🇳🇱 Politics and Elections in the Netherlands: General Election (Nov 22)
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  🇳🇱 Politics and Elections in the Netherlands: General Election (Nov 22)
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Author Topic: 🇳🇱 Politics and Elections in the Netherlands: General Election (Nov 22)  (Read 65566 times)
patzer
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« Reply #1050 on: January 13, 2024, 03:46:36 PM »

After retracting the anti-Islam draft bills, today Wilders got another roadblock for a coalition out of the way by sending out this very strong statement in support of Ukraine. =

I'm surprised by how much he's been willing to pull all of the opposition to Islam, considering it was one of the party's core campaign planks. Obviously "ban the Quran" was never going to be approved of by a coalition but one would have thought he would have still stuck with something milder and more politically palatable, like tighter regulations on imams as France has recently done.
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DavidB.
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« Reply #1051 on: January 13, 2024, 03:54:56 PM »
« Edited: January 13, 2024, 04:00:05 PM by DavidB. »

After retracting the anti-Islam draft bills, today Wilders got another roadblock for a coalition out of the way by sending out this very strong statement in support of Ukraine. =
I'm surprised by how much he's been willing to pull all of the opposition to Islam, considering it was one of the party's core campaign planks. Obviously "ban the Quran" was never going to be approved of by a coalition but one would have thought he would have still stuck with something milder and more politically palatable, like tighter regulations on imams as France has recently done.
It's not entirely clear something like that won't happen, it could be part of the negotiations. But I suspect Wilders will choose to go all in on the topic of immigration instead. His voters expect him to meaningfully decrease the inflow of immigrants. The public's perception of the success or failure of any potential PVV government will hinge almost entirely on this. 'Islam' as a subject in itself has almost disappeared in the public debate too - it's all about immigration these days.
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rob in cal
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« Reply #1052 on: January 14, 2024, 01:40:25 PM »

Interesting to see if Wilders can make a difference regarding non EU immigration numbers. In Melonis case she actually has agreed to a substantial increase in non EU numbers, I believe due to pressure from business groups, and yet FDI polling numbers are holding up.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #1053 on: January 14, 2024, 02:27:27 PM »

Interesting to see if Wilders can make a difference regarding non EU immigration numbers. In Melonis case she actually has agreed to a substantial increase in non EU numbers, I believe due to pressure from business groups, and yet FDI polling numbers are holding up.

If Wilders essentially presents the policy as "you'll have less immigrants in your city centre or asylum centre than before", he may get away with overall numbers. But housing and health are as strained as they can be so I doubt he goes Melonis way of net 200k work migrants. The whole idea of Dutch re-becoming the norm at university is to reduce highly educated, "high quality" often EU country migrants.
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DavidB.
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« Reply #1054 on: January 14, 2024, 04:45:50 PM »
« Edited: January 14, 2024, 04:52:02 PM by DavidB. »

Interesting to see if Wilders can make a difference regarding non EU immigration numbers. In Melonis case she actually has agreed to a substantial increase in non EU numbers, I believe due to pressure from business groups, and yet FDI polling numbers are holding up.
In the Netherlands, the issue is really the total inflow. The country is just getting too congested. Over the last seven years, the Netherlands added another million people, all due to immigration. It puts a strain on everything - exacerbated by the gordian knot named nitrogen, which makes it almost impossible to build houses and extend roads and build more railways.

What Meloni agreed to is taking non-EU immigrants in for the labour force, which is something different than asylum migration. There is no way Wilders agrees to anything like that, though - and NSC won't, either. While PVV focused on decreasing asylum migration, NSC was the party that focused most on decreasing labour migration. VVD and BBB are probably less eager to decrease labour migration, though, although they don't say it out so loudly - the VVD care about big corporations relying on them and BBB care about agricultural companies relying on them. In any case, it's almost impossible to decrease intra-EU labour migration; non-EU labour migration is easier to tackle (but also less of a problem).

