Political Quirks - Rutte
Posts in the Rutte category.
Part of Politicians.
The Dutch elections are on 15th of March, and in the current international political climate they could take on an importance that goes well beyond our national parliament. Pundits and commentators might (ab)use the results to make predictions on the upcoming French and German elections (which will take place in May/June and September, respectively). So let’s take a look at the current situation, starting on the right, where the action is.
This is just in: Geert Wilders has left the consultations with VVD and CDA, and government is in danger. We’ll likely have new elections in September or so.
Before continuing I’d like to thank all Dutch politicians for waiting for my homecoming before doing anything really spectacular. I’ve been in the US for the past three weeks, and have had no time for updates, even though interesting things have happened in Dutch politics. But the main item, Wilders basically retreating from the coalition, happened only just now.
So before it falls, let’s quickly describe the Rutte government now that it’s been in power for about a year and a half. The most important take-away for foreigners is that Geert Wilders does not sit in government. Instead he promised ... gedoogsteun.
We’ve run into a serious translation problem. I have found no directly equivalent English term for gedoogsteun. Still, some help from my Twitter followers unearthed the fact that both Canada and New Zealand have had a similar construct, but no specific name for it. Denmark, too, has made extensive use of gedoogsteun, but I don’t speak Danish and I doubt they translated their name for it into English.
Well, it’s clear the elections are drawing near. Coalition news is on the rise, with yesterday Rutte indicating a coalition with the PVV is not entirely out of the question, and today Cohen reacting to that news.
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.
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.
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).
In an interview with the news site nu.nl VVD leader Rutte opened the attack on the CDA.
A few political items that happened to catch my eye:
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.
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.
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.
Yesterday the leaders of CDA, PvdA, VVD, PVV, SP, and D66 debated each other on
TV, and continued on the Internet. I watched both so you don’t have to.
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 running 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 continue with the VVD.
Some small fry that might be of interest to political observers:
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.