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TrekToday - Site Columns

Site Columns

By Christian
May 12, 2002 - 6:45 PM

Hello World!

How things can change in just one week.

Just a week ago, I wrote here about how I was worried about the popularity of the right-wing populist politician Pim Fortuyn, who was doing so well here in the Netherlands. Two days later, Fortuyn was assassinated, and the entire country went in a state of shock.

Unlike the events of the 11th of September, which I only found out about a few hours after everything had started, here I was watching the news from the very moment it started, and thus experienced the sickening feeling of everything falling apart at a merciless speed. First the news presenter at the end of the news read a notice that said Fortuyn had been stabbed, and more details would follow. Then it became clear he had been shot, and ambulances were trying to get to him. Only a few minutes later he was indeed pronounced dead, and the country changed. First at night there was the silent memorial in Rotterdam, where Fortuyn lived, and the riots in The Hague, where the government is located. And then in the days after that there were the impressive memorial services, but also the threats that were suddenly directed at other party leaders..

Clearly, no matter what people thought of Fortuyn, it's disgusting that he was murdered, and something I never thought would ever happen here in the Netherlands. I'm also really afraid of the consequences of the murder. Of course it was just the work of one madman who reportedly disagreed with Fortuyn's views on the environment, but that hasn't changed a lot of grieving people from blaming the current government for his death. The amount of anger and polarisation present is quite scary, and I hope it will be possible to come to a bit of unity in the country again.

Bizarrely, the elections are still going forward as planned on Wednesday. Opinion polls are no longer being conducted, so no one has any idea what the results will be. All political campaigns have of course also been halted, so there's no telling what the 30% of the people who last week hadn't yet decided will now base their vote on. There's a good chance many of these people may decide to still vote for the party Pim Fortuyn assembled a few months ago, even though it's a bit unclear what their policies actually will be and the party is already showing the first signs of falling apart without its leader.

Whatever happens Wednesday, it's clear the country will never be the same again. I just hope that when the smoke clears up Wednesday and the election results become known the hate and anger that's present everywhere will finally be able to subside a little.

Trek BBS Today

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Trek Two Years Ago

Below are some of the most important headlines that appeared on TrekToday on Thursday the 12th of May, 2000:

More news from this day can be found in our May 2000 archives.

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How would you rate 'Fallen Hero'?
9-10 45% - (485 Votes)
7-8 29.4% - (317 Votes)
Wasn't able to see it 10.4% - (113 Votes)
5-6 8.6% - (93 Votes)
3-4 2.3% - (25 Votes)
1-2 2.3% - (25 Votes)
Didn't want to see it 1.7% - (19 Votes)

Total Votes: 1077

,After this week with two new episodes, it should come as no surprise that the new poll deals with the second episode of the week, 'Desert Crossing':,

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