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Author Topic: Politics and Elections in the Netherlands  (Read 37340 times)
DavidB.
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« on: October 25, 2017, 11:43:54 am »

Dave doesn't like threads that get too long, so I figured that the inauguration of the new Rutte-III government (VVD, CDA, D66, ChristenUnie), which will take place tomorrow, posed a good occasion to open a new one (the old one can be found here). Have at it.

« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 01:45:16 pm by DavidB. »Logged
DavidB.
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« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2017, 06:19:42 am »

Worth noting that Kaag's budget is actually bigger than Zijlstra's and that we spend a staggering amount of money on development aid in the Palestinian territories, which means the risk of a conflict of interest is there. Funnily, Kaag's husband actually appeared to be more moderate than herself in an interview with Buitenhof twenty years ago when talking about Benjamin Netanyahu, but who knows what happened to both of their political views in the meantime.

Kaag's daughter liked a tweet in which a friend of her stated that Marwan Barghouti should be the president, which some people also hold against Kaag (but many deem this to be unfair). We do know that her children consider themselves to be Palestinians and that their native language is Arabic: they are not fluent in Dutch. Another new D66 minister, Kajsa Ollongren, raised her children in another language as well: not in New Swedish, like Kaag, but in traditional Swedish. Positive note when it comes to Ollongren: as she is married to a woman, I think she is the first LGBT Deputy Prime Minister in this country.
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DavidB.
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« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2017, 06:30:03 am »

As mvd10 stated, the first point of disagreement among the coalition parties is already in sight. In March, together with the local elections, a referendum will take place on a new law that will give the intelligence services many more powers than they currently have, mainly when it comes to online communication: no warrant from a judge will be needed to read people's private messages anymore. 400,000 people signed an official petition for a referendum on this law and so it will take place. The complication is that the coalition parties have agreed to abolish the referendum. CDA leader Buma yesterday gave a bold interview to De Volkskrant in which he says considers the referendum (introduced only three years ago, mind) to be "a relic of the past" (while it still exists until a law is adopted to abolish the instrument -- and a referendum can be organized about this law too...) and that "we will not consider this referendum to be a real referendum". Painful for D66, who officially still support referendums (though in practice they couldn't care less), initially opposed the new law, and have a base that will oppose the law and strongly cares about privacy. D66 MP Kees Verhoeven immediately called Buma's comments "unwise" and wants the referendum to be taken seriously. To be continued...

On another forum, somebody asked why the political leaders of CDA, D66 and CU have not entered the government. For Buma and Pechtold, there are two answers to this question: an official one and an unofficial one.

The official answer is that the government only has a majority of one in both chambers of parliament, and that Buma, Pechtold and Segers will do their best to make sure the parliamentary groups will be committed to supporting the government's agenda. For this purpose, there will also be a special meeting on Monday mornings with the "number one" government representatives (Rutte, De Jonge, Ollongren, Schouten) and the parliamentary group leaders (Dijkhoff, Buma, Pechtold, Segers).

The unofficial answer is that Mark Rutte has successfully destroyed or at least greatly damaged the political leaders of all his previous junior coalition partners: Verhagen and Wilders in Rutte-I, Samsom and Asscher in Rutte-II. After governing with Rutte, CDA, PVV and PvdA lost 8, 9 and 29 seats respectively. Part of the reason is that these political leaders were too closely tied to the government. Pechtold and especially Buma are ambitious. Buma wants to become Prime Minister. Meanwhile, nobody really expects this government to remain in office for the full term. We don't even know if Rutte will remain committed to the project for the full 3.5 years (they spoiled 0.5 by negotiating), because the whole VVD assumes that this will be his last term and Donald Tusk's EU job will become vacant in 2019. In other words, the party leaders of CDA and D66 want to be in pole position to start their next election campaigns without too much baggage from the Rutte-III government, and they want to be able to profile themselves very clearly along their own party lines, not along the line of the Rutte-III government. In general this government does not have "one story" like the Rutte-I and -II governments did. Each party frames policy based on its own ideological background, which has led to some really strange sentences in the coalition agreement and may not bode well for the government's duration. An especially likely moment for the government to collapse would be 2019, when the parties will probably lose their majority in the Senate. But with Rutte's extraordinary capability of striking deals with parties across the spectrum, you never know.
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DavidB.
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« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2017, 08:51:39 am »

Meanwhile, PVV -> FvD voter movement continues. Wilders' party is now at a five-year low.

« Last Edit: October 29, 2017, 08:58:51 am by DavidB. »Logged
DavidB.
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« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2017, 01:07:44 pm »

lol at SP. Shouldn't they be having some sort of leadership change?
Lilian Marijnissen, who just entered parliament, is going to lead the party soon, but she needs some time to gain experience.

If, in a hypothetical scenario this were possible, would PVV and FvD combine to form a government?

