The situation in the Amsterdam formation has changed: where previously D66+VVD+SP was considered because PvdA and GL had formed a block, GL has now broken that block and ditched the PvdA. In return, D66 ditched the VVD and now talks exclusively with GL.
The two parties will first come to an agreement, and only after that search for a third coalition partner, which they’re going to need. Basically the choices are PvdA and VVD — the SP is effectively ruled out now, unless GL gets a major case of left-wingism, which is unlikely.
But which of the two will it be? I expect GL to prefer PvdA, and D66 VVD, but I’m not sure what that says. The main question, I think, is how much value D66 and GL attach to keeping the PvdA out for once. D66 a lot and GL not as much, is my guess.
Still, it would be useful if D66 keeps around a coalition with VVD and SP just in case. Not that this coalition will actually happen, but it’s useful as a threat towards GL. Based on the Parool article, though, I think D66 dropped this threat and thus gave away a major trump card in the negotiations.
This is how the Dutch coalition process always works, and it’s one of the main complaints against the current party system. Back in the sixties this complaint was a major reason for founding D66, but the Democrats have proven to be able to play the coalition game as well, though maybe not as adroitly as the other parties — witness the dropping of its trump card.
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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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