🇳🇱 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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PSOL
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« Reply #50 on: March 20, 2022, 03:39:25 PM »

This might be a silly question but what is stopping the various FVD splitters (JA21, BVNL, Otten) from working together? Is it actual policy differences or just egos?
The Dutch clearly have egos on par with the British in terms of self-importance, and yet they are the most sectarian nation in Europe. Each village and town, and in some case neighborhoods, views itself as superior to the savages outside it’s borders.
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DavidB.
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« Reply #51 on: March 20, 2022, 04:41:26 PM »

The Dutch clearly have egos on par with the British in terms of self-importance, and yet they are the most sectarian nation in Europe. Each village and town, and in some case neighborhoods, views itself as superior to the savages outside it’s borders.
I'm so happy the true expert is weighing in.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #52 on: March 20, 2022, 06:32:24 PM »

This might be a silly question but what is stopping the various FVD splitters (JA21, BVNL, Otten) from working together? Is it actual policy differences or just egos?
The Dutch clearly have egos on par with the British in terms of self-importance, and yet they are the most sectarian nation in Europe. Each village and town, and in some case neighborhoods, views itself as superior to the savages outside it’s borders.

Nope, just Amsterdam (and they're partially right regarding the savages part)
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CrabCake
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« Reply #53 on: March 22, 2022, 12:35:58 PM »

I've asked this before, but give that PvdD now is getting relatively substantial seats is it starting the process of becoming a governing party, even if merely as external support?
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DavidB.
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« Reply #54 on: March 22, 2022, 12:56:41 PM »

I've asked this before, but give that PvdD now is getting relatively substantial seats is it starting the process of becoming a governing party, even if merely as external support?
Not yet, but you are right: things will get more interesting now that they continue to grow to almost 10% in some cities. I wouldn't completely rule out future constructions with PvdD providing external support to a left-wing administration. Among "true left-wingers" (but not within PvdD afaik) there was some excited talk about a PvdA-GL-PvdD-BIJ1-SP government in Amsterdam to exclude D66. This doesn't seem to be a serious option, as - aside from the PvdD - BIJ1 don't want to govern in general and the SP in general do, but want to sit this one out. But if PvdD were to support any type of coalition from the outside, I feel as if it would be a constellation like this. Can't see actual coalition participation including aldermen etc. though - at least not in the near future. But who knows...
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CrabCake
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« Reply #55 on: March 27, 2022, 08:20:25 AM »

Why is Maastricht so dominated by old people parties? Some kind of local Senior Party in first, CDA and PvdA both up there etc. I thought it was a university town?
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« Reply #56 on: March 27, 2022, 09:26:57 AM »

Why is Maastricht so dominated by old people parties? Some kind of local Senior Party in first, CDA and PvdA both up there etc. I thought it was a university town?
I could be wrong, but isn't the student population in Maastricht a lot more international? I'd assume not many international students vote in local elections
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Zinneke
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« Reply #57 on: March 27, 2022, 10:27:28 AM »

In general in Limburg there is an old population, people go to retire there
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DavidB.
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« Reply #58 on: March 27, 2022, 10:44:02 AM »
« Edited: March 27, 2022, 10:47:46 AM by DavidB. 🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦 »

I could be wrong, but isn't the student population in Maastricht a lot more international? I'd assume not many international students vote in local elections
This is correct. Maastricht's university is the most international of the Netherlands (58% of students and more than 40% of staff were non-Dutch in 2018) and even though the vast majority of them are from the EU (which means they can vote in local elections), this leads to lower turnout and a different political picture than in most other uni towns. Still, GL and D66 got more than 20% together, which is more than CDA and PvdA - unthinkable even 10 years ago.

Southern Limburg also suffers from young people migrating to other parts of the Netherlands: it is one of the regions with the oldest population. And in general, politics in Limburg is just different than elsewhere, with local personalities and issues dominating.

