kamerleden Farah Karimi van GroenLinks en Henk-Jan Ormel van het CDA

over de samenwerking tussen Nederlandse ontwikkelingsorganisaties en Taskforce Uruzgan.

Categorie: media

10-09-2006 Society has its own Priorities

During the last four years, the political picture of Holland has undergone instructive changes.

During 2002, just a week before the Parliamentary elections, an extremist right-wing personality Pim Fortuyn who had a good chance...

Categorie: engl items, engl articles

23-07-2006 NIO: Libanon-Demonstratie in Amsterdam

In Amsterdam hebben afgelopen zaterdag enkele duizenden mensen gedemonstreerd tegen het optreden van IsraŽl in Libanon. De demonstranten verzamelden op het beursplein en wandelden in een lange optocht naar het museumplein. Daar...

Categorie: media

19-07-2006 NIO interview: kwestie Libanon

Tweede Kamerlid Farah Karimi van GroenLinks vindt dat Nederland, dat zich jarenlang heeft opgesteld als vriend van IsraŽl, het recht en de plicht heeft om dit land aan te spreken op de rol die het speelt in het conflict met...

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11-07-2006 When Slogans Attain Supreme Priority

It is now one week that New York is witness to a United Nations conference on Small Arms Trafficking. This is the second such conference after the first on in 2001 which looks at the 5-year performance of countries in their...

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27-04-2006 Only US and Iran

In the spirit of Easter, last week brought the opportunity for European peace-activists to hold anti-war demonstration, like they do every year.

This year?s peace demonstrations took place in different countries in Europe in...

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19-03-2006 We Must Act Today

The government of Iran faces hard days ahead in its relations with the world community. With its rejection of the Russian enrichment proposal, Iran?s rulers are now completely isolated diplomatically. Because from now on, Russia...

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28-02-2006 Trips That Have Lost Their Purpose

The visit that Iran?s Foreign Minister Manoutchehr Mottaki paid to the European Parliament last week was widely covered in the Western press.

In the first place, his mere presence in the European Parliament which came soon after...

Categorie: engl items, engl articles

7-02-2006 The Enemy of My Enemy

The behavior of Iran?s government during the recent months in connection with its nuclear policy has moved European governments to the point of complete distrust of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This change even led Europeans to...

Categorie: engl items, engl articles

17-01-2006 The Great Iranian Potential

There is an estimated 6 million Iranians living outside their homeland. The largest group comprises those who left Iran due to the events of the revolution 27 years ago. But since the recent tightening of the social and political...

Categorie: engl items

2-12-2005 argos: de kwestie Khan

De Tweede Kamer houdt op korte termijn een debat over de kwestie-Khan, de atoomspion die Pakistan aan een atoombom hielp met behulp van in de jaren '70 uit Nederland gestolen atoomgeheimen.

Categorie: media

2-12-2005 argos: De affaire Khan

De Tweede Kamer houdt op korte termijn een debat over de kwestie-Khan, de atoomspion die Pakistan aan een atoombom hielp met behulp van in de jaren '70 uit Nederland gestolen atoomgeheimen.

Categorie: media

Displaying results 21 to 40 out of 58

< Vorige

1

2

3

Volgende

19-05-2007

Een parlement vol antidemokraten

Door Harm Ede Botje, Vrij Nederland; Afghanistan Special, 19 mei 2007

Oud-kamerlid Farah Karimi (Groenlinks) werkte drie maanden als adviseur voor de Verenigde Naties in het jonge Afghaanse parlement. Zij begon vol goede moed,...


15-05-2007

VN in debat: Terug uit Afghanistan?

Vrij Nederland presenteert i.s.m. de Universiteit Leiden en studievereniging SPIL op 15 mei 2007: 'Terug uit Afghanistan' - Een debat over journalistiek en politiek met o.a. Raymond van den Boogaard, Antoinette de Jong, Joeri...


9-01-2007

Interview With Farah Karimi by Sepideh Abdi

After serving on the Dutch Parliament for three terms as the foreign policy spokeswoman for the Green Party, Farah Karimi decided not to run for Parliament this year. Instead, she plans to begin a new round of civil society...


4-01-2007

Europa grote afwezige in de Golf-regio

Europa heeft nagenoeg geen politieke invloed in de landen rond de Perzische Golf, constateert Farah Karimi. Dat is merkwaardig omdat juist Europa er belang bij heeft dat die landen zich in democratische richting ontwikkelen.


