Dutch coalition goverment collapses 24 replies

Please wait...

Admiral Donutz VIP Member

Wanna go Double Dutch?

735,271 XP

9th December 2003

0 Uploads

71,460 Posts

0 Threads

#1 8 years ago

I was considering making a thread about Uruzghan and the Dutch troops there and what the Dutch politics should decide/do but last night the goverment coalition of centre right wing conservative CDA ("Christen Democratisch Appèl" or Christian Democrat Party), centrist left wing PvdA ("partij van de Arbeid" or Party of Labour) and centrist right wing conservative CU ("Christen Unie" or Christian Union) discontinued their coalition. The coalition has fallen.

So what was the problem? Let's see what happend recently: Well over the past weeks and months there were some major difficulties. Debates about raising the retirement (and thus retirement pensions) from 65 to 67 were a sensitive topic.

And more recently, at the start of this year, a commision looked into the topic of Iraq. This commision pointed out several flaws, problems and issues (such as "Minister President Balkenende (CDA) did not show any leadership in regards to this topic" , "The goverment coalition did not properly inform the parliament" , "The goverment supported a war on conditions -Findiing WMDs- that were proven false" and the goverments vision on Iraq (to support the war or not) for a large part was decided in a 1 hour brainstorm session between several ministers and goverment officials". In short, a pretty harsh set of conclusions. Miniser-president Jan-Peter Balkenende gave a press conference which basically set that the goverment coalition did not share the conclusions of this report and that it does not regret it's actions. This pissed of the PvdA, who said that the minister-president did NOT speak for the PvdA and thus also not in name of the coalition (as usually parties in a coalition come together and work out a shared view/vision/agreement and then make this public at the official view of the goverment coalition). They demanded that Jan-peter would give a new press conference in which he would retract his previous statements and make a new one. Tentions rised, the coalition was said to be inches away of crashing and tumblign over the edge. After over a week of back chamber debates over this sensitive issue, finally a new statement was made in the form of a letter that was essenstially a major compromise, using language that neither outright reject, nor outright supported the conclusions of the Iraq report. Something along the lines of "With the knowledge we have know we may have acted differently, but with made the decisions on Iraq qith the knowledge we had back then". The past week: Aghanistan is the dominant topic: Then came Aghanistan, the NATO sent a letter to the coalition goverment, requesting the Dutch to extend their troop deployement for one additional year. These type of official requests aren't sent before the NATO knows that , unofficially, that the country in question will accept the request. Apparantly the NATO thought that the Dutch would accept this request, the Dutch goverment apparantly gave the impression it would accept: Various officials had a meeting, including the minister of foreign affairs (a CDA guy). The PvdA leader (Bos, minister of finance in this goverment) was not at this meeting though the CDA said he was aware of it taking place. Towards the end of the day Bos heard that these officials agreed to consider a one year extention of the Aghanistan (Uruzghan) mission and was not amused, as the PvdA's vision ever since the elections was "We will pull out in 2010 no matter what". So he contacted either/both the minister of foreign affairs and the minister president (both CDA members) to let them know that the PvdA was not amused and would not accept an extention. Two days later the official NATO request came in and then the blame game and finger poiting started.

The PvdA openly critized the CDA, especially the minister of foreign affairs. The pvdA and CDA ministers started to oublically show their disagreement. The PvdA stuck to the "we always said we would never agree to an extention, the CDA should know and did know/realize this" and the CDA said that the PvdA should me stubborn and cancel a mission that finally seems to start getting some results (the Dutch approach starting to pay off and becoming less of a war/fight mission and more of a rebuild and training mission, the latter always was the official intend of the Dutch coalitions, past and present) and that the PvdA knew about this meeting the minister of foreign affairs had and shouldn't say they didn't know and were suprised and offended by it's outcome.

