Political Quirks - Balkenende

Posts in the Balkenende category.
Part of Politicians.

Small fry, 31 May

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Balkenende, CDA, Cohen, Immigrants, PVV, PvdD

Some minor points:

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The prime minister

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Balkenende, Kroes, Rutte

During last Sunday’s debate there was some discussion about the VVD’s prime ministerial candidate. Custom requires the party leader to become the party’s candidate, but Dutch EU commissioner Kroes was mentioned as VVD candidate prime minister a few times.

Meanwhile Kroes has clearly stated she’s not interested, but this topic continues to garner much interest among political aficionados, and Rutte was attacked on it in the debates. Therefore it’s time to look at the position of the Dutch prime minister.

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The 26 May debate

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Balkenende, Cohen, Debates, Halsema, Pechtold, Roemer, Rouvoet, Rutte, Wilders

Yesterday the leaders of the eight largest parties debated on the economy. It was a tightly-led debate with a distinctly less weird format than usual, and it allowed all eight participants to shine a few times — or fail to do so, but that was their own fault.

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The 23 May debate

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Balkenende, Cohen, Debates, Rutte, Wilders

Sunday I watched the first debate in this election cycle, and here’s my report. It was slated as a “prime minister debate,” and as a result only four party leaders participated: Cohen (PvdA), Balkenende (CDA), Rutte (VVD), and Wilders (PVV).

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National Bash the Centre Parties Day

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Balkenende, CDA, CU, GL, Halsema, PvdA, Rouvoet

OK, it’s now officially National Bash the Centre Parties Day. After Rutte’s attacks this morning it’s now the CU’s turn. In an interview CU party leader Rouvoet and parliamentary leader Slob mercilessly attacked Balkenende’s performance as prime minister. Meanwhile GL leader Halsema attacked both CDA and PvdA generically.

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Rutte attacks CDA

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Balkenende, CDA, PvdA, Rutte, VVD

In an interview with the news site nu.nl VVD leader Rutte opened the attack on the CDA.

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Small fry; 18 May

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Balkenende, Campaign, Coalitions, Halsema, Pechtold, PvdA, Roemer, Rouvoet, Rutte

A few political items that happened to catch my eye:

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Polls, polls, polls — coalitions and prime ministers

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Balkenende, CDA, Cohen, D66, GL, PVV, Polls, PvdA, SP, VVD, Wilders

Peil.nl had published a new poll in which respondents were asked for their wishes and expectations regarding coalitions and prime ministers. There are a few nuggets in here.

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New polls

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Balkenende, CDA, Coalitions, Cohen, D66, Polls, PvdA

I owe my readers an apology for not posting much last week. I was too busy doing other stuff, and besides Dutch politics are now in a relatively calm phase where relatively little is happening.

Anyway, both Peil.nl and the Politieke Barometer have published new polls, and I’ve added them to the polls page.

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Balkenende continues to go down

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Balkenende, CDA, Leers

Things are not good for prime minister and CDA party leader Balkenende. Although he still has the official support of the party, rumblings are starting among the rank and file. Besides, a serious successor has made his way to the top.

A while ago I reported that a CDA backbencher expressed her doubts about Balkenende, doubts that were mirrored by the provincial party barons. It’s time for an update.

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New Peil.nl poll

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Balkenende, CDA, Coalitions, Cohen, D66, GL, Leers, PVV, Polls, PvdA, VVD, Verhagen, Wilders

Oh my, the new Peil.nl poll has landed two days early. I’ve added it to the polls page.

The timing is surprising, the content isn’t. Basically it confirms Thursday’s poll in that the PvdA wins five seats, of which one comes from the right, two from D66, and one each from GL and SP. The centre-left PvdA+CDA+D66 coalition does not yet have a majority in this poll, but does win two seats.

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US general goes potty over gays in Dutch army

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Balkenende, Van Middelkoop

It seems that US general Sheehan is a declared opponent of revoking the US Army’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, under which gays may serve in the army, but not acknowledge they’re gay. That’s ... not fine, but it is as it is.

Yesterday, however, Sheehan went completely around the bend by linking the Bosnian muslim massacre in Srebrenica in 1995 to the fact that the Dutch army, which was supposed to protect them, had openly-serving gay members.
(Source: Political Animal)

In other words, if the lousy, liberal Dutch hadn’t allowed filthy homosexuals to serve in their armed forces, the people from Srebrenica would have been spared. This is not only breathtakingly false, it’s also ridiculous.

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New Politieke Barometer poll

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Balkenende, CDA, Cohen, D66, Halsema, PVV, Pechtold, Polls, PvdA, Roemer, Rouvoet, Rutte, Thieme, ToN, VVD, Van der Staaij, Verdonk, Wilders

The new Politieke Barometer poll has landed, and I’ve added it to the polls page.

The PvdA won seven seats, and that’s really a lot for just one week. Even in my dampened-down average the PvdA is now four seats larger than the CDA. It’s clear that the appointment of Cohen has been an excellent move.