27-12-2006

argos: Afscheids-interview met Farah Karimi

Farah Karimi (1960) was van 19 mei 1998 tot 30 november 2006 Tweede-Kamerlid voor GroenLinks. Zij stopt met het werk van kamerlid. Hoe blikt ze terug op haar periode in de Kamer? Gerard Legebeke vraagt het Karimi.


23-11-2006

Slagveld Afghanistan - recensie van Addie Schulte

Farah Karimi, die onlangs haar carriŤre als politica voor GroenLinks beŽindigde, bracht in 2000 voor het eerst een bezoek aan Afghanistan, De taliban waren nog aan de macht. Afghanistan was destijds een vrouwengevangenis. De...


22-11-2006

argos: kernenergie en non-proliferatie

De Iraanse uraniumverrijking, de Noord-Koreaanse bomtest, de vermeende nucleaire agende van Irak: de mogelijke verspreiding van kernwapens beheerst de wereldpolitiek. Het Non Proliferatie Verdrag uit 1968, het verdrag dat die...


1-10-2006

Where is the Accountability?

The behavior of state officials in the world arena can be viewed as a reflection of the peculiarities of their country?s domestic political system.

At this year?s annual General Assembly meeting of the United Nations, I...


27-09-2006

argos: samenwerking tussen Nederlandse ontwikkelingsorganisaties en Taskforce Uruzgan

In Argos Supplement een debat tussen de Tweede Kamerleden Farah Karimi van GroenLinks en Henk-Jan Ormel van het CDA

over de samenwerking tussen Nederlandse ontwikkelingsorganisaties en Taskforce Uruzgan.


10-09-2006

Society has its own Priorities

During the last four years, the political picture of Holland has undergone instructive changes.

During 2002, just a week before the Parliamentary elections, an extremist right-wing personality Pim Fortuyn who had a good chance...


23-07-2006

NIO: Libanon-Demonstratie in Amsterdam

In Amsterdam hebben afgelopen zaterdag enkele duizenden mensen gedemonstreerd tegen het optreden van IsraŽl in Libanon. De demonstranten verzamelden op het beursplein en wandelden in een lange optocht naar het museumplein. Daar...


19-07-2006

NIO interview: kwestie Libanon

Tweede Kamerlid Farah Karimi van GroenLinks vindt dat Nederland, dat zich jarenlang heeft opgesteld als vriend van IsraŽl, het recht en de plicht heeft om dit land aan te spreken op de rol die het speelt in het conflict met...


11-07-2006

When Slogans Attain Supreme Priority

It is now one week that New York is witness to a United Nations conference on Small Arms Trafficking. This is the second such conference after the first on in 2001 which looks at the 5-year performance of countries in their...


27-04-2006

Only US and Iran

In the spirit of Easter, last week brought the opportunity for European peace-activists to hold anti-war demonstration, like they do every year.

This year?s peace demonstrations took place in different countries in Europe in...


19-03-2006

We Must Act Today

The government of Iran faces hard days ahead in its relations with the world community. With its rejection of the Russian enrichment proposal, Iran?s rulers are now completely isolated diplomatically. Because from now on, Russia...


28-02-2006

Trips That Have Lost Their Purpose

The visit that Iran?s Foreign Minister Manoutchehr Mottaki paid to the European Parliament last week was widely covered in the Western press.

In the first place, his mere presence in the European Parliament which came soon after...


7-02-2006

The Enemy of My Enemy

The behavior of Iran?s government during the recent months in connection with its nuclear policy has moved European governments to the point of complete distrust of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This change even led Europeans to...


17-01-2006

The Great Iranian Potential

There is an estimated 6 million Iranians living outside their homeland. The largest group comprises those who left Iran due to the events of the revolution 27 years ago. But since the recent tightening of the social and political...


2-12-2005

argos: de kwestie Khan

De Tweede Kamer houdt op korte termijn een debat over de kwestie-Khan, de atoomspion die Pakistan aan een atoombom hielp met behulp van in de jaren '70 uit Nederland gestolen atoomgeheimen.


2-12-2005

argos: De affaire Khan

De Tweede Kamer houdt op korte termijn een debat over de kwestie-Khan, de atoomspion die Pakistan aan een atoombom hielp met behulp van in de jaren '70 uit Nederland gestolen atoomgeheimen.


Displaying results 21 to 40 out of 58

< Vorige

1

2

3

Volgende