No right-wing government

Informer Rosenthal has announced that he sees no possibility of getting a right-wing government. The CDA wants VVD and PVV to reach an agreement first, while the PVV demands that all three parties participate in the negotiations.

Much as I hate to say it, Wilders is right. There’s no precedent for the CDA’s behaviour. Refusing a coalition outright, sure, that’s happened before. Talking for months only to conclude that an agreement cannot be reached, no problem — that happened in 1977. But it has never become clear whether the CDA wanted the coalition or not, and if it didn’t want it, it should have said so clearly.

Instead, Verhagen hoped to keep the CDA left and right together by doing nothing except making curious demands. It’s clear that the blame for the failed negotiations must lie with the CDA.

It’s also clear that a perfect chance to stop Wilders has been wasted by the christian-democrats. We’ll never know now, but my gut feeling remains that Wilders secretly didn’t want to enter the coalition, preferring the opposition. He’s got what he wanted now, and he’s also able to blame somebody else.

Dammit. CDA must die.

Anyway, tomorrow Rosenthal will probably announce what he’s going to do next. Let’s all agree to act surprised when the next step turns out to be Purple-green.

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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.

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Comments (closed)

1 Posted by Bryan on 17 June 2010 | Permalink

Agreed, CDA asking for a Congress of Membership shows lack of leadership.

Disagree about CDA's overall usefulness as a Centrist Party in Dutch politics. It is very beneficial to have a release valve like CDA, so not everyone has to be so polarized at the same time. Who knows perhaps the eventual new leader for CDA will earn more respect.
.

Yes, CDA screwed up but it helps Rutte with Purple-Green or my preference, Amsterdam-Protestant or the improbable coalition of Right-Red-Reformed. Let's face it, if Rutte could work out a budget with SP, everyone would have to accept the Parties thoroughly analyzed all of the options to address the economic downturn.

2 Posted by CTerry on 17 June 2010 | Permalink

It appears that Rosenthal is starting negotiations between five parties: VVD, PvdA, CDA, D66 and GL. The seeming aim is to attempt to negotiate a forbidden or purple plus coalition. This is essentially negotiating two coalitions at once. Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't this unprecendented?

3 Posted by Bryan on 18 June 2010 | Permalink

"Lijsttrekker Nullification"
or whatever you call it in Holland, meaning: the right of party leaders to refuse to participate in minority lead Cabinets even if it is the desire of the party receiving the most votes.

Well it works. Yesterday CDA invokes, to end the charade that a right-wing government could be formed.

Today Cohen invokes Lijsttrekker Nullification to end discussions of the forbidden coalition.

Quite frankly, I think Cohen was right to exclude the prospects of CDA working with PvdA.

Does everyone agree Rutte's only choice is to go Paars Plus (Purple-Green) or is there a fourth option?

Finally, I find the Purple-Plus label is used by Cohen, while GL probably prefers the Purple-Green label. If Cohen gets his way, I really think GL will make enough of a difference in the negotiations to deserve the Purple-Green moniker.

4 Posted by CTerry on 19 June 2010 | Permalink

I've personally always said that I thought that Purple-Plus was inevitable given the election result, it is clearly the most viable option for all involved. The attempts at right wing and forbidden coalitions were really just there to prove that such coalitions wouldn't work in my view, the moment the Dutch political elite woke up the morning after the election they all knew it was going to be Purple Plus. The real coalition negotiations will start now. They will be lengthy due to the level of issues in contention between the parties but I expect to see a government in place by mid-July. I expect to see:

- Big cuts in public spending overall. I expect to see the budget more closely match VVD than PvdA demands.
-Protection for education spending (D66)
-An expanded environmental budget and a more environmentalist policy in general
-A big welfare reform, possibly modelled on Denmark's flexicurity system (A GL policy that is likely to find sympathy in the other 3 parties)
-Democratic reform (abolition of the Senate? Binding referenda? Directly elected mayors/PM?)
-A focus on a more multicultural Dutch society. This will be against Cohen's interest and desire, but he will have the other 3 against him.

5 Posted by CTerry on 19 June 2010 | Permalink

I've personally always said that I thought that Purple-Plus was inevitable given the election result, it is clearly the most viable option for all involved. The attempts at right wing and forbidden coalitions were really just there to prove that such coalitions wouldn't work in my view, the moment the Dutch political elite woke up the morning after the election they all knew it was going to be Purple Plus. The real coalition negotiations will start now. They will be lengthy due to the level of issues in contention between the parties but I expect to see a government in place by mid-July. I expect to see:

- Big cuts in public spending overall. I expect to see the budget more closely match VVD than PvdA demands.
-Protection for education spending (D66)
-An expanded environmental budget and a more environmentalist policy in general
-A big welfare reform, possibly modelled on Denmark's flexicurity system (A GL policy that is likely to find sympathy in the other 3 parties)
-Democratic reform (abolition of the Senate? Binding referenda? Directly elected mayors/PM?)
-A focus on a more multicultural Dutch society. This will be against Rutte's interest and desire, but he will have the other 3 against him.

6 Posted by Bryan on 21 June 2010 | Permalink

Well, not sure who is in the “Dutch political elite”. Pechtold is very politically astute and started talking about the “Purple Plus” option weeks before the election because he likes and wants in the next Cabinet.

Somewhat surprised Cohen is so insecure that he needs to reward the two parties (D66+GL) who pulled votes and prevented him from becoming the next Prime Minister. Actually, Bos had a much better grasp on the economy than Cohen has shown so far.

A total guess, but Cohen knows he is out-classed on matters of the economy and wants Pechtold to share the glory or blame with Rutte with the next budget, he wants none thing to do with it.


7 Posted by CTerry on 21 June 2010 | Permalink

The Dutch political elite = the majority of party leaders, MPs, prominent party officials etc.

Pechtold isn't particularly politically astute, D66 will always aim for Purple if it can because it removes the CDA from government which pleases their secularism and because they view themselves as liberal (like the VVD) and progressive (like the PvdA). The purple coalition of the 1990s was the one which most closely matched D66 policy because of its position in the cabinet (in the centre).

For the same reasons both Cohen and Rutte will want D66 in the coalition. When the 1998 election gave the PvdA and VVD a majority they still invited D66 into the government. D66 is essential to the formation of a purple coalition. They are the glue that holds purple together. (Incidentally D66 has occasionally provided this role in CDA/PvdA coalitions, and I would argue that the CU provided this role in the last government). Of course you need another party for government to work, and GL is the only practical choice. The CDA isn't an option, SP is too left-wing for the VVD, and is still not really ready for government, CU and D66 won't work, PVV is out etc. All roads point to Purple Plus innit.