Decreasing the asylum inflow should actually be the easiest as long as the political will is there. Even within EU law, you can make the Netherlands significantly less attractive than neighboring countries, and you can combine that with a scare campaign and a few very visible, tough-looking policies that scare off potential asylum seekers (like Denmark taking away jewelry with a high value). Germany has significantly reduced the inflow of asylum migrants with targeted border controls in which traffic can continue slowed down and only a select number of cars - vans, cars with window blinding - are stopped. All of this is possible within Schengen and the EU, but Dutch politics wasn't ready for it yet (with parties like the VVD acting like it's a natural phenomenon and a Nexit would be needed to tackle it until July this year - and then acting like surprisedpikachu.png when people vote PVV).
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DavidB.
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« Reply #1055 on: January 16, 2024, 06:01:50 PM »

This evening, the controversial law that forces municipalities to take in asylum seekers even if they don't want it reached a majority in the Senate, as the VVD decided to support it. After the collapse of the government, the VVD had turned its back on this proposal, that had been introduced and defended staunchly by the VVD's own Deputy Minister for Immigration Eric van der Burg, who is rather pro-immigration and went on camera with tears in his eyes when the government fell over asylum. Then, after the November election, the new potential coalition parties PVV, VVD, NSC and BBB introduced and passed a motion that opposed the law, which had already been adopted in the previous parliament and had already reached the Senate. Now, after the election, the VVD apparently made another U-turn - at least in the Senate.

This is killing off the last shred of credibility that the VVD had and De Telegraaf is going in full attack mode. Pure self-destruction. Expect the VVD to lose a couple more seats to the PVV in the next poll.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #1056 on: January 17, 2024, 09:31:30 AM »

Based VVD letting the inbreds take their share of the migration burden.
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DavidB.
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« Reply #1057 on: January 21, 2024, 07:10:35 AM »
« Edited: January 22, 2024, 10:00:07 AM by DavidB. »

Wilders says there is a "problem" with the formation because of the Senate's adoption of the new asylum law. He won't let the formation collapse, but it is clear he'll demand something in exchange for this. This also changes the dynamic in the formation, from Wilders having to give in on all sorts of things to Yesilgöz having to defend herself. NSC and BBB also oppose this law.

Since it seems unlikely the same Senate will retract the law, some media flout the idea of a compromise being that municipalities are obliged to take in asylum seekers but the law would not be enforced or municipalities would not be penalized for refusing asylum seekers. A very Dutch solution.

Meanwhile, Yesilgöz' position as VVD party leader is incredibly shaky. The right wing of the party is seething. Her inability to force a common course across both Houses of Parliament is seen as a sign of major weakness. Still, I think she will hold on for now: it is not as if any successor would inherit a better position.

Meanwhile, the PVV reaches an all-time high in yesterday's Peil poll and is more than four times as big as the VVD, who have lost 50% of their support since the election:

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Germany1994
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« Reply #1058 on: January 24, 2024, 02:54:12 PM »

OT: When I look at the religious history of the Netherlands it seem secularization started much earlier there than in Germany. In the census of 1909 5 % were already irreligious while in 1910 in the German census of 1910 the number was so small it wasn´t even listed separatey. Same in 1960 when 17,1 % were irreligious in the Netherlands while one year later in the West German census of 1961 only  3,7 % were without a religion.

What´s the reason for that??
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Flyersfan232
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« Reply #1059 on: January 25, 2024, 10:23:02 AM »

Wilders says there is a "problem" with the formation because of the Senate's adoption of the new asylum law. He won't let the formation collapse, but it is clear he'll demand something in exchange for this. This also changes the dynamic in the formation, from Wilders having to give in on all sorts of things to Yesilgöz having to defend herself. NSC and BBB also oppose this law.

Since it seems unlikely the same Senate will retract the law, some media flout the idea of a compromise being that municipalities are obliged to take in asylum seekers but the law would not be enforced or municipalities would not be penalized for refusing asylum seekers. A very Dutch solution.

