Small fry 24/3
A wrap-up of this week. None of these points are terribly important, but they show that Dutch politics are returning to their stable, somewhat boring, default status after the highs of internationally-covered elections.
- As expected, VVD, CDA, D66, and GL concluded their pre-negotiation negotiations by concluding they will negotiate with one another in order to form a coalition. Klaver now has one leg in the bear trap, and he either has to extricate it gracefully or wring a lot of concessions from especially the VVD. If he fails to do either he’s toast in the next elections.
Next Tuesday Schippers will report the success of her scouting mission in parliament, and on Wednesday parliament will debate the election outcome and Schippers’s findings and likely appoint her informer. That would mean the negotiations start in a week.
- The formation is going to take a while. Nobody minds; it’s a nice return to normalcy after the elections.
The slow pace is good for the treasury: the economy is humming along and bringing in more and more tax money, while there is no government to invent new ways of spending that money.
On the negative side, one of the reasons the formation will take so long is that the four parties have to agree on what to spend the extra tax money on; and whether to lower taxes. So the money will be spent in the end.
- DENK’s number two on the list, Farid Azarkan, who is of Moroccan, and not Turkish, descent, got nearly 62,000 votes. That’s a lot for a number two, and it answers a question I had: will Moroccans vote for DENK as well? If we assume almost all of these votes came from Moroccans, we now know that they will. In fact, they gave DENK slightly less than one seat. That is new and interesting information.
- Incidentally, the Election Council published the official election results. Turnout was 81.9%, or 10.5 million votes, which means 70,106 votes were necessary for one seat.
More than 80,000 Dutch abroad voted, against 48,000 in 2012.
96 men and 54 women were elected, ranging from 25 (D66) to 74 (50Plus) in age.
43 candidates cleared the preferential vote threshold (25% of 70,106 = 17,527). Of those, 36 would have been elected even without making this threshold, and three were leaders of parties that didn’t win a seat (VNL, PP, and Artikel 1). The remaining four (two women on the GL list, one woman on the PvdA list, and one man on the CDA list) ousted higher-placed candidates on their party’s list and were elected.
- The actual physical seats in parliament have been assigned, and DENK and FvD are not happy. DENK because they’ll sit in the centre of the last row, with no easy access to the microphones. They refused to actually take their seats, and stood behind them during the installation ceremony.
Meanwhile Baudet maintains the FvD is a centre party and should not be seated on the extreme right with Wilders’s PVV.
Both parties are newbies, and are treated as such. A stable, solid, ancient party like the SGP, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year, is allowed to sit closer to the front.
- New parliament has officially been installed. There are 58 entirely new members. Parliament includes several cabinet ministers who were elected on the VVD and PvdA lists and now temporarily have a dual function. Once new government is installed the new ministers who are also members of parliament will resign from parliament, and their seats will be taken by lower-placed candidates on their party lists.
Here’s a photo essay of the installation process.
- One thing the new parliament must do is elect its speaker. It seems they’ll re-elect current speaker Khadija Arib (PvdA), despite her party’s disastrous loss, because she’s doing a good job. (As her name indicates she’s of Moroccan descent; she was in fact born there.)
Also, she’s the second-longest-sitting MP, with only SGP leader Van der Staaij having more seniority. And who is number three? Funny you should ask. It’s Geert Wilders.
These three are the only MPs left who won their seats in the 1998 elections. Van der Staaij has remained in parliament ever since, but Wilders lost his VVD seat in the 2002 elections, only to regain it in 2003. (He split off from the VVD in 2004.) Arib lost her seat in the 2006 elections, but returned in 2007 when several higher-ranked PvdA MPs moved to the Balkenende III government and their seats had to be filled.
<— Formation news
| Article: The Times of Trouble —>
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
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