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Dutch general election, 2010

Djoop

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For those interested; a thread about the coming elections in NL. If you have any questions or comments feel free to share them.

The Netherlands will go to the polls to choose a new parliament on June 9. But although, officially, Dutch voters will only be electing the 150 members of de Tweede Kamer, the real race will be fought out between the contenders for the highest Dutch office, that of prime minister.

Looking at the current polls, it seems to have become a showdown between four men: incumbent Jan Peter Balkenende, Labour challenger Job Cohen, right-wing liberal Mark Rutte and enfant terrible Geert Wilders. Their neck-and-neck race illustrates the fragmented political landscape of the Netherlands, where traditional parties no longer boast a loyal following.


nrc.nl - International - Election 2010 - Who will be the next Dutch prime minister?
 

bub

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Don't you think that Wilders catches votes that would otherwise go to the VVD, and thus "damages" the right side of the political spectrum?

And are there talks about possible coalitions?
 

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Don't you think that Wilders catches votes that would otherwise go to the VVD, and thus "damages" the right side of the political spectrum?

And are there talks about possible coalitions?
It's unlikely the last coalition (CDA & PVDA) will repeat itself. They both threw a lot of dirt at eachother, so a new coalition between the two is bound to damage their credibility. Left wing parties (D66, Groenlinks, SP) say they want a left wing coalition with the PVDA. Of course I would like to avoid that so what are my options?

PVV
This is actually the safest choice for me (in terms of avoiding a left wing coalition). Yes Wilders takes more votes from the VVD but there's no party on the left willing to govern with the PVV. A vote for the PVV is voting for a centre/right wing government (with CDA and VVD).

VVD
They might govern with (some) left wing parties but their preference is to govern with CDA and PVV.

CDA
They have showed the ability to change from left to right depending on election results. Everyone knows this and that's why I think they've lost so many votes in the polls, neither side trusts them.


So for me it's either PVV or VVD, I'll decide when I've read both programs.
 
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bub

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It's unlikely the last coalition (CDA & PVDA) will repeat itself. They both threw a lot of dirt at eachother, so a new coalition between the two is bound to damage their credibility. Left wing parties (D66, Groenlinks, SP) say they want a left wing coalition with the PVDA. Of course I would like to avoid that so what are my options?

PVV
This is actually the safest choice for me (in terms of avoding a left wing coalition). Yes Wilders takes more votes from the VVD but there's no party on the left willing to govern with the PVV. A vote for the PVV is voting for a centre/right wing government (with CDA and VVD).

VVD
They might govern with (some) left wing parties but their preference is to govern with CDA and PVV.

CDA
They have showed the ability to change from left to right depending on election results. Everyone knows this and that's why I think they've lost so many votes in the polls, neither side trust them.


So for me it's either PVV or VVD, I'll decide when I've read both programs.
Yeah the coalition thing is also very important in my eyes. I'd like to vote for the ecologists but I know they're going to govern with the socialists, which is really a very bad thing.

Now, about the PVV: isn't he demonized by the other parties (especially the PVDA)? Don't they call Wilders "extreme-right" or things like that?
 

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Yeah the coalition thing is also very important in my eyes. I'd like to vote for the ecologists but I know they're going to govern with the socialists, which is really a very bad thing.

Now, about the PVV: isn't he demonized by the other parties (especially the PVDA)? Don't they call Wilders "extreme-right" or things like that?
Sure he is and it's quite nasty. The problem with Wilders is, in contrast to the Fortuyn movement, he proved the Left right with his racist comments about women who wear a veil f.e. Moreover, Wilders demonizes the PVDA like there's no tomorrow. I don't have a problem with the anti-Wilders rhetoric, I do have a problem with people threatening PVV voters and destroying their election posters; the undemocratic part of the demonization.

It's a pity there's no rigth wing green party, because that's about the only thing that annoys me being on the right part of the spectrum, none of them has a economic vision that's sustainable. We have a green party but they're far more left than they're green.
 

bub

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Sure he is and it's quite nasty. The problem with Wilders is, in contrast to the Fortuyn movement, he proved the Left right with his racist comments about women who wear a veil f.e. Moreover, Wilders demonizes the PVDA like there's no tomorrow. I don't have a problem with the anti-Wilders rhetoric, I do have a problem with people threatening PVV voters and destroying their election posters; the undemocratic part of the demonization.
Same here. They went as far as creating a "quarantine line": no one is going to talk with the Vlaams Belang (which is not really a bad thing).