Meanwhile, Yesilgöz' position as VVD party leader is incredibly shaky. The right wing of the party is seething. Her inability to force a common course across both Houses of Parliament is seen as a sign of major weakness. Still, I think she will hold on for now: it is not as if any successor would inherit a better position.

Meanwhile, the PVV reaches an all-time high in yesterday's Peil poll and is more than four times as big as the VVD, who have lost 50% of their support since the election:


update?
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DavidB.
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« Reply #1060 on: January 30, 2024, 04:11:38 PM »
« Edited: January 30, 2024, 04:49:13 PM by DavidB. »

The formation of a new coalition isn't going too smoothly, it seems. At this weekend's VVD congress, Dilan Yesilgöz said that "If you are an expert in sending angry messages into the world, you can even win elections", evidently hinting at Wilders. He hit back on Twitter, calling Yesilgöz "sour". And afterwards, Wilders said on Twitter he hopes the formation succeeds so "new elections are not needed": a clear hint towards the fact that the PVV would be the biggest virtual benefactor of new elections, while the VVD would lose particularly badly, although you would always have to see how that plays out in reality. Hard to see how new elections would be beneficial to anyone, though. Based on the polls, the math for a potential coalition doesn't change.

According to NRC, the biggest issue dividing the parties is actually not the rule of law or immigration, but government finances, with VVD and NSC advocating for austerity and budget cuts while PVV and BBB oppose this and have plans to increase spending, such as on abolishing copayments in healthcare and decreasing rents for people in social housing.

Today's Ipsos I&O poll has the PVV losing 2 virtual seats compared to December, but with 45 seats they would still gain 8 seats compared to the general election and thereby be the biggest winner by far. Meanwhile, 49% of all voters think the formation is taking place too slowly, 37% think it is taking place at the right pace, and only 1% think it is going too quickly. Voters of BBB, VVD and PVV more often say it is taking place at the right pace.

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Flyersfan232
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« Reply #1061 on: January 31, 2024, 08:39:16 AM »

The formation of a new coalition isn't going too smoothly, it seems. At this weekend's VVD congress, Dilan Yesilgöz said that "If you are an expert in sending angry messages into the world, you can even win elections", evidently hinting at Wilders. He hit back on Twitter, calling Yesilgöz "sour". And afterwards, Wilders said on Twitter he hopes the formation succeeds so "new elections are not needed": a clear hint towards the fact that the PVV would be the biggest virtual benefactor of new elections, while the VVD would lose particularly badly, although you would always have to see how that plays out in reality. Hard to see how new elections would be beneficial to anyone, though. Based on the polls, the math for a potential coalition doesn't change.

According to NRC, the biggest issue dividing the parties is actually not the rule of law or immigration, but government finances, with VVD and NSC advocating for austerity and budget cuts while PVV and BBB oppose this and have plans to increase spending, such as on abolishing copayments in healthcare and decreasing rents for people in social housing.

Today's Ipsos I&O poll has the PVV losing 2 virtual seats compared to December, but with 45 seats they would still gain 8 seats compared to the general election and thereby be the biggest winner by far. Meanwhile, 49% of all voters think the formation is taking place too slowly, 37% think it is taking place at the right pace, and only 1% think it is going too quickly. Voters of BBB, VVD and PVV more often say it is taking place at the right pace.


how do you think the the issue will be deal with?
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DavidB.
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« Reply #1062 on: February 02, 2024, 03:05:55 PM »

Tensions about the government formation have only grown this week, also on agriculture, where NSC and BBB have different views. The result: NSC have big doubts about the government formation. "The only possibility would be an expert government - with a distance to party politics from here to the moon", an NSC source told NOS.

On Monday February 12, informateur Plasterk is supposed to publish his final report. That same week, the Lower House will debate this report.
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Pericles
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« Reply #1063 on: February 02, 2024, 03:10:38 PM »

The result: NSC have big doubts about the government formation. "The only possibility would be an expert government - with a distance to party politics from here to the moon", an NSC source told NOS.