Obviously, they would need other parties, but would they be open to the idea?
They wouldn't mind cooperating, but no other parties would want to cooperate with the PVV except for the 3-seat SGP (and many would be skeptical about working together with FvD too).
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 01:09:21 pm by DavidB. »Logged
DavidB.
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« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2017, 03:11:07 pm »

Do Wilders and Baudet get on?
Wilders is still in the phase of ignoring Baudet and pretending that he doesn't exist. Baudet still actively shares posts on Twitter that defend Wilders from certain accusations and has always refused to go negative on him.

While there is obviously some strategy involved here, I think Baudet does view Wilders as an ally in terms of policy, and he probably voted for him before founding his own movement. There are obvious ideological differences (in terms of "problem analysis") that run quite deep, but those are not too important in the here and now.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 03:12:46 pm by DavidB. »Logged
DavidB.
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« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2017, 08:57:47 am »

This morning, the Electoral Council officially declared that there will be a referendum on the Law on Intelligence and Security Services (Wiv). 384,126 signatures were considered to be valid, about 92% of the total number of signatures. The threshold was 300,000. The Electoral Council also stated that it is "likely" that the referendum will take place together with the local elections on 21 March 2018.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2017, 09:42:45 am by DavidB. »Logged
DavidB.
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« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2017, 10:27:43 am »

Some good debates in parliament recently. The new government aims to abolish the dividend tax, which will cost 1,4 billion euros. No socio-economic institution tied to the state, like the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB), endorses this measure, which will not benefit any person in the Netherlands, and to date, not a single economist has been found who is willing to defend it: so much for neoliberals believing in "evidence-based" policy. Even stranger, the measure was not included in a single election manifesto -- it appears, though the coalition says it does "not know" how it ended up with this, that employers' federation VNO-NCW came up with it during the negotiations. The coalition defends it by saying it will make the Netherlands a more attractive place to foreign investors, but had to admit that it was an "estimate" (Buma, Rutte) and even a "guess" (Dijkhoff, VVD parliamentary group leader).

One can imagine that the timing of the release of the Paradise Papers is very unfortunate for the government. One can also imagine why the government chose to retract the proposed budget cut on local nursing facilities (100 million euros) upon pressure from the combined left, and Lodewijk Asscher in particular.

GL, SP and PvdA, with their 37 seats, finally managed to overcome their differences and, for the first time, agreed on an alternative socio-economic policy agenda, which includes scrapping the proposed VAT increase on essential products from 6% to 9%, abolishing healthcare co-payments, increasing wages for public sector workers, and implementing a carbon tax. They would finance this 10-billion plan by increasing corporate taxes and bank taxes, by not enacting this government's income tax cuts and by not abolishing the dividend tax. Asscher and Klaver left a strong impression in the debate, Roemer much less so. Later in the debate, Kees van der Staaij caught people's attention by summarizing his views in "Ten Tweets". Baudet bombed in his first big debate, but his voters don't appear to care.

As for the environmental agenda of the government: it does not seem very convincing. Almost one third of the 49% CO2 reduction that the government aims to reach before 2030 is supposed to come from storing the CO2 underground ("Carbon Capture and Storage", CCS) rather than actually reducing emission. We have never even stored any CO2 underground: a pilot to do this in Barendrecht, a Rotterdam suburb, caused a big uproar. The director of this industry's lobby organization himself says he was completely bewildered when he read the coalition agreement: he thought the figure was a typo and said this ambition is "completely unrealistic", and McKinsey released a report in which it thinks only one sixth of the target for 2030 is realistic in 2040. Other projected emission reductions are also based on the doubtful effects of unknown technologies. In other words, the climate targets of the coalition agreement will not be reached and I guess D66 and CU will soon find out themselves.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2017, 10:44:40 am by DavidB. »Logged
DavidB.
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« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2017, 12:05:35 pm »

Of course there are a lot of ifs and buts, and yes, there are always unknowns in economic and fiscal policy, but the idea that abolishing the dividend tax will help the Netherlands attract more companies is completely unfounded and it seems unwise to spend 1,4 billion euros on it. I support lowering corporate taxes if it is clear that this would create jobs. This measure won't do that.

On a lighter note, for those who speak Dutch: I found this website and this letter by Willem Gomes, municipal councilmember of the New Communist Party of the Netherlands in Heiloo, paradoxically a very affluent suburb. Dude is completely nuts, believes in chemtrails. Hilarious how a guy like him keeps getting re-elected.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2017, 03:10:56 pm by Gucci Gang »Logged
DavidB.
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« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2017, 06:19:19 am »

Kinda changed my mind on the dividend tax. If it's really a necessary step to keep Shell, Unilever etc. here, including tens of thousands of jobs, then I support it. But the government should be open about the companies and the number of jobs that are on the line.

