Small fry, 31 May
Some minor points:
- During the weekend Cohen warned against a right-wing coalition, and today Rutte and Wilders dismiss his criticism. Although Rutte stated Wilders and he weren’t “flirting,” he pointed out that Cohen wants to bind all Dutch together but rejects Wilders. Wilders was a lot more bad-mouthed about the affair.
- If people lose their job, for the first three years they get a benefit from the so-called WW, before going to another, more sober benefit system. During the debates there was talk of restricting the WW to one year — a right-wing talking point, although GL and D66 agreed.
Wilders disagreed, wanting to keep the WW at three years. That might cause him problems, since 58% of his voters feel that it should be restricted to one year. Thus Wilders again hijacks a left-wing talking point that doesn’t resonate with his mostly right-wing voters at all. Will it give him problems? Maybe; can’t tell right now yet. But the fact remains that left-wing voters are better off with the SP, while right-wing voters are better off with the VVD.
- The PvdD has created the largest advertisement in the world by sowing its logo into a piece of land close to the national airport of Schiphol. The ad can be recycled for the full 100%, being made as it is from only plants.
(Source: Volkskrant | Telegraaf)
- Behind the scenes the war of succession in the CDA is raging. Yesterday the number 2 on the CDA list, former secretary of state Ank Bijleveld, announced she would be willing to succeed Balkenende if the party asked her to do so.
Balkenende has repeatedly stated he is “going for gold;” i.e. the prime-ministership. Right now it just doesn’t look that way: the CDA is the third party in the polls, and although the VVD would love to have it in the coalition, Rutte is going to become prime minister. So Balkenende is toast, and the question who will become his successor is gaining importantce by the day.
- Immigrants might give the PvdA the push it needs. In general legal immigrants who have Dutch citizenship (and thus the right to vote) vote left-wing, especially PvdA. This is not new; back in the late seventies those few immigrants who could vote already supported PvdA leader Den Uyl.
The problem, however, is actually getting them to vote. Turnout is lousy among them, and while we could hope that Wilders’s ascent would frighten them into voting, it doesn’t seem that this is actually happening.
In the 2006 local elections immigrants did turn out, and they handed the PvdA its largest local victory ever. In the 2010 local elections, however, this effect was gone. Turnout decreased a bit, and the immigrants divided their votes equally among the left-wing parties.
The PvdA’s only hope is to point out that it’s involved in a race with the VVD, which many immigrants don’t like particularly much. Still, the question is whether the PvdA is doing anything at all, and if it does, whether it comes in time.
(Source: Binnenlands Bestuur)
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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.