Even more coalition news

Well, it’s clear the elections are drawing near. Coalition news is on the rise, with yesterday Rutte indicating a coalition with the PVV is not entirely out of the question, and today Cohen reacting to that news.

Wilders said he hoped for a VVD+CDA+PVV coalition; and that’s logical because it’s the only possible coalition for him.

Until now VVD and especially CDA have been wary of committing themselves; the CDA has a large group of voters that detests Wilders and would find such a right-wing coalition a reason not to vote for those parties.

Only yesterday former prime minister Van Agt, who was Den Uyl’s enemy back in the seventies, said he’d resign his membership of the CDA he helped found if that party would enter into a coalition with Wilders.
(Source: Volkskrant)

Rutte is less bound than Balkenende, though; a right-wing coalition with the PVV is significantly more popular among VVD voters than among CDA voters. Therefore he stated that a VVD+CDA+PVV coalition is possible, as far as he’s concerned. He does not exclude Wilders. Besides, he said, he found Purple a distinctly unlikely perspective. The difference between PvdA and VVD has never been as large since the seventies.

Still, he added, the PVV with its breakpoint on pension age increase is “as left-wing as the SP,” so he foresees difficult negotiations.
(Source: Telegraaf | Volkskrant)

In other words, if you want a truly right-wing government, don’t vote PVV.

Besides, this string of statements is logically impossible. If the PVV is as left-wing as the SP, why wouldn’t the VVD cooperate with more centre-left PvdA? The social-democrats have proven they can cooperate with the liberals in a government that treats the right-wing economic views as its basis.

Rutte correctly points at a serious problem any VVD+CDA+? combination would have. The PVV has excluded any increase of the pension age, which VVD and CDA do want. If those negotiations would fail, VVD and CDA would turn to D66, which, however, has made reform of the housing market (mortgage deduction and rents) a breakpoint for government participation; and VVD and especially CDA are totally opposed to any change in the mortgage deduction.

VVD+CDA+GL+CU? It is becoming an option — if Wilders withdraws from the negotiations and D66 holds firm on its housing plans.

Predictably, PvdA leader Cohen warned against this coalition, stating that it would increase the chasm between rich and poor. Besides, having Wilders in government would make us ridiculous in the eyes of Europe. He also deplored the proliferation of breakpoints. All in all not an entirely unexpected line of argument.
(Source: Telegraaf | Volkskrant)

So battle lines are being drawn, and Cohen is right: those breakpoints make coalition negotiations much more complicated.

<— And more coalition news | Comparing final polls to election results —>

This is the political blog of Peter-Paul Koch, mobile platform strategist, consultant, and trainer, in Amsterdam. It’s a hobby blog where he follows Dutch politics for the benefit of those twelve foreigners that are interested in such matters, as well as his Dutch readers.


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