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Balkenende’s twilight

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Balkenende, CDA, Eurlings, Leers, Rouvoet, Van Geel, Verhagen

The past few weeks have not been easy for prime minister and CDA party leader Balkenende. The next weeks promise to be worse.

Balkenende had his fourth government blown up beneath him by the PvdA, and the CDA was generally seen as the culpable party. Although he was reconfirmed as party leader with remarkable speed, he was also critcised for that from day one. Besides, one CDA prominent after another is leaving politics.

Balkenende’s position is getting worse and worse.

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Polls, polls, polls — Cohen edition

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Balkenende, Cohen, Halsema, Pechtold, Polls, Rutte, Wilders

I’ve been neglecting the recent polls a bit. Each week, Peil.nl (Maurice de Hond) and the Politieke Barometer publish their ongoing general election polls (on Sunday and Thursday, respectively), and this are obviously prime data sources for any Dutch political blog.

Reason I’ve been neglecting them is that I was working on a polls and coalition overview, which is now finally finished. In the future I can give a brief overview of every new poll and refer you to this page for the details, as well as the poll trends.

The page also contains a coalition creation game, where you can try your hand at forming a stable majority coalition, and find out why it takes so bloody long.

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The politics of succession; CDA and PvdA editions

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Balkenende, Bos, CDA, Cohen, Eurlings, PvdA, Verhagen

In the series “I did not see this coming,“ two major leadership developments yesterday and today, one each for CDA and PvdA. Besides, one death in the family.

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Developments; 7 March

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Balkenende, Bos, CDA, Local elections, PvdA, Roemer, SP, VVD, Wilders

More details about several unfolding political stories: the prime-minister race, Balkenende’s continuing stability problems, a PvdA+CDA coalition, new SP party leader Roemer, and the local government negotiations in Almere and Rotterdam.

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The local elections and their consequences

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Balkenende, Bos, CDA, D66, Debates, GL, Halsema, Kant, Local elections, PVV, Pechtold, PvdA, Roemer, Rutte, SP, ToN, VVD, Verdonk, Wilders

On Wednesday Dutch voted for their local councils, and the result is interesting. SP leader Kant resigns, Wilders’s PVV the largest party in one city, PvdA and CDA lose, D66 wins.

Before we continue, one housekeeping note: I will be away for the weekend, and there will be no updates to this blog. Publication will resume on Monday.

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Small fry; 2 March

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Balkenende, Bos, CDA, CU, PVV, PvdA, Rouvoet, ToN, VVD, Van Geel, Verhagen, Wilders

Some small fry that might be of interest to political observers:

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Small fry; 28 February

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Balkenende, Bos, CU, Cohen, D66, Eurlings, Halsema, Immigrants, Kant, Minor parties, PVV, Pechtold, Polls, Rouvoet, Rutte, Verdonk, Verhagen, Wilders

Some small fry that might be of interest to political observers:

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Polls, polls, polls

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Balkenende, Bos, CDA, Cohen, Eurlings, PVV, Polls, PvdA, Wilders

Oh my, Peil.nl has published more polls, and they consistently show that Bos’s gamble is still paying off.

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Small fry; 25 February

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Balkenende, CDA, CU, Eurlings, Rouvoet

Some small fry that might be interesting to political observers:

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Minor defeat for Balkenende

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Balkenende

Prime minister Balkenende continues to have an unlucky hand. Today, parliament chairwoman Verbeet (PvdA) rejected his proposal to discuss exactly which political issues are too sensitive to be discussed by government.

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Party profile — CDA

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Balkenende, CDA, Eurlings, Party profiles, Verhagen

The Dutch nine-to-twelve-party system is sometimes hard to understand for foreigners; especially when the small parties come into play. Therefore I’m going to run a mini-series that treats all eleven parties that stand a decent chance of getting seats in the upcoming elections. We’ll go from largest to smallest.

Today we’ll start with the largest Dutch party, the CDA.

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First poll — Bos wins, Balkenende loses

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Balkenende, Bos, CDA, Coalitions, Eurlings, Polls, PvdA, Wilders

Yesterday the first poll (PDF) since the fall of government was released, and broadly speaking it shows that Bos’s gamble is paying off — for now. The Dutch voters agree with him on both the policy and the politics side, and the PvdA is gaining seats once more.

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Dutch government falls over Afghanistan

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Balkenende, Bos, CDA, CU, PvdA, Verhagen

The Balkenende IV government (i.e. the fourth government that Balkenende (CDA) was prime minister of) was formed three years ago and consists of centre-right CDA (christian-democrats), centre-left PvdA (Labour), and orthodox-protestant left-leaning CU (Union of Christians). Yesterday evening the PvdA ministers resigned over a conflict about the continuing Dutch military presence in the Afghan province of Uruzgan.

In a week and a half local elections will be held, and the PvdA was slated to lose a lot of seats everywhere. PvdA party leader and finance minister Bos clearly hopes to stem the electoral tide by his resignation, and he might well be right.

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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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