More good news for mvd10: I'm inclined to vote for the VVD in the upcoming local election.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2017, 06:53:42 am by DavidB. »Logged
DavidB.
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« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2017, 08:48:15 am »

Technically D66 State Secretary Menno Snel or CDA Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra should defend this measure in parliament, but the opposition summoned Rutte to explain it. They probably want to tie this to the VVD.
I read the minutes of the plenary session. Hoekstra himself directed the opposition to Rutte: the opposition parties want to know how this idea ended up being part of the coalition agreement and which actors sought to have it included, and Hoekstra says they should discuss this with Rutte, as Hoekstra was not one of the negotiators and Rutte "led" the formation.

Quote from: Wopke Hoekstra
Ik heb alleen verwezen naar de brief die de minister-president heeft gestuurd. In die brief maakt de minister-president ook expliciet opmerkingen over de vertrouwelijkheid van de stukken. Ik hoop dat de heer Nijboer ook begrijpt dat ik artikel 68 natuurlijk ken en absoluut respecteer. Aan de andere kant is het zo dat op het moment dat de minister-president in zekere zin in zijn rol als informateur deze brief heeft gestuurd, dat gesprek over die stukken dan ook in de eerste plaats met hem zou moeten zijn.

and

Quote from: Wopke Hoekstra
Ik begrijp overigens best dat de heer Van Dijck hier weer naar vraagt. Ik denk echt dat het gesprek over het proces tijdens de formatie met de minister-president, en dan in zijn hoedanigheid van informateur, gevoerd moet worden, want ik ben daar gewoon niet bij geweest.

This, by the way, is not necessarily true from a legal perspective at all. Rutte was never "informateur", as Hoekstra claims, he was only the leader of the largest political party. He became "formateur" and legally the leader of the process only after the coalition agreement was presented. Smart move on Hoekstra's part.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2017, 08:59:29 am by Gucci Gang »Logged
DavidB.
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« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2017, 09:52:33 am »

I think this image nicely illustrates the position the left is in today. They simply have to cooperate. The PvdA will undoubtedly become the winner on the left someday and ignore SP and GL. Then it will implode again, cooperate with GL and SP, and so on...


An interesting story in Algemeen Dagblad explains how Halbe Zijlstra became Minister of Foreign Affairs. This position had been reserved for Jeanine Hennis and VVD, CDA and D66 had been stuck for quite some time: they all wanted either the Finance Ministry or Social Affairs, with Zijlstra being the VVD candidate for Social Affairs. However, when Hennis had resigned as Defense Minister following her Mali scandal and was realistically out of the race for the MFA, Zijlstra showed interest in the Foreign Affairs Ministry, and therefore Hoekstra got Finance and Koolmees went to Social Affairs.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2017, 09:55:57 am by Gucci Gang »Logged
DavidB.
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« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2017, 06:05:51 am »

Hilarious that it was Omtzigt's own party leader Sybrand Buma who recently stated in parliament that the Netherlands should "not be naive" about the possibility that we are being influenced by Russian propaganda as well. I find this MH17 revisionism to be very problematic, both on Omtzigt's part and on the part of FvD.
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DavidB.
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« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2017, 02:50:24 pm »

Another week, another FvD seat. The government lost three seats this week and is now at -11 compared to GE17. The dividend tax issue clearly hurts the government and helps the left, who have been coherent, convincing and effective. Peil.nl today:


The government parties seriously have to watch out that they do not become too unpopular, otherwise the local elections, to be held four months from now, may get painful. D66 had a particularly good result in 2014, benefiting from the fact that Rutte-II was at its low point in terms of popularity back then, and is likely to lose seats in the high-profile big cities. The espionage referendum, held at the same day, being in the back of their potential voters' minds will not help either: D66 has to toe the government line (in support of the law) despite having voted against it, GL can freely oppose it.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2017, 03:05:46 pm by Gucci Gang »Logged
DavidB.
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« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2017, 09:18:18 am »

Whoa, I had totally forgotten that the SP were so high in the polls back then, even though I did recall them gaining quite a lot in the 2014 local elections.

Apparently the PvdA were at about the same level of popularity as they are now, but depending on Asscher's success they might rise a bit more before the 2018 election. Unfortunately for the PvdA, however, DENK's participation (and the participation of parties that attract the same demographics, such as NIDA in Rotterdam and PvdE and the Islam Democrats in The Hague) will definitely hurt them in the high-profile big cities. So will GL's popularity.

The VVD lost quite a bit in 2014 and should be able to make some gains if they do not become too unpopular before March; the fact that FvD will only stand in Amsterdam will help them. The PVV being on the ballot for the first time in many places should not pose serious problems to the liberals, as the number of VVD-PVV swing voters appears to be really limited nowadays. In addition, Wilders is not on the ballot and there are bound to be a lot of scandals once the PVV candidates are announced.