Maastricht is always one of the most fragmented cities in terms of election results, together with Gouda, Leeuwarden and Dordrecht (and in national elections also Rotterdam, but Leefbaar dominate there locally).
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DavidB.
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« Reply #59 on: March 28, 2022, 05:32:28 PM »
« Edited: March 28, 2022, 05:36:35 PM by DavidB. 🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦 »

In Rotterdam, Leefbaar, VVD, D66 and Denk seem to move forward to having coalition negotiations. According to the Algemeen Dagblad, Leefbaar, VVD and Denk would already be willing to start with the talks. Only D66 remain on the fence. Cooperating with Leefbaar would be a bitter pill to swallow and their differences with all three parties on environmental issues are big (just like Leefbaar and - less so - VVD, Denk is very pro-car too, and the previous coalition had a rather strong anti-car policy), but on the other hand, a coalition including Leefbaar and Denk is not just “text book” woke diversity, but actually represents Rotterdam’s diversity, including “marginalized” groups from all backgrounds. D66 will have a difficult time rejecting cooperation with Leefbaar for “woke” reasons as long as Denk is still part of the negotiations.
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DavidB.
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« Reply #60 on: April 01, 2022, 08:26:14 AM »

In Rotterdam, Leefbaar, VVD, D66 and Denk seem to move forward to having coalition negotiations.
This is now happening. Talks have started.
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« Reply #61 on: April 02, 2022, 06:17:44 AM »

It obviously makes ideological sense for a party like Denk to be brought into that sort of coalition, but have their been any agitation from activists from either the party or VVD/Leefbaar against the two working together? Like, I could not imagine Denk forming a coalition on a national level for obvious reasons, but even at a local level there could be a lot of discomfort (I recall a mooted SP-PvdA-Gl association with Nida went down in flames, for example)
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DavidB.
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« Reply #62 on: April 07, 2022, 04:46:28 PM »
« Edited: April 07, 2022, 05:12:26 PM by DavidB. 🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦 »

Today, the most interesting debate since the installation of the new government took place. The subject: mask gate. At the beginning of the Covid pandemic, "opinion maker" Sywert van Lienden, who had very often been a guest in talkshows and had a big following on Twitter (and had been the leader of the leading interest group for school children when he was in school himself), announced he would import massive numbers of masks without making any money. Multiple high profile companies jumped on the bandwagon and provided staff for his initiative. A year later, it turned out he and his two compagnons had made tens of millions, while having people work for them for free. Oh, and the masks have been unused, as they were faulty. This is going to have legal repercussions, but the question also arose how this could have happened. Van Lienden, at the time a CDA member, had been pushing former Health Minister Hugo de Jonge (coincidentally also CDA...) to have the Health Ministry do business with him. Except De Jonge lied about this for a long time, until he was caught when he had to publicize certain information on grounds of transparency laws. Part of the story will likely always remain hidden because he also frequently used a private iCloud email address instead of his work email - against all guidelines for ministers. But De Jonge had messaged others that he rather had "Sywert pissing from inside out than from outside in" and right before the debate selected some information that he wanted to publicize (as if Article 68 of the Constitution doesn't rule that parliament has a right to all information). The gist is clear: Van Lienden made millions by selling faulty masks because of his political connections within the CDA/government. De Jonge helped him - for PR reasons, in the first place - and then lied about it. The fact that more than 5 billion euros "got lost" (seriously) at the Health Ministry within less than two years doesn't make things better.

Sufficient grounds for parliament to want a debate with De Jonge. Constitutionally interesting, because he is now minister of Public Housing, not Health Minister anymore, but it happened anyway.

The coalition continued to support De Jonge, which means he can stay on, but SP, PvdD, GL, PvdA, Volt, DENK, Omtzigt, BBB, BVNL, PVV, FVD and one JA21 MP (Eppink) just supported a motion of no confidence, with BIJ1 absent (would have voted for the no confidence motion) and only SGP and two JA21 MPs as opposition MPs opposing. The tone of the debate was incredibly negative, which has become the "new normal". As NOS reporter Ron Fresen put it: "Dutch politics is wounded, but there is no doctor in the room." The public has noticed: trust in most institutions has gone up over the last year, but the notable exception is the parliament and it's not difficult to understand why.