So the CDA and PvdA tried to seek out a solution. The CDA insisted on staying in Uruzghan and that this option should remain open, the Christian Union (minor coalition party) wanted to pull out but agreed to keep the option open, and the PvdA wanted to pull out and therefor not even keep this option open (a simple "No, we either pull out or consider deploying rebuilding and training forces elsewhere in Afghanistan, any place were our troops won't have to engage into any combat"). No compromise or agreement could be reached, no party would give an inch and thus the PvdA pulled the plug and stepped out of the coalition.

What does this mean? For the goverment this means that they will resign, Minister-President Balkenende will contact the Queen ASAP (she's in Austria on holiday right now) and officially offer the goverments resignation (which she then will accept, no royal has ever declined a resignation as this would eb quite pointless and silly). The goverment will become The current coalition (ministers and such) become "demissionair" (from the word "demissie" or "dismissal") meaning it's a in a state of dismissal, an outgoing coalition. The parliament won't be allowed to vote on controversial issues anymore and set out new elections to be held 3 months or more from now.

Right now the local township elections are comming up (March 3rd), these were already affected by the national goverment but the national political status may become more dominant (regardless of the fact that these are local elections and that national politics/politicians has nothing to do with local issues). We will probably see the campaiging transfer fluently from local into national elections.

Several parties are kinda popular, this being the left wing SP (Socialistische Partijor Socialist Party), centrist D66 (Democraten '66 or Democrats '66, left leaning on social issues, right leaning [liberalism] on economic and politcal items) and righ wing PVV (Partij van de Vrijheid, Party of Freedom, run by Geert Wilders). So we may either see a centrum left coalition come into power, consiting of SP (Socialst party), PvdA(Party of Labour), GroenLinks (GreenLeft) and D66 (Democrats '66). Or, more likely, a right wing coalition of CDA (Christian Democrats), VVD ("Volksparty voor Vrijheid en Democratie" or Peoplesparty for Freedom and Democracy, a liberal(ism) party) and PVV (Party of Freedom).

So what about Uruzgan / Afghanistan? As I said, any controversial topics (any bill that does not have a large majority support and will almost unanimously be accepted by parliament) will be put "in the fridge", on hold, for the new parliament to vote on. It is likely that the new parliament will decide to redraw from Afghanistan as planned. The current mission ends at midnight of July 31st 2010, after which a redrawl will start, all troops will have to be out before January 1st 2011. Though if the new pailiament takes seat around the summer (with elections in June this could be possible) they may decide to support the Afghanistan mission in some other form such as a partial withdrawl and focussing more on rebuilding and training as promised three years ago (and with was much more of a combat mission then any party really ever intended or forsaw). Ofcourse there are concners about what the world (NATO, EU nations, USA, ...) may think of us. It's likely that the NATO and USA won't be amused even though the Dutch feel like they made a fair contribution for such a small country (having said an example which currently is being copied by others in Afghanistan, pushing our armed forces to the limit) and that perhaps we will have to take a back seat again like other smaller "less important" nations, not being invited for the G20 summit and so on.

How about me? my opinion? I'm split. I lack the knowledge to establish what would be the most wise approach in Afghanistan. How much of a difference could we make in Afghanistan in one more year in either Uruzgan or elsewhere? I don't want to let our progress go to waste, but if our results will be lost whether we pull out now or next year, what use would it be? I'd like to see our results paying of, which possibly would mean that NATO would have to stay for several more years to gradually train and setup Afghan authorities (police and army). We have done a lot already overthere, we already extended our troop deployement once and made quite clear that this was quite a burden and controversial topic from the very start so the international community should not be displeased with us.

As for the political side: I'm not suprised. Politcally it made sense to pull the plug. During the elections the CDA has accused the PvdA of flip flopping, following popular opinion rather then sticking to it's vision/opinion/program. This may have costed the PvdA voters (who went to the Socialist Party instead), the PvdA has "watered down the wine" several times in the past three years already and for them it made sense to draw a line and refuse to make many more compromises, especially over such sensitive issues such as a topic that gradually has lost a large amount of public support and to which the PvdA always had said "no, we will pull out". Perhaps they could have compromised IF the CDA had made more consessions of it's own AND if the CDA wouldn't have hammered on flip flopping so much. For the PvdA not to lose (m)any more voters it was time to stick to it's principals, it's party program.