What's more regretable is demonizing democratic parties, and using populist fear-mongering arguments, like the socialist party leader talking about a "liberal crisis" instead of "economic crisis", or foreseeing a "social bloodbath" if the liberals get elected

It's a pity there's no rigth wing green party, because that's about the only thing that annoys me being on the right part of the spectrum, none of them has a economic vision that's sustainable. We have a green party but they're far more left than they're green.
Same here, most of our ecologists are more "alter-globalists" than "ecologists", and some people call them the "green khmers" or "green ayatollahs" lol
 

bub

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Oh and aren't you voting for the Party of the Animals? (Dierenpartij?)
 

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Oh and aren't you voting for the Party of the Animals? (Dierenpartij?)
Not as long as Pim Fortuyns murderer is alive (he's an animal rights activist), I bought a fur coat and everything, this year I'm going to Canada to club seals.

j/k
 

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Any vote for the PVV is dangerous in my opinion. I will openly declare that if I could vote in the NL, I would vote for the D66...just to clear the air.

However, my non-partisan opinion is that voting for VVD will lead to a VVD and D66 government with one small party or the PvDA.

I am not sure about CDA, they seems to have lost any direction or purpose and the PvDA is far too willing to work with GroenLinks for me.

Voting for PVV creates legitimacy, Geert Wilders as the leader of the largest or the second largest party will create a strong message that he should at least have an opportunity to "try to form a coalition". This is a dangerous legitimation of his political views...and I think will lead to problems from the other member-states (ex. Austria and Haider). Additionally, it could remove the final "devil we don't know" fear of the party that desaudes voters who consider voting for them but do not.
 

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Any vote for the PVV is dangerous in my opinion. I will openly declare that if I could vote in the NL, I would vote for the D66...just to clear the air.

However, my non-partisan opinion is that voting for VVD will lead to a VVD and D66 government with one small party or the PvDA.

I am not sure about CDA, they seems to have lost any direction or purpose and the PvDA is far too willing to work with GroenLinks for me.

Voting for PVV creates legitimacy, Geert Wilders as the leader of the largest or the second largest party will create a strong message that he should at least have an opportunity to "try to form a coalition". This is a dangerous legitimation of his political views...and I think will lead to problems from the other member-states (ex. Austria and Haider). Additionally, it could remove the final "devil we don't know" fear of the party that desaudes voters who consider voting for them but do not.
Yeah, let's not look at the content of their programs because the PVV is dangerous and we know best for the rest. Maybe it's just my snobbish dislike for elitism but I allready have my doubts about the non partisan views you will be presenting us.

I voted for D66 when they were still about electoral reforms.

As for the PVV, they may grow very big unless they get a chance to f*ck up if you know what I mean.
 

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Yes, that is what happen to LF (I cannot spell his name, Fortyn?).

They were devastated because they had a series of scandals. Thing is that I think Geert Wilders has learned from the mistakes of the LF.

Just as an outsider, PVV will cause problems with the other member-states. I cannot see the Nordic members working with a minister or a head of government who is so openly anti-immigrantion. It will sideline the Netherlands and expose deep and rotting social tensions.

I dislike the Lowlandic Left, very much so, but I prefer "the Devil I know, than the Devil I do not know".
 

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Yes, that is what happen to LF (I cannot spell his name, Fortyn?).

They were devastated because they had a series of scandals. Thing is that I think Geert Wilders has learned from the mistakes of the LF.

Just as an outsider, PVV will cause problems with the other member-states. I cannot see the Nordic members working with a minister or a head of government who is so openly anti-immigrantion. It will sideline the Netherlands and expose deep and rotting social tensions.

I dislike the Lowlandic Left, very much so, but I prefer "the Devil I know, than the Devil I do not know".
LPF (lijst pim fortuyn). There will be problems but you may wonder who creates them. Speaks for itself that the dutch decide who they elect. I'm not very worried because it's highly unlikely they'll form a government with Wilders and if they do, there will be agreements about certain topics no doubt. You're very well informed though, have you lived here?
 

