I decided that the whole wietpas saga is my karma for not voting even once in my life.
In the past, whichever country I have ever lived in, I made some efforts so that my own life and that of my partner would be reasonably comfortable. So my life didn’t change whether it was Thatcher, Blair or one of the numerous governments in Japan. I never lost jobs nor faced any humiliations because of the government changes.
However when I came to the Netherlands to start running Betty,TOO! Coffeeshop, I did not realize that I have stepped out of the comfort zone big time. I was naive enough to believe that coffeeshops, together with red light district and euthanasia is a symbol of Dutch pragmatism and appreciation of human nature and self-control and my business would be treated with respect just as other business.
But the last Dutch government decided that coffeeshops are encouraging illegal overseas trafficking and causing troubles to the law-abiding citizens therefore do not deserve the right to let people freely come in. You have to have a wietpas to come to coffeeshops and you have to be a Dutch resident to have a pass. The government must have been aware of the consequences that coffeeshops will not be able to sustain their businesses so it would effectively be a death sentence to coffeeshops for committing the crime of…………dealing in soft drugs, but it has actually been at least ‘tolerated’ by law. Is it just semantics that confuse me?
If the law is indeed implemented from next year, I will definitely lose my investment (as you can see, we were never millionaires who wanted to have a coffeeshop for the bloody sake of life style. it was a very hard earned money), current jobs and securities which come with it, while disappointing so many nice people from all over the world who have supported Betty,TOO! for many years. And these sound pretty much like my whole life. It was bad enough a couple of years ago that no one wanted to rent an apartment or grant a mortgage simply because of my job but now the national government, whose function is to secure its nations and residents is telling me that I have to lose everything, as if my life is nothing worthy.
If the problem can be solved by changing the politics, there is only one thing we can do. I do accept that I canNOT vote because I am not a Dutch national. However, I still have to speak on my behalf as a respectable-ish resident, explain my situation to the electorates and ask for cooperation.
Like I said, based on my own experience, politics may not matter to many people because we do not always see the direct effects in our life. Whichever party elected in will make sure that your day-to-day life will be just about sweet enough so that you only discuss politics in bars to impress your sexual objects.
However, this time I have to beg you all, with my forehead on the floor (Japanese style), to vote for the parties who are known to oppose wietpas. I learned a lesson that there is yet another thing I mustn’t take for granted in life – basic human rights to continue operating businesses under an already given lisence – and in order to secure this, I need your help. And of course, in the future, if I could help anyone to retain his/her well-deserved rights and if I’m allowed to vote, then I shall vote. Actually, in whichever community allows me to vote, I will study the local politics, speak to friends there and cast my vote.y
I promise to be a more committed part of the society, being aware of collective responsibility. Hope my friends will help me so please dissolve my karma, whoever almighty has given it to me…!