You don't understand how things work. The Queen's position is highly symbolic. The government is responsible for her actions and the Queen is very much curtailed in her actions. Basically the only thing she can do is refuse to sign a law or royal decision, but this has almost never been a problem. In such a case, the government could always change the constitution and remove the Queen from power. There is no serious threat to our democracy.
All of the mayors are appointed by the Queen
She does not get to decide who gets appointed. The only option she has is not to sign. Besides, our majors are supposed to be independent, so it makes a lot of sense not to elect them.
(including the mayor of Amsterdam who [...] was the Queen's, er, boyfriend...).
Really? Strange, considering the considerable hubbub recently about her father's illegitimate children and her grandmother's lovers. A rumor like this would be first class gossip, even if the only truth to it is an intimate handshake. Since I've never heard anything about it, I assume you're simply making this up (or do you have proof?).
All the regional assemblies are appointed by the Queen. They, in turn, appoint the first chamber of the parliment (roughly the equivelant of the US Senate or the House of Lords...).
No, there are provincial elections to decide who will represent us in the regional assemblies.
The Queen chooses and appoints the government, and because no party is able to win even a plural majority, she gets to decide who will be in the coalition.
Currently, the Queen selects the person(s) who try to get the parties to form a majority coalition. However, the parties themselves decide who make up the coalition. The Queen cannot force them. Furthermore, it is not required that the Queen perform this duty. The parties can choose someone themselves, but currently, they prefer to outsource this to the Queen.
The Queen is the largest shareholder in almost all the largest companies in the country.
She's rich, but not that rich. The largest shareholders in just about any country are investment and pension funds. Compared to the fortunes they manage, the Queen is poverty striken.
Voters choose parties, not people. They have little control in who gets to serve.
That's because our systems are different. In the US, you can choose from only two parties (Neocon & whatever the Democrats represent). This means that many people cannot really choose a party that represents their views (well, you can vote Green or Libertarian, but your vote will effectively be wasted). A small consolidation is that there is a bit more choice in choosing the specific person who represents you.
In The Netherlands, we choose a party with certain views. The party consists of different people who have their own expertise. For instance, one person is responsible for international affairs, another handles justice and a third is an expert on healthcare. The larger a party is, the better they can function, the more chance they have to get in a coalition and have their wishes granted when they do. The voter is supposed to judge the party as a whole: what do they promise and how do they make good on that?
Each party has to make a list of the people they want in the House of Representatives before the elections, so you know the people you vote for. If a party gets 10 seats, the first ten people of their list are elected. There is also the possibility of a lower ranked individual to get in the House if he gets enough votes for himself.
More than four people standing together in a public place is cause for arrest.
Unless you are demonstrating, in an meeting or in a religious gathering. Furthermore, there needs to be a judge who wants to punish you. I don't know the jurisprudence, but I doubt you would get into trouble for just talking with a few friends.
Critizing the Queen in public is punishable by jail time.
No, insulting the Queen is a punishable offence. There is a difference between criticizing and insulting. I do disagree with the law, but it's not as bad as you make it out to be.
So all this is not surprising. If you want to fix it, you have to first fix your broken political system. The one that allows things like the Betuwelijn (see this for how the Dutch government is responding to protest and resistance to the destruction of one of the few natural forests in the country).
I've not heard any major concerns about police abuse over that railroad line. It was a multi-billion dollar black hole which did run through our rural areas (which we want to preserve) and it will never make a profit. However, The Netherlands doesn't have any natural forests. Every forest we have has been planted by humans, no original pre-civilization forest still exist.
Oh, and that famous Dutch 'tolerance'? It's to give people like you an outlet for their frustration. The country itself is deeply conservative (as in, "refusing to be vacinnated for religous reasons" or "I'm only going to watch Catholic TV, read Caltholic magazines and listen to Catholic radio" conservative).
OMG, The Netherlands is extremely secularized. The non-vaccination crowd is centered in Staphorst (a region with only 15,000 people), which hopefully underscores how 'widespread' this is. The so-called verzuiling has mostly disappeared in the 70's. Verzuiling or pillarization means that every religion/movement has it's own church, schools, broadcasting company, unions. Today, you can still see the different backgrounds, but they are mostly flavor. Very few Dutch people choose them for religious reasons. For instance, the Christian schools do very well, but according to surveys, that's because people think they are good. As a result, the religious factor has dimished. When I was in high school (10 years ago), we stopped praying in the morning (which was done only occasionally when I was there). I'd be hard pressed to identify a significant difference with a public school after that.
As for being conservative, you do realize that we legalized gay marriage, euthanasia and selling soft-drugs in coffeeshops, don't you?
Well, those radio stations were the nails sticking up, they just got hammered down.
No, it's because they are against the law. Unregulated transmitters can cause serious trouble, so I understand why the laws exist and I understand why they don't want to allow stations that aren't (yet) causing trouble. If you leave it be, they may a have claim later. If you knowingly let an illegal situation exist, that may be become legal. For instance, if a neighbour walks over your terrain for some 20 years, you cannot build a fence there afterwards, because a right of passing has been created. Therefor, people who open their private lands to the public, will always bar passage one day every x years (and make pictures/have witnesses). Besides, the law should be changed if it's wrong, not ignored, because that only creates uncertainty and inequality.
BTW, You're free to feel resentful for whatever bad experience you may have had, but please try to stick to the facts. Claiming that I'm any less free than someone in a country with the PATRIOT ACT is a difficult case to make, IMNSHO.
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