Small fry 9/4
The formation discussions are continuing slowly. Nobody expects to have anything to say for the next few weeks, and at the request of Klaver (GL) Fridays are non-negotiation days so he can spend time with his small children. I’m not sure how much the other parties like this, but they have agreed to it. Everybody is in let’s-take-this-easy mode.
Meanwhile, some snippets that might be of interest:
- The NRC’s panel of experts, consisting of former politicians of many parties, expect that not GL but the CU will reinforce the centre-right VVD+CDA+D66 core. That certainly remains a possibility, but the question remains if Klaver can extract himself from the coalition negotiations gracefully. If he can’t he might opt for government after all.
- The PvdA’s implosion is bad for diversity in parliament. The PvdA was always the most diverse large party, and although percentage-wise other parties were more diverse (the PvdD used to have 2 out of 2 women, for instance), the PvdA’s share of diversity was always fairly large. Now it isn’t any more.
- Speaking of the PvdA, it has ceased its automatic rejection of all PVV motions in parliament. This policy caused some friction in the previous parliament, since sometimes the PVV has to appear left-wing and proposes something the PvdA actually agrees with. Up until now the PvdA would still vote against, but that order has now been rescinded.
- The director of the Dutch Bank, Klaas Knot, who is a loyal ally of the German don’t-spend-anything crowd on the European level, exhorted the new government not to spend too much. That’s his job, so nobody was surprised, but nobody pays a lot of attention to it, either, except for the parties who were already inclined not to spend too much.
Interestingly, a few days later the IMF called on the new government to spend a lot more, deploring the low spending on human capital (education and so on). It is known that the IMF has retreated from its previous position of halting state spending, but it’s interesting to see by how much it has retreated.
(Source 1; source 2)
- For political junkies, here’s a map of all 9,357 Dutch voting precincts with the scores for the various parties.
- The elections were a victory for the pollsters. As it turned out, they were pretty accurate about all parties, including Wilders’s PVV, although there was a genuine last-minute voter movement from CDA and PVV to VVD which was not captured by the polls. Still, the Dutch populist vote is measurable. That’s no real surprise since we’ve been working on that from the 2002 elections on, but it’s still very good news.
- Last time I mentioned Baudet’s maiden speech in bad Latin. A Cambridge professor of Latin deconstructed his speech and found that Baudet, like the other extreme-right defenders of pure European Graeco-Roman-Judeo-Christian culture, cannot form a proper Latin sentence to save his life. Besides, even in translation his words remain gibberish. “The flagship of renaissance is ready to launch?” What does that even mean?
- Next year will bring the municipal elections, and the PVV, which so far has only participated in two of the roughly 350 municipalities, wants to run in sixty or so. That means Wilders will have to look for about 800-1,000 candidates, some of which will no doubt turn out to be venal, boorish, prone to split-offs, openly racist, or have other undesirable traits. That’s the problem of leading a non-party: you don’t get new talent very easily, and you don’t have processes in place to judge people before they become candidate for office.
(Source 1; source 2)
Finally, as a bonus, a photo of all party leaders and the speaker of parliament. I was thinking of running a portrait gallery, but it turns out there’s a more-or-less official photo. Click to enlarge.
From left to right: Pechtold (D66), Buma (CDA), Wilders (PVV), Krol (50Plus), speaker Arib (PvdA), Van der Staaij (SGP), Rutte (VVD), Thieme (PvdD), Klaver (GL), Kuzu (DENK), Baudet (FvD), Roemer (SP), Segers (CU), Asscher (PvdA).
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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
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