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Americans don't often extend to the Dutch the credit they might deserve - after all, they have given the world van Gogh, the pendulum clock and more innovations in cheese-making than I can do justice to here. Their politics and culture seem impenetrably alien to us - their native tongue sounds like endless karaoke-grade scatting - though their laws seem to appeal to our teenagers interested in both constitutionalism and marijuana. Still, it might be time that Americans finally take serious notice of a development slowly but discernibly unraveling within Dutch politics.
Philippine national elections are set for Monday, but just because a vote is scheduled doesn't mean it will actually occur. The Southeast Asian nation is one of those places where talk about voting usually is preceded by the sad qualifier, "<i>if</i> the election happens. ..." This year is no different.