It obviously makes ideological sense for a party like Denk to be brought into that sort of coalition, but have their been any agitation from activists from either the party or VVD/Leefbaar against the two working together? Like, I could not imagine Denk forming a coalition on a national level for obvious reasons, but even at a local level there could be a lot of discomfort (I recall a mooted SP-PvdA-Gl association with Nida went down in flames, for example)
DENK have moderated substantially over the last, say, three years - they dumped their strategy to be essentially a "Turkish PVV", looking for polarization all the time, and instead embraced a more "positive" approach of doing politics. Much of this change can be attributed to Farid Azarkan taking over the leadership of the party.

I'm not enough of an insider in the world of Rotterdam politics, but as far as I know Leefbaar are already happy not to be excluded this time and the VVD are already happy that they don't have to govern with a ton of left-wing/progressive parties like last time. I think everyone realizes that the new Rotterdam coalition was always going to be a case of parties trying to find the least bad workable option - and ideally a bit of a reflection of the election result too.

Btw, as for the PvdD: turns out you were right. In Arnhem, coalition formation talks with D66, GroenLinks, PvdA, PvdD and local party Arnhem Centraal are now taking place. Will be very interesting to see what happens.
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DavidB.
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« Reply #63 on: April 12, 2022, 05:31:01 AM »
« Edited: April 12, 2022, 08:06:03 AM by DavidB. 🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦 »

PvdA leader Lilianne Ploumen just resigned as party leader and as MP. She says she had answered the call to become leader right before the 2017 election after Asscher had resigned because she couldn't say no, but that she has discovered she does not have what it takes to lead the party. She published quite a self-critical statement, in which she says she wasn't good enough in debates and she wasn't able to develop new ideas on issues that weren't as close to her personally.

All true, but there is another real reason: she had been under pressure for quite some time - also by an increasingly large number of the PvdA parliamentary group - over her enthusiasm to deepen cooperation with GL to the point where a merger would be on the table. Ploumen supported this, but many high-profile PvdA members - such as former chairman Hans Spekman, a rather iconic socialist - are worried working-class and lower educated voters will be alienated even further by intensifying cooperation with a GL, a party with a very "bobo" image and electorate. The parliamentary group is split, with a more "internationalist", climate oriented faction consisting of MPs Thijssen, Piri, Kathmann and De Hoop (all elected in 2021 for the first time) and a faction that emphasizes the importance of maintaining the party's social democratic identity, with MPs Arib, Nijboer and Kuiken, who had all been in parliament before 2021 already.

I could see Arib or Nijboer become the new party leader. As for potential candidates not in parliament: every time people talk about big shots Aboutaleb or Timmermans, but no reason for them to give up their perfectly comfortable jobs. An Asscher comeback would probably be too soon. PvdA Amsterdam leader Marjolein Moorman seems overhyped to me, though she might have a shot in a couple years if the PvdA elect an interim leader first (but what happens with the party in the meantime? Important decisions on the party’s future need to be made.)
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DavidB.
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« Reply #64 on: April 12, 2022, 11:45:20 AM »

Volkskrant: Last chance approaching for the PvdA. Tough but realistic analysis of the (lack of) chances the PvdA still has to climb out of the electoral swamp and stand out on the Dutch political left. Google Translate should do the job.
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DavidB.
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« Reply #65 on: April 14, 2022, 10:54:20 AM »
« Edited: April 14, 2022, 03:58:27 PM by DavidB. 🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦 »

New I&O poll. Conducted between Apr 8-11. Seats compared to last poll on Feb 14 (so before local elections); compared to parliamentary election 2021.