What's that supposed to mean, with whose votes is that being formed?
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DavidB.
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« Reply #1064 on: February 02, 2024, 03:16:33 PM »

The result: NSC have big doubts about the government formation. "The only possibility would be an expert government - with a distance to party politics from here to the moon", an NSC source told NOS.
What's that supposed to mean, with whose votes is that being formed?
It would be a government in which the ministers are experts in their fields who do not have a clear party political affiliation. They would focus on running the country according to the wishes of the parliament - this could happen with different political majorities on each and every subject, "on the go", but there could also be some sort of agreement between PVV-VVD-NSC-BBB on the policies the ministers would have to implement. The former option would be quite radical as you could not even speak of a "coalition"; the latter option would be closer to what we currently have, but it is to be expected that the deal (they may not even call it a coalition agreement) would still leave an amount of room for the parliament unprecedented in the last 50+ years.
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Oryxslayer
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« Reply #1065 on: February 02, 2024, 03:56:32 PM »

The result: NSC have big doubts about the government formation. "The only possibility would be an expert government - with a distance to party politics from here to the moon", an NSC source told NOS.
What's that supposed to mean, with whose votes is that being formed?
It would be a government in which the ministers are experts in their fields who do not have a clear party political affiliation. They would focus on running the country according to the wishes of the parliament - this could happen with different political majorities on each and every subject, "on the go", but there could also be some sort of agreement between PVV-VVD-NSC-BBB on the policies the ministers would have to implement. The former option would be quite radical as you could not even speak of a "coalition"; the latter option would be closer to what we currently have, but it is to be expected that the deal (they may not even call it a coalition agreement) would still leave an amount of room for the parliament unprecedented in the last 50+ years.

I mean this is exactly what Omtzigt has openly desired since launching his campaign (at minimum): a weak executive subservient to parliament. So them pushing the envelope and forcing the others to agree to their vision in exchange for their votes isn't exactly surprising.
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oldtimer
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« Reply #1066 on: February 02, 2024, 04:08:56 PM »

Tensions about the government formation have only grown this week, also on agriculture, where NSC and BBB have different views. The result: NSC have big doubts about the government formation. "The only possibility would be an expert government - with a distance to party politics from here to the moon", an NSC source told NOS.

On Monday February 12, informateur Plasterk is supposed to publish his final report. That same week, the Lower House will debate this report.

A new election on the same date as the Euro election could be possible.
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DavidB.
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« Reply #1067 on: February 02, 2024, 04:22:16 PM »

De Volkskrant published a longer analysis, going a little deeper into the differences. On public finances, VVD and NSC want budget cuts while BBB and PVV don't want austerity and know the parliament is on their side - they can form case-by-case majorities with the left here. On asylum immigration, VVD and PVV want to make an agreement not to force municipalities to take in asylum seekers even though this was just adopted as a law, but NSC - who opposed this law - say it should either be retracted (impossible given the Senate's position) or abided by, anything else would be against the rule of law. On labour immigration, VVD and BBB are reluctant to support restrictions while NSC and PVV do want heavy restrictions. On foreign policy, VVD and NSC absolutely want to continue supporting Ukraine financially, while the PVV oppose this; BBB want to explore whether it is possible to send Ukrainian refugees in the Netherlands back to supposed "safe parts of Ukraine". Climate and agriculture weren't even mentioned by De Volkskrant but everyone can imagine the differences there.

None of these positions are truly surprising - the only surprising part is that the parties haven't been able to make some of the compromises that would seem quite obvious (Plasterk would agree: he alluded to this idea in his Telegraaf column right after the election). Perhaps this can partly be attributed to the low amount of trust the negotiators seem to have in each other - at least this is mentioned in a lot of articles.

