Small fry, 1 June
Some minor points:
- Yesterday’s message that the CDA prefers a VVD+CDA+D66+GL coalition has now been strenghtened by Balkenende himself. He stated he wants a “reform government,” and that means that neither PvdA nor PVV belong in it. As to the CU, Balkenende said it was somewhat reform-minded (but not enough to warrant inclusion in this new coalition, he didn’t add).
Obviously, the minor matter that the CDA rejects any reform of mortgage deduction while D66 requires it still has to be solved, but as usual the CDA is vague on this and relies on the coalition negotiations, assuming that D66 is so government-ready that it’s willing to ignore its earlier promises.
That might actually happen, one never knows. Still, D66 is clear in its preference for Purple, and apparently the two centre parties are headed for a showdown. I wonder who’ll blink first.
- Meanwhile several prominent CDA members raise doubts about Balkenende declaring mortgage deduction a breakpoint. Especially when combined with the wish to form a coalition with D66 and GL I must agree with them: Balkenende’s action (which gets a unilateral flavour by this latest news) was not the brightest idea he ever had.
- CU leader Rouvoet is surprised by the CDA’s choice, and raises the twin spectres of a pseudo-Purple (hence secular) and a right-wing government in order to position his own party as christian-left. No surprises here; that’s what Rouvoet is supposed to do. It will remain interesting to see how many former left-wing CDA voters will go over to the CU.
- Meanwhile Wilders has made the remarkable discovery that participating in a coalition means compromising. Compromising Wilders-style, that is: VVD and CDA will have to agree to several PVV points, notably the left-wing economic ones. Fat chance.
He also said that the lack of result from the coalition negotiations in Den Haag and Almere, where the PVV participated in the local elections, was due to a “No” of the other parties. The PVV is blameless.
Finally he warns against a vote for the VVD, since Rutte has not entirely excluded Purple.
- And Pechtold reiterates his preference for what’s suddenly called “New Purple.” He also praises the CDA for keeping its distance from the PVV; something the VVD is not currently doing. In other words: liberals, vote D66, or you’ll get Wilders in the bargain.
- Finally, a particularly tasteless action by the extreme-christian Reformatorisch Dagblad, a newspaper that’s solidly supporting the SGP. It deplores the fact that the president of Malawi has graced two convicted homosexuals, comparing it to the recent D66-sponsored decision that christian schools may no longer refuse gay teachers.
Predictably, the secular parties PvdA, VVD, GL, and D66 immediately registered their annoyance. GL leader Halsema called on CU leader (and temporary Education minister) Rouvoet to denounce the newspaper, stating that that would have more effect than if the secular parties do so.
Obviously, Rouvoet won’t do anything of that sort, although he might go through the movements a bit in order not to annoy potential coalition partners.
<— Coalition news, ctd.
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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.