It's kinda funny, although sad that minister-president Balkenende now has all 4 (four) goverment coalitions collapse beneath him. Balkenende I, II and III went down, and now his latest ship, Balkenende IV, sunk aswell. Ouch!

If all these names confuse you, here is the official goverments website on this coalition (may be updated soon though, currently it doesn't state that this goverment coaltion has fallen): Balkenende IV Government - Government.nl

TLDNR? Summary: Dutch coalition goverment of Christan party and labour party collapses over aditional Uruzgan/afghanistan mission extention after a very tense set of weeks if not months over various issues.




emonkies

I'm too cool to Post

50 XP

17th July 2003

0 Uploads

15,096 Posts

0 Threads

#2 8 years ago

Saw that the Government resigned.

The news listed the primary reason as objections over the continuance of Dutch troops in A-stan which has already been extended once. And that 21 Dutch soldiers have died since being deployed there.

I thought the Dutch were already out of Iraq?




Admiral Donutz VIP Member

Wanna go Double Dutch?

735,271 XP

9th December 2003

0 Uploads

71,460 Posts

0 Threads

#3 8 years ago
Anlushac11;5247189 I thought the Dutch were already out of Iraq?

Yes.

Irq was controversial topic though. Many party's did not support the innitial Iraqi invasion for various reasons (Not having seen enough evidence, the current evidence or reasons being questioned etc.). When the Iraq war begon our goverment had a coalition under Jan-Peter Balkenende ("Balkenende I" , which lasted for 86 days) only gave politcal support, no physical/materialistic as a compromise between those who opposed the war, supported it or where on the fence.

Under "Balkende II" the new parliament agreed to support the allies in Iraq. The first 25 troops were sent on July 2nd 2003. Followed by a total of about 1.100 troops. On July 10th 2003 300 more troops were sent in.

On December 11th 2003 all parties in parliament, except GroenLinks (GreenLeft) and SP (Socialist Party) supported an exention of the mission in Iraq. On March 7th 2005 SFIR-5 carried over the responsibility ot the British, on March 13th 2005 the first troops that were not to be replaced, returned to the Netherlands. In April 2005 the last troops left.

Source: Stabilisation Force Iraq - Wikipedia

Iraq was a rather sensitive topic, and Minister-president Balkenende always refused an investigation on this topic (to find how ithe Dutch came to support the initial invasion, if they aided the mission before parliament agreed on sending a small force to assist, etc.) He finally allowed a commision to look into it (under restrictions/conditions, they could see classified documents but not interview officials under oath for instance) after the coalition partner PvdA and all of the opposition kept on expressing their desire to do so.

When the report came out at the start of this year it contained some hard critisim of the Balkenende I coalition goverment. But Balkenende denied most of the conclusions and brushed them off as minor, unimportant or false. This made the PvdA furious ofcourse, the coalition of Balkenende IV was very close to the edge... finally a very compromising letter was written, a letter that was water down so that both the CDA (Balkenende) and the PvdA could live with it. It sure was a crisis situation.

Then came Afghanistan: The NATO letter once more polarized the relation between CDA (Balkenende) and PvdA and this time no compromise could be made, so the plug was pulled.

History of the Balkenende coalitions:

Balkenende I: 22th July 2002: Coalition "Balkenende I" with CDA (Christain Democrats: conservative right winged), LPF (Right wing poplist party, causing a politcal landslide) and VVD (PeoplesParty for Freedom and Democracy, a liberal(ism) party, right winged) -> Right winged. Coalition collapses 16th October 2002. Seats: CDA 43 + LPF 26 + VVD 24 = 93. Opposition 57.

