© Eugène Franken
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Last Wednesday was a beautiful day. With trees suddenly sprouting everywhere and cheerfully singing birds. A new spring, a new sound. In the distance, an airplane with a banner was whirring: ‘Stop the hovering, vote today,‘ I read. Oh yes, elections for the provincial states and water boards. Suddenly the polling station appeared anxiously fast in sight. I was still floating. Of course, no party program exactly matches what you would like. And a lot of politics is limited to “good intentions” and “give us the keys to power, but don’t expect anything in return”. Get over that. Free elections are fundamental and scarce.

About this column:

In a weekly column, alternately written by Eveline van Zeeland, Derek Jan Fikkers, Eugène Franken, JP Kroeger, Katleen Gabriels, Bernd Maier-Leppla, Willemijn Brouwer, and Colinda de Beer, Innovation Origins tries to figure out what the future will look like. These columnists, sometimes joined by guest bloggers, all work in their own way to find solutions to the problems of our time. Here are all the previous installments.

That it takes some effort to form your judgment, by the way, is not surprising. Democracy is not a panacea but simply the least harmful form of government. Maintaining it requires maintenance and a collective strategy. The latter is among the purposes of our legislation: direction – quality improvement – clarity. That, however, is not enough, it turns out. The wealth of humanity comes from working together. And good cooperation is strongly related to the level of trust.

Ineffective and fictitious

This is proving increasingly complicated. Also because we focus on ineffective measures like Co2 and nitrogen and fictitious dichotomies. Both focus on partial interests rather than systemic change. We also think too much in black or white and all or nothing. As a result, we get stuck. It is better not to stir things up so much with so-called conflicts between villages and inner cities, urbanites and rural dwellers, farmers and nature, elite, and people, left and right. The vast majority lives somewhere in between.

Besides, we have no time to waste. It is all agonizingly slow. Endless discussions and meetings at ever new tables. You can’t keep putting off choices. Life doesn’t stay the way it was. Everyone really understands that.

Fortunately, many things – including an attractive perspective on the layout of the country – come with a price tag. What is it worth to you? Well, measuring = knowing. And that’s good news. Understanding the relationship between investment and impact makes choosing easier. 

And besides, what’s so terribly wrong? Look on the bright side. We live in a wonderful country. An oasis in a turbulent world. Relatively prosperous, moreover. Count your blessings. Stop arguing. Don’t see problems everywhere, but offer solutions. Show courage, as in the middle between fear and hubris. Everything depends on human behavior. Try saying something no one has thought of yet.