But the election is probably going to be most painful for D66, who will lose to GL and perhaps even to the PvdA, but also to DENK: in 2014 D66 managed to do very well with Muslim voters.

GL should be able to top the poll in Amsterdam and Utrecht (2014: D66). The Hague will be interesting: D66 came first there in 2014 and is likely to lose, but so are the PVV and local party HSP. GL, VVD and local party Groep de Mos will gain. I would not rule out the possibility of the PvdA topping the poll in The Hague again. In Rotterdam, the question is how much the PVV's participation will hurt Leefbaar, which has an alliance with FvD. I would still place my bets on Leefbaar topping the poll, but they will not keep the 14 seats they won in 2014 and may end up in the high single digits.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2017, 09:29:18 am by Gucci Gang »Logged
DavidB.
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« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2017, 09:27:12 am »

Martin Bosma (PVV) pulled a #LockHerUp and demanded that Interior Minister Kajsa Ollongren (D66) be imprisoned for 30 years for treason. As Deputy Mayor and alderwoman in Amsterdam, Ollongren once stated that the "Republic of Amsterdam" should secede in case the PVV tops the poll nationwide.
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DavidB.
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« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2017, 09:48:22 am »

Martin Bosma (PVV) pulled a #LockHerUp and demanded that Interior Minister Kajsa Ollongren (D66) be imprisoned for 30 years for treason. As Deputy Mayor and alderwoman in Amsterdam, Ollongren once stated that the "Republic of Amsterdam" should secede in case the PVV tops the poll nationwide.

No mention of Baudet asking why dual nationals should hold public office during the first debate? Let's not take away credit where credit is due, he was the first one to hint that Ollongren was part of a fifth column.  
It was actually Wilders who started about Ollongren's dual citizenship; Baudet came to his aid in an interruption with additional legalistic arguments. However, neither Wilders nor Baudet suggested Ollongren was part of a fifth column. Wilders: "Nobody says I do not trust Ms. Ollongren, for example. But if we talk about holding dual citizenship, I am consistent" (click). Of course his claim to consistency is untrue, as he did not introduce a motion of no confidence against Marlies Veldhuijsen van Zanten in Rutte-I, but I do not think he or Baudet suggested that Ollongren is part of a fifth column.
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DavidB.
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« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2017, 10:19:09 am »

For the case of Wilders, I am not refferring to him (because we all know who he thinks the fifth column is, and its not Ollegren), but your post of the PVV above  

I'm also refferring to Baudet's question, where he asked if it was acceptable if dual nationals should hold office, hinting at the fact that Ollegren may not have the interests of the Dutch people at heart.

https://soundcloud.com/methetoogopmorgen/de-stemming-van-vullings-en-van-weezel-23

(minute 19 for the full sh**tshow in the debate, 20.20min for his question)

I'm surprised given your previous sensitivities on such an issue this wasn't brought up earlier.  

I do not completely understand your post, but I also do not think that by asking that question Baudet suggested that Ollongren does not have the Dutch interest at heart. I do not think he meant that at all. His argument was based on constitutional law. I find this to be a trivial issue, but do not see why it would be illegitimate to discuss it.

This happened after Wilders brought up the subject, by the way.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2017, 10:21:39 am by DavidB. »Logged
DavidB.
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« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2017, 10:37:23 am »

Who said it was coincidence? It appears that you seek to revive your little personal vendetta, for which I have no time, but your argument falls flat.
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DavidB.
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« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2017, 11:01:33 am »

It was you who started about me, but ok... Roll Eyes
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DavidB.
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« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2017, 03:20:55 pm »

Really disgusting and unexpected. It's probably because he needs cash.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2017, 03:22:34 pm by DavidB. »Logged
DavidB.
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« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2017, 11:24:24 am »

What a mess, lol. All current double-digit parties lose, almost all single-digit parties win.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2017, 11:26:29 am by DavidB. »Logged
DavidB.
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« Reply #22 on: December 03, 2017, 07:48:42 am »

Peil.nl today. Not tired of winning yet! Also watch the PvdA's recovery.

« Last Edit: December 03, 2017, 07:52:23 am by DavidB. »Logged
DavidB.
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« Reply #23 on: December 03, 2017, 08:58:28 am »

Interesting how the pollsters suddenly come up with diverging findings again, unlike right before the election. Really makes you think...
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DavidB.
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« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2017, 12:03:28 pm »

One extremely wealthy area in Wassenaar that one would expect to vote 65% VVD or so voted 38% VVD in 2012 according to this site Tongue (no precincts). Perhaps David knows whether this is reliable? The municipality of Amsterdam always releases the election results by stadsdeel anyway as far as I know.
Thanks for sharing this! I think I can find out. Which area is it? Haven't found out how this works yet.
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