VVD 29 (+2; -5).
D66 18 (-1; -6)
JA21 13 (+1; +7)
PVV 13 (-4; -4)
GroenLinks 13 (+2; +5)
PvdA 11 (+1; +2)
BBB 8 (nc; +7)
PvdD 8 (0; +2)
CDA 7 (+1; -8)
SP 7 (nc; -1)
ChristenUnie 6 (nc; +1)
FVD 4 (nc; -4)
Volt 4 (-5; +1)
SGP 4 (nc; +1)
DENK 3 (+1; nc)
50Plus 2 (+1; +1)
BVNL 2 (+1; +2)
BIJ1 1 (nc; nc)

Hope I didn't miss one - I've reached the point where even I cannot keep up anymore. It's insane.

Coalition VVD-D66-CDA-CU 60 (+2; -18)

Big winners compared to GE2021: JA21 +7, BBB +7, GL +5
Big losers compared to GE2021: CDA -8, D66 -6, VVD -5, PVV -4, FVD -4

I&O also made a profile of why parties are winning and losing (without any statistics involved here):
- VVD are losing to JA21 and D66; VVD->JA21 voters think the VVD is too left-wing, VVD->D66 voters think the VVD is not sufficiently progressive and Rutte cannot be trusted.
- CDA are mostly losing to BBB and ChristenUnie, but also to "other party" (people who expect Omtzigt to start a party). De Jonge's mask affair and the Omtzigt affair still make the CDA untrustworthy to many.
- PVV are losing to BBB and JA21. PVV->BBB voters think BBB is more moderate on immigration and Islam, while PVV->JA21 voters think the latter party will have a real shot at exercising influence over policy.
- FVD are losing mainly to BBB and BVNL because people don't like Baudet's "behavior" (sic).
- JA21 are winning voters from across the right-wing spectrum: PVV, FVD, CDA and VVD are mentioned. The combination of right-wing views and moderate, constructive tone is appreciated.
- BBB are winning voters from the same parties and are considered "down to earth" and "no nonsense".
- GroenLinks are winning voters again; from Volt, which collapsed compared to the previous poll due to the Gundogan issue, but also from D66 (voters who are disillusioned with a perceived lack of progressive outlook in D66) and PvdD.

Government approval:

Disapprove 62% (+3)
Approve 32% (-1)
Don't know 6% (-2)

Trust in institutions:

EU 40%, government ("overheid", not "regering", as in: the general administrative institution running the country, not the current ruling parties/ministers deciding things) 37%, Members of Parliament 32%, Ministers 28%.

Trust in institutions has collapsed over the last year (compared to March 2021), when these figures were: government 53% (now -16%), Members of Parliament 49% (now -17%), Ministers 49% (now -21%) and EU 43 (now -3%).
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DavidB.
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« Reply #66 on: April 15, 2022, 05:23:54 AM »
« Edited: April 15, 2022, 05:34:44 AM by DavidB. 🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦 »

According to unnamed "sources" (to be taken with some salt), Frans Timmermans would be interested in taking over the leadership of the PvdA after his term in the European Commission, which ends in the summer of 2024. Theoretically the next general election would take place in March 2025: ideal timing. But that "theoretically" part is the key here - the government is very much divided on a lot of issues and may well collapse before Timmermans' term has ended. In fact, the very possibility that Timmermans could take over the PvdA - combined with the fact that he was very successful in the EP election in 2019, in which the PvdA became the largest party - may in itself frighten D66 to the point where a "controlled collapse" of the government somewhere by the end of 2023 would be preferable to losing half of their seats to the PvdA. On the other hand, a Rutte-Timmermans two horse race could potentially be a perfect scenario for the VVD - this would essentially mean a 2012 redux.

This morning, Timmernans and PvdA Amsterdam leader Marjolein Moorman wrote an op-ed in de Volkskrant. They call for "further cooperation and even connection" with GroenLinks. The op-ed is titled "Fellow party members, don't remain stuck in nostalgia. We need a breakthrough on the left."

