Politics and Elections in the Netherlands: BBB victory (user search)

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  Politics and Elections in the Netherlands: BBB victory (search mode)
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Author Topic: Politics and Elections in the Netherlands: BBB victory  (Read 11791 times)
Jr. Member
Posts: 1,257

« on: March 17, 2023, 03:19:38 PM »

Some recent developments:

- PM Rutte said they government will listen to the "scream" of the voters (not sure this is a good or respectful way to frame it...) and will think of the consequences in terms of policy. Behind the scenes, the Ministry for Agriculture is already preparing a proposal to pacify BBB. Scrapping the proposed tightening of the nitrogen reduction deadline from 2035 to 2030 is a prominent feature in this regard. VVD, CDA and CU would be ready to drop the tightening of this target. Van der Plas also demands no forced buyouts and an increase of the nitrogen emissions cap in the law. The latter demand would probably be subject to new lawsuits.

- On election night, Nitrogen Minister Christianne van der Wal (VVD) gave a bit of a tactless interview in which she says nitrogen policy has to continue as planned because there is no choice. She said it was already known many people were opposed to the policy, but if we want our economy to stay open and housing construction to continue we have to do this. In De Telegraaf, an anonymous CDA MP remarked that they thought: "Shut the f**k up" when Van der Wal said all of this. Green and left commentators, on the other hand, lauded Van der Wal's comments.

- BBB asked MP Chris Stoffer (SGP) to investigate possible avenues for coalition formation in the province of Friesland. The SGP itself did not win any seats in Friesland. The local PvdA leader said it is positive he has experience and she wouldn't object to it.

And some thoughts about provincial coalition building:

- BBB's victory will make provincial coalition formation a nightmare. This is not like 2019, where FVD's victory was impressive/shocking (depending on political POV) and surprising but the magnitude was fairly limited. Now, the numbers game is fundamentally different. In many provinces, sidelining BBB, FVD, PVV and JA21 requires absurd coalitions to be formed, consisting of basically all other parties. This won't be feasible.

Take Flevoland, where BBB got 20.8% of the vote and 10 out of 41 seats - close to its national average and by no means the most pro-BBB province. Not that crazy. But BBB, PVV, FVD and JA21 already have 17 seats combined. VVD, CDA, D66, CU, GL and PvdA have only 16 combined. Even adding the SP and the PvdD (quite a lot of an ideological stretch...) only takes you to 20, 1 short of a majority. Where to go next? 50Plus and a local party both have one. But it's difficult to see how this would work - and how voters wouldn't punish this behavior. In many provinces, the picture is similar or even more favorable to BBB. I expect establishment parties to form anti-BBB coalitions in some provinces (Utrecht, Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland are the most obvious options - in that order), but in most provinces this simply won't be an option - BBB will be "incontournable", as the French say, mostly because excluding BBB means excluding PVV/FVD/(almost definitely) JA21 too.

Playing with the coalition builder in every province and looking at the different provincial results is possible here.

For years I have observed Rutte push voters from one Pro-Rutte party to another Pro-Rutte party, so I expected that Rutte would stay until he ran out of pro-Rutte parties to push disappointed voters into.

So it's poetic justice that he runs out of centrist parties to eat.
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