I mean this is exactly what Omtzigt has openly desired since launching his campaign (at minimum): a weak executive subservient to parliament. So them pushing the envelope and forcing the others to agree to their vision in exchange for their votes isn't exactly surprising.
Indeed.

A new election on the same date as the Euro election could be possible.
But it looks like a new election wouldn't yield a meaningfully different result, except that the PVV would be strengthened and the VVD weakened. This would only benefit Wilders, so difficult to see why NSC and VVD would want to go down this road.
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oldtimer
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« Reply #1068 on: February 02, 2024, 04:46:35 PM »

De Volkskrant published a longer analysis, going a little deeper into the differences. On public finances, VVD and NSC want budget cuts while BBB and PVV don't want austerity and know the parliament is on their side - they can form case-by-case majorities with the left here. On asylum immigration, VVD and PVV want to make an agreement not to force municipalities to take in asylum seekers even though this was just adopted as a law, but NSC - who opposed this law - say it should either be retracted (impossible given the Senate's position) or abided by, anything else would be against the rule of law. On labour immigration, VVD and BBB are reluctant to support restrictions while NSC and PVV do want heavy restrictions. On foreign policy, VVD and NSC absolutely want to continue supporting Ukraine financially, while the PVV oppose this; BBB want to explore whether it is possible to send Ukrainian refugees in the Netherlands back to supposed "safe parts of Ukraine". Climate and agriculture weren't even mentioned by De Volkskrant but everyone can imagine the differences there.

None of these positions are truly surprising - the only surprising part is that the parties haven't been able to make some of the compromises that would seem quite obvious (Plasterk would agree: he alluded to this idea in his Telegraaf column right after the election). Perhaps this can partly be attributed to the low amount of trust the negotiators seem to have in each other - at least this is mentioned in a lot of articles.

I mean this is exactly what Omtzigt has openly desired since launching his campaign (at minimum): a weak executive subservient to parliament. So them pushing the envelope and forcing the others to agree to their vision in exchange for their votes isn't exactly surprising.
Indeed.

A new election on the same date as the Euro election could be possible.
But it looks like a new election wouldn't yield a meaningfully different result, except that the PVV would be strengthened and the VVD weakened. This would only benefit Wilders, so difficult to see why NSC and VVD would want to go down this road.

That's the point of new elections (or threatening with them) for Wilders if the smaller parties continue to block things, to put the squeeze on them.

And the longer the delay the more probable it becomes, as people get fed up.
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DavidB.
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« Reply #1069 on: February 03, 2024, 09:15:39 AM »

More tensions between the negotiating parties, this time between NSC and BBB. The most militant farmers' organization, Farmers Defense Force (FDF), has announced new farmers' protests in the Netherlands. Standing in front of some burning tires, FDF leader Mark van den Oever announced they will "focus on" Minister of Agriculture Piet Adema (ChristenUnie) and on newly elected MP Harm Holman (NSC) - the latter called for a decrease of the number of cattle this week - as Van den Oever is "sick of them".

In a talkshow, BBB leader Caroline van der Plas said we should not focus on Van den Oever's tone, but rather on the fact that farmers are desperate because of all these new environmental regulations. NSC leader Pieter Omtzigt then tweeted to Van der Plas: "Implicit threats are not OK. You simply distance yourself from this."

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AncestralDemocrat.
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« Reply #1070 on: February 03, 2024, 03:39:09 PM »

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DavidB.
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« Reply #1071 on: February 05, 2024, 02:59:49 PM »

According to the Telegraaf, the negotiators of the four parties had a session to clear the air and increase mutual trust. Wilders and Yesilgöz now gave a statement that they want the negotiations to succeed:

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DavidB.
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« Reply #1072 on: February 06, 2024, 01:30:56 PM »