GL MP Laura Bromet agrees:
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« Reply #67 on: April 15, 2022, 08:23:06 AM »

All the GL workers I have met in Brussels (who are not as caricatural as GL activists in local branches in the Netherlands) absolutely despise Timmermans so I'm a bit surprised he and his wing are calling for closer cooperation. I feel the whole GL-PvdA thing is because of the Kaag effect last election where she successfully convinced left-leaning voters to back her as a way to try and topple Rutte within the coalition dynamics.

Overall though I think it would be a mistake to merge PvdA and GL, I think there is space for both and that if the PvdA can be deployed in some areas (I'm particularly talking about Peripheral Netherlands here, where PvdA was very strong in the past!, and Ploumen demonstrated that having local people with visibility in those parts is important!) to shore up voters who will not touch GL with a bargepole because its a Randstad stoner party in their eyes then so be it.

The Left needs to be as pragmatic as possible. Yes "Timmermans for PM" might be an effective campaign to siphon D66 votes and sell the toppling Rutte part in theory, but Timmermans is best deployed in the straight talking parts of the Dutch demographic. He'll be hamstrung by GL's favorite restrictions like speed limits (not talking about the drug!) when really he should just be let loose with his rhetoric.

This idea is just because the Left wants to feel good about itself seeing it high in the polls again. I guarantee you with a year there will be reports of tensions between activists, etc. People who join PvdA join it for entire different reasons than joining GL.
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DavidB.
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« Reply #68 on: April 15, 2022, 08:53:04 AM »

According to NRC sources, Moorman and Timmermans wrote the op-ed partly because either Arib, Nijboer or Kuiken is very likely to become interim leader in parliament. the two authors want to prevent the party from getting too much of an "SP blush on its cheeks" (sic).

In GL, not everyone is happy with the idea either. Former Nijmegen council member Huub Bellemakers already tweeted that he disapproves of the statements by GL members (also including Klaver) welcoming Timmermans and Moorman's statement, saying this alludes to "disbanding the party on Twitter" without involvement of the membership.



Bellemakers: "I want radical green pro-European politics. No wimpy-green faded-red "but we should also be able to drive our cars a little" adjustment" [of existing policy perceived as right-wing].



And former GL youth organization DWARS chairwoman Sabine Scharwachter wrote an article against the idea. She thinks the parties should cooperate closely, but diverge ideologically to attract as many voters as possible - the PvdA as "good cop" within the system, GL as "bad cop".

In short, both parties have a segment within the party that opposes a merger. We'll see what happens...
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DavidB.
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« Reply #69 on: April 18, 2022, 03:17:02 PM »
« Edited: April 19, 2022, 12:01:23 PM by DavidB. 🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦 »

Embarrassing for D66: its big #MeToo case has flared up again. In December 2020, an anonymous woman wrote an open letter ("When power is sex") about abuses of power by Frans van Drimmelen, former head of the "talent scouting commission" and a very important person within D66. Van Drimmelen is a professional lobbyist who, behind the scenes, launched several high-placed members' career (he even helped introducing Sigrid Kaag within D66) and helped selecting candidates for elected office:

Quote
It is commonly known that a number of Members of Parliament, former party leaders and important strategists behind these leaders have often bothered interns and young women with ambition within the party. I have had this experience with one strategist behind a party leader: Frans van Drimmelen. An important lobbyist with a firm that has a big reputation in The Hague and Brussels. But also has a big role within D66. Behind the scenes, he decides which (female) candidates have a shot at positions like party chairwoman, Member of Parliament and Member of the European Parliament. The current #3 of the candidate list, Hanneke van der Werf, party chairwoman Anne Marie Spierings and the former #5 of the EP list Emily van de Vijver have all been pushed forward and supported by Frans van Drimmelen. With one of these ladies, Mr. Van Drimmelen even had a relationship.

The author explains how Van Drimmelen is an important advisor to Sigrid Kaag, that Sigrid Kaag has to know about all of this and that the fact that Kaag selects such men to advise her makes her feel hopeless.