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Here's a poll update. Labor's leader seems to get significantly more support than the party itself. The polls seem to be showing the VVD coming out in first. That would be the first, first place finish for a liberal party in the Netherlands since 1905 (which was before universal suffrage). Any coalition will likely include the VVD, which means that Labor will probably be kept out of government. Balkenende been arguing for parties "ready to reform" the Dutch economy, which according to him would be a CDA, VVD, D66, and GroenLinks (source). I'm not sure how well that coalition would hold up (GroenLinks working with the CDA and VVD? I'm skeptical) but I'd still prefer it to getting Wilders in government.
 

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I suspect that CDA and VVD say they want D66 (and if they have to GL) to avoid losing voters like you who mainly care about keeping Wilders out. If you compare the programs VVD and PVV are close, D66 have a different agenda and the CDA, well that depends on the weather.
 

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I'm not sure I fully agree with that. There are some important issues that the VVD is actually closer to D66 than the PVV on. This includes changes to the state pension age (which the PVV doesn't want changed but both the VVD and D66 want to increase), increases in health care own risk payments (again D66 and VVD are for an increase the PVV argues for no change), and education spending (D66 wants to shift from student loans to grants, the VVD wants to increase spending, and the PVV wants no change). The issues the VVD and PVV agree on are either also in agreement with D66 (no change to mortgage tax relief) or the PVV would go much farther (both the VVD and PVV support increases in the number of police officers and decreases in foreign aid/EU funding but the PVV would go much further in both instances). However, there is next to nothing that GroenLinks and the VVD agree on so bringing them in the coalition seems unlikely.
 

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I'm not sure I fully agree with that. There are some important issues that the VVD is actually closer to D66 than the PVV on. This includes changes to the state pension age (which the PVV doesn't want changed but both the VVD and D66 want to increase), increases in health care own risk payments (again D66 and VVD are for an increase the PVV argues for no change), and education spending (D66 wants to shift from student loans to grants, the VVD wants to increase spending, and the PVV wants no change). The issues the VVD and PVV agree on are either also in agreement with D66 (no change to mortgage tax relief) or the PVV would go much farther (both the VVD and PVV support increases in the number of police officers and decreases in foreign aid/EU funding but the PVV would go much further in both instances). However, there is next to nothing that GroenLinks and the VVD agree on so bringing them in the coalition seems unlikely.
Knowing that these parties have to justify the result to their electorate, I'm used to work from the differences, not from the comparisons. While D66 and VVD (both liberal parties) may look similar, D66 finances the reforms over left while VVD will go over right and use the reforms to do something about the never ending income nivellation that goes on in NL.
It's complicated to bring 3 let alone 4 parties together, and if there's a majority with the PVV there's no doubt in my mind they will govern with the PVV. Just like they did with the LPF a few years back. the PVV is losing votes though, ever since Wilders made his headcarf comments they're back from 30 seats to 18, and we can expect this to contineu right untill the election because people tend to vote for a winner.
 

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Knowing that these parties have to justify the result to their electorate, I'm used to work from the differences, not from the comparisons. While D66 and VVD (both liberal parties) may look similar, D66 finances the reforms over left while VVD will go over right and use the reforms to do something about the never ending income nivellation that goes on in NL.
It's complicated to bring 3 let alone 4 parties together, and if there's a majority with the PVV there's no doubt in my mind they will govern with the PVV. Just like they did with the LPF a few years back. the PVV is losing votes though, ever since Wilders made his headcarf comments they're back from 30 seats to 18, and we can expect this to contineu right untill the election because people tend to vote for a winner.
You have a point about the differences easily causing problems, but D66 and the VVD have worked well together before (most notably in the 90s under Kok). I think they wouldn't be the main problem in the CDA's proposed coalition. Getting GroenLinks in there would be next to impossible I would think.

If the CDA, VVD, and D66 win enough seats I'm certain they'd take a coalition without GL or the PVV. But if they need one or the other you're probably right that the PVV is far more likely to be chosen.
 

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You have a point about the differences easily causing problems, but D66 and the VVD have worked well together before (most notably in the 90s under Kok). I think they wouldn't be the main problem in the CDA's proposed coalition. Getting GroenLinks in there would be next to impossible I would think.
Agreed, on both accounts. It will be interesting to see how eager GL is to govern. I expect very eager, so we may be in for a surprise.