NSC have pulled out of the negotiations - or so it seems. "Sources around the party" (i.e. spindoctors) claim there is no room for a majority government but NSC could still support a minority government. Either this could be a true rupture between NSC and the other parties, or they are trying to push the VVD into the coalition so they can support it from the outside - essentially to undo Yesilgöz' strategic move ("we won't enter any coalition"). But if NSC will truly be the ones making the formation of a coalition consisting of these four parties impossible, and if the other three close the ranks, I suspect NSC will pay the electoral price - most of their voters want this coalition. At the same time, this could be just NSC making strategic manoeuvres. Now we have to wait and see what Plasterk will advise next Monday.
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Flyersfan232
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« Reply #1073 on: February 07, 2024, 07:13:52 AM »

NSC have pulled out of the negotiations - or so it seems. "Sources around the party" (i.e. spindoctors) claim there is no room for a majority government but NSC could still support a minority government. Either this could be a true rupture between NSC and the other parties, or they are trying to push the VVD into the coalition so they can support it from the outside - essentially to undo Yesilgöz' strategic move ("we won't enter any coalition"). But if NSC will truly be the ones making the formation of a coalition consisting of these four parties impossible, and if the other three close the ranks, I suspect NSC will pay the electoral price - most of their voters want this coalition. At the same time, this could be just NSC making strategic manoeuvres. Now we have to wait and see what Plasterk will advise next Monday.
why wait to monday?
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DavidB.
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« Reply #1074 on: February 09, 2024, 09:39:15 AM »
« Edited: February 09, 2024, 06:38:40 PM by DavidB. »

On February 5th, former Prime Minister Dries van Agt (CDA, 1977-1982) passed away: he and his wife underwent euthanasia. Presenting himself as a devout Catholic, Van Agt was the first leader of the CDA, a merger of three confessional parties. From 1971 until 1977, he served as Justice Minister on behalf of the Catholic People's Party. As Justice Minister, he had introduced the 'toleration policy' for soft drugs, plead for the release of WWII war criminals (saying 'it is more difficult for me to do so as an Aryan', which sparked much criticism), and took a tougher line on abortion than coalition partner PvdA, which led to a short-lived crisis. Then, he went on to lead the CDA and become PM in coalition with the VVD (1977-1981) and in a failed, short-lived government with PvdA and D66 (1981-1982). After the 1982 election, Van Agt was in the drivers' seat to become PM again but unexpectedly decided to resign from national politics. He was a very polarizing figure in his time - people either adored him (authentic, man of the people, enriching the Dutch language, anti-political, a man of the good life) or despised him (lazy, insincere, master of political trickery, verbose).

After his career in politics, Van Agt drifted leftward, expressing support for EU federalism and full drug legalization, and opposing the CDA's goverrnment cooperation with the PVV in 2010. But his most vocal cause in recent decades was opposing Israel and supporting 'Palestinian liberationism', as Vosem would formulate it, sometimes in quite extreme words which even pro-Palestinian public figures disavowed. Van Agt founded a pro-Palestinian organization and cancelled his CDA membership in 2021 over its Israel policy; he had voted for GroenLinks in 2017 already. But as he became older, his public appearances became scarcer and scarcer. Parts of his legacy also include being an avid cycling racer, using archaic Dutch words, and 'emancipating' the Southern Dutch accent - he was probably the most Southern PM we had to date. Van Agt was 93 years old.

Then on to the more mundane stuff: the formation of a new coalition. Various newspapers have made reconstructions which allow us to put the puzzle pieces together regarding Omtzigt's exit. He left the formation table over government finances and their supposedly unexpected bad state. Earlier, he had requested documents from all ministries with all potential financial risks for the coming years. Omtzigt was shocked by what he received and blamed Ronald Plasterk for allegedly providing this information later than he could have done. A classic pattern with Omtzigt: uncontrolled anger when he feels crucial information is being withheld from him. But the other three party leaders did not agree: if you ask ministries to provide a list of all potential risks, this doesn't mean all of these risks will actually become true, let alone cumulatively. Moreover, it is in the ministries' interest to calculate the risks on the higher end: it may directly lead to receiving more funding in the first place, which is decided on in the coalition talks. The other parties claim the information could have come a little sooner but in the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter, and that the conversation about public finances and potential budget cuts was tough but not irreconcilable at all. In other words: Pieter Omtzigt was looking for an exit strategy.