Van Drimmelen selecting candidates for public office is already questionable in terms of integrity when he is a lobbyist, but apparently he also misbehaved badly towards women. The anonymous author of the letter could say goodbye to her career within D66 when she declined his attempts to take the professional relationship a step further. And she mentions another case in which Van Drimmelen had stalked and intimidated the former chairwoman of the national party office. The national board would have known all of this.

All of this was leaked within four months before the general election, and at the time, Sigrid Kaag was quick to bury the story. Bing, an independent "integrity consulting office", was going to investigate the issue. On February 24th 2021, Bing concluded in the public version of the report that there had been no "structurally unsafe environment" - note the word "structurally". The election news quickly overshadowed the issue and D66 won 24 seats. Van Drimmelen returned to his position at his public affairs firm.

But on election day 7:37 PM, a bit more than an hour before the polls closed, one of Van Drimmelen's main victims was sent a confidential annex to the Bing report, in which it was concluded that there had indeed been behavior that crossed all boundaries. Indeed, there had been a conversation between the police and Van Drimmelen in which he was reprimanded and told not to harass women anymore. The police does not confirm the existence of this particular conversation, but does confirm that such conversations only take place when something is truly going wrong.

The victim is upset that D66 has not publicly confirmed that her account of the story is correct - the lasting public impression was that her complaint had been found unfounded in the Bing report. And so she went to De Volkskrant, which wrote it all down. More than 300 active D66 members, including elected officials (but no MPs), want D66 to take action. D66 now promised to respond to the results on Friday. The question remains: if the national board knew all of this, what did Sigrid Kaag know? And what did she do when she heard about this? Is this the progressive, feminist "new leadership" (her winning campaign phrase, likely to return as a boomerang every time something goes wrong) she promised? To be continued...
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« Reply #70 on: April 19, 2022, 02:57:27 PM »

Always very amusing as a Pole to be reminded that actually, Timmermans has politics of his own and isn't just the Emissary from Planet Brussels.
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DavidB.
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« Reply #71 on: April 19, 2022, 03:10:34 PM »
« Edited: April 19, 2022, 03:16:54 PM by DavidB. 🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦 »

Henk Nijboer will be a candidate in the PvdA parliamentary group leadership election which should take place on Friday - remains to be seen whether he wants to take a shot at the party leadership too. Nijboer has said that the current level of cooperation with GL "tastes like more". Apparently, Attje Kuiken is also considering taking a shot at the group leadership. Several unnamed "party prominents" would prefer her over Nijboer, according to the Telegraaf (Kuiken would be a really bad choice, Nijboer a solid one imo...). Khadija Arib and Kati Piri are reportedly not interested.

Always very amusing as a Pole to be reminded that actually, Timmermans has politics of his own and isn't just the Emissary from Planet Brussels.
He himself seems to switch between these two modes as well...
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« Reply #72 on: April 20, 2022, 11:17:42 AM »

Nijboer has said that the current level of cooperation with GL "tastes like more".
Is this a Dutch expression that doesn't translate well? I'm not really sure what it means.
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DavidB.
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« Reply #73 on: April 20, 2022, 04:25:15 PM »

Nijboer has said that the current level of cooperation with GL "tastes like more".
Is this a Dutch expression that doesn't translate well? I'm not really sure what it means.
Yeah it's my Dunglish translation. It means that something feels so good that you want more of it - meaning he wants to deepen cooperation with GL.
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« Reply #74 on: April 20, 2022, 04:42:10 PM »
« Edited: April 20, 2022, 04:55:59 PM by Ellie Rowsell »

Nijboer has said that the current level of cooperation with GL "tastes like more".
Is this a Dutch expression that doesn't translate well? I'm not really sure what it means.
Yeah it's my Dunglish translation. It means that something feels so good that you want more of it - meaning he wants to deepen cooperation with GL.
Ah, thank you. Did he offer any details? You made it sound earlier like he was relatively more hesitant about ever-closer union with GL.
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