If the CDA, VVD, and D66 win enough seats I'm certain they'd take a coalition without GL or the PVV. But if they need one or the other you're probably right that the PVV is far more likely to be chosen.
Agreed. Not necessarily because they want to, but because they'll be pressed to respect the outcome of the election. VVD surely favors D66 as the PVV competes for their seats, but the CDA will have a lot of difficulty uniting both liberal parties with their conservative program. I think it's actually the CDA who favors the PVV, that's the safest option for them in terms of future elections.
 

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The primary exit poll for the Dutch Election is in! Here's the result.

VVD: 31, +9
PvdA: 31, -2
PVV: 22, +13
CDA: 21, -20
SP: 16, -9
GroenLinks: 11, +4
D66: 10, +7
ChristenUnie: 5, -1
SGP: 2, 0
PvdD: 1, -1

Just a note there is a potential 2 seat margin of error.

So what does this mean government-wise. Well for one thing who is going to be the next Prime Minister is up in the air. Both Labour and the VVD have equal claim in terms of seats (assuming the exit poll is right) though Cohen is more popular then Rutte. This is especially important since a "Purple Coalition" is looking like the most likely result right now. The center-right VVD, CDA, and PVV is two seats short of being able to govern (in theory I suppose they could get ChristenUnie in and have enough but given their attitude towards asylum seekers and development aid, I don't think the PVV would want to be in partnership with them while the other option, the SGP has no desire to be in government and its anti-women's suffrage views and pro-theocracy views is probably too much for the VVD and PVV or even the CDA). So a more likely coalition is the VVD, PvdA, D66, and GroenLinks. Technically a VVD, PvdA, CDA coalition would work, but that seems implausible given that a PvdA/CDA government just collapsed to trigger this very election. Not to mention the divide over the Afghanistan issue.
 

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Update: Final results are in and they are as follow:

VVD: 31, +9
PvdA: 30, -3
PVV: 24, +15
CDA: 21, -20
SP: 15, -10
GroenLinks: 10, +3
D66: 10, +7
ChristenUnie: 5, -1
SGP: 2, 0
PvdD: 2, 0

Well it looks like Rutte will definitely be the next PM after all, and a center-right VVD, PVV, and CDA coalition is possible again (with the ability to net 76 out of 150 votes, exactly enough to have a majority). Whether such a coalition would happen is still up in the air as VVD officials say that they would not do such a coalition due to the lack of PVV representation in the Senate (which elected through provincial elections that the VVD did not participate in, source).
 

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Ok, that was disappointing. I don't see how they're supposed to form a coalition. VVD, PVV and CDA have a majority and could for a centre right government. It's highly unlikely they will form a coalition with such a narrow margin though. If one of the PVV members splits from the party (as we've seen numerous times with their predecessors, the LPF) that coalition would lose its majority. Every other combination includes the socialists and libertarians. Try working out a mutual program between those opposites, it's a bad joke.
The only positive thing I see in this outcome is that, finally, after a gazillion years, we will (probably) get a libertarian PM, not a socialist or a christian for once.
 

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I'm not familiar with the details of Dutch politics, so please excuse me if my question is obvious... but couldn't VVD, PVV and CDA just find one of the small parties, the protestants maybe, so support a right coalition?
 

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The two small protestant parties wouldn't work well with the coalition. ChristenUnie was to relax immigration and asylum rules while the entire purpose of the PVV is to oppose immigration. Beyond that, the CU is relatively left wing in its economics, more so than CDA or VVD, probably about the level of the PvdA. The other protestant party is a Fundamentalist Christian party that would be considered crazy in the US. They still oppose women's suffrage and kind of got forced to let women join their party in 2006. Beyond that they view themselves as a "testimonial party" meaning the only reason they run is to increase awareness about their views. They specifically do not want to join a government.
 

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The two small protestant parties wouldn't work well with the coalition. ChristenUnie was to relax immigration and asylum rules while the entire purpose of the PVV is to oppose immigration. Beyond that, the CU is relatively left wing in its economics, more so than CDA or VVD, probably about the level of the PvdA. The other protestant party is a Fundamentalist Christian party that would be considered crazy in the US. They still oppose women's suffrage and kind of got forced to let women join their party in 2006. Beyond that they view themselves as a "testimonial party" meaning the only reason they run is to increase awareness about their views. They specifically do not want to join a government.
Yep, libertarians and religious extremists don't go well together. Bsides, I'm pretty sure that apart from the CDA and VVD (who would rather avoid having to work with the PVV) no other party would even engage in coalition talks with the PVV.
 
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