The exit itself went panicked: Omtzigt left the negotiating table for a "break" and then went to a hotel to announce to three journalists he would leave the negotiations. But one of the journalists present had already received the draft e-mail Pieter Omtzigt had written to the NSC membership - as she already had this information (leaked by someone in the NSC parliamentary group), she did not feel bound by the embargo imposed by Omtzigt and NSC lost control over the narrative, as the e-mail now went out directly. Informateur Plasterk and the three other party leaders were informed about Omtzigt's decision through the media and then received only a WhatsApp message from him. In the evening, Omtzigt joined a late-night talkshow to discuss his decision.

The fallout for NSC is considerable. From a tactical perspective, it is understandable they want to "retake" the position the VVD had claimed for itself: to provide outside support for a government consisting of the other three parties - a position only one out of VVD and NSC can take. But NSC lost the narrative: the reason to leave the negotiations is not credible. And even if public finances were truly bad, Omtzigt was elected to solve problems, not to refuse responsibility when things get tough. As someone in the parliamentary group claimed before negotiations broke down, it would have been better for them to let negotiations collapse on issues like the constitution or the rule of law. In reality, however, the four parties had already agreed on a text for in the coalition agreement regarding all parties upholding the constitution and the rule of law - this chapter had already been closed. And at the VVD party congress in Noordwijkerhout, Dilan Yesilgöz had already hinted at the idea of the VVD entering a coalition, so letting negotiations break down would not even be necessary for NSC.

According to some quick polls, half to two-thirds of NSC voters are disappointed with Omtzigt's decision. Him going to Enschede to "rest" also reinforces the perception that he is still ill and has difficulty making sound decisions. Meanwhile, terminating the negotiations by media and WhatsApp and disrespecting the office of the informateur (as Plasterk alluded to himself) also goes directly against his claim to 'do things differently' with respect for the institutions. Lastly, parties will call into question NSC's reliability as cooperation partner now we know Omtzigt wasn't able to prevent leaks and potential mutiny from his own parliamentary group.

Plasterk continued to invite NSC to the table, but they refused. PVV, VVD and BBB did continue negotiating.

What is next? All options are difficult.

1. PVV-VVD-BBB minority government (68/150 seats), with or without NSC outside support. The option with NSC support would have a large majority but would require NSC to return to the negotiating table. Omtzigt hasn't ruled out this option - he has only ruled out NSC entering this government and providing outside support for a coalition with Wilders as PM - but all mutual trust seems gone now. It also seems ruled out that Plasterk can play a role in any process including NSC now.

2. GL/PvdA-VVD-NSC-D66 government. Suicide for the VVD, and potentially also for NSC. Unlikely to happen.

3. An extraparliamentary government, with no coalition agreement and changing majorities on every issue. A massive political experiment in times of international turmoil and various national crises. Don't count on it.

4. New elections. But: unlikely to cause a fundamentally different outcome. PVV would win considerably, VVD and NSC would lose, the coalition formation math would stay roughly the same. Why would VVD and NSC risk this?

Fundamentally, it seems most VVD and NSC voters want this coalition, and they will punish their parties if they are the reason it won't happen. Yesilgöz has now understood this and is silently undoing the damage she did in the first phase after the election. Omtzigt has more of a problem - in his parliamentary group, there is still a lot of opposition to cooperating with Wilders, but none of the alternatives are numerically feasible or popular with voters. My bet is still on option 1: PVV-VVD-BBB with NSC outside support. But with trust between Omtzigt and the three other leaders so damaged, the process will probably take even longer than expected. Summer recess may start without a new government. The gap between politics and society, which simply wants politicians to finally start solving problems and cares a lot less about parties or politicians, could not be bigger.
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