Balkenende II: 27th May 2003: Coalition "Balkenende II" with CDA (Christain Democrats), D66 (Democrats '66, Leftish on social issues, liberal on economic issues thus centrist), VVD (People's Freedom & Democracy Party) -> CentristRight winged. Coalition collapses 30th June 2006. Seats: CDA 44 + VVD 28 + D66 6 = 78. Opposition 72.

Balkenende III: 7th July 2006: Coalition "Balkenende III" with CDA (Christain Democrats) and VVD (People's Freedom & Democracy Party) -> CentristRight winged. Coalition collapses 22th November 2006. Seats: CDA 44 + VVD 27 = 71. Opposition 79.

Balkenende IV: 22th February 2007: Coalition "Balkenende IV" with (Christain Democrats) , PvdA (Labour Party, centrist left) and Christain Union (conservative right winged) -> Centrist to Centrist right winged. Coalition collapses 20th February 2008. Seats: CDA 41 + PvdA 33 + CU 6 = 80. Opposition 70.




Commissar MercZ

Notable Loser

300,005 XP

29th January 2005

0 Uploads

27,113 Posts

0 Threads

#4 8 years ago

The PvDA seems to've suffered from the same problem that other social democratic parties have done with the "Third Way" policies in an attempt to become more moderate.

It seems that another election will be called to readjust things, so how do you see things going? From what little I know and what I've read, it seems the PvDA and CDA will stand to lose many seats to other parties.

What's the likelihood of Wilder's group cashing in on this? Better yet, how do you see the elections turning out? Are there any local elections coming up that might help to gauge the results?




Admiral Donutz VIP Member

Wanna go Double Dutch?

735,271 XP

9th December 2003

0 Uploads

71,460 Posts

0 Threads

#5 8 years ago
Commissar MercZ;5247747The PvDA seems to've suffered from the same problem that other social democratic parties have done with the "Third Way" policies in an attempt to become more moderate.

Could you expand on this?

Roughly speaking many parties and the general public supported helping out in Afghanistan since the "we need to help out countires that are in deep shit and assit in rebuilding their nation" is quite a popular believe. Afghanistan sort of fitted this (and Iraq much less so, the real question there was about WMDs but plenty of people were on the fence and not convinced that it had them or didn't had them). Afghanistan turned into more of a battlezone then we would have liked or were told to expect (we were to go to an "easy", quite zone without too much Taliban/resistance) so support became less and less overtime for this specific mission. People may still support the general view of helping Aghanistan out but not with all this combat.

I'll copy a post I made in the new FH forums: The armed forces and policians are outright stating that the men and material have been pushed to the limit and that they'd like some sort of a (partial) pauze, losening the ropes a bit to regain strenght. The PvdA and various other parties made it quite clear that they are not against continueing the mission in some shape or form, but that the current mission cannot be extended once more in it's current shape. It would be too much of a burden.

And I agree, I don't want to let progress go to waste but I am also dissapointed that no other country seems to be willing to help us out and carry on with some of the work so that our forces can decrease the strain a bit, continueing with what had been our intend since day 1: rebuilding and training.

In theory we can keep troops deployed in Afghanistan, if the elections are held in June a majority vote might be found amongst parties to help out afghanistan with rebuilding and training in a shrinked down form compared to our current involvement

Source: http://fhpubforum.warumdarum.de/index.php?topic=4687.15

It seems that another election will be called to readjust things, so how do you see things going? From what little I know and what I've read, it seems the PvDA and CDA will stand to lose many seats to other parties.

In the polls they have indeed taken a hit. They already took damage in the previous national (parliament) elections but lost even more support since then. The Socialist Party and Democrats '66 gained a lot more support and so ofcourse did the populist party of Wilders, the Party of Freedom.

What's the likelihood of Wilder's group cashing in on this?

He got quite a bit of support and would gain a considerable amount chunk of the pie. The other parties don't seem to be too keen on a coalition of them though. Various parties either announced they would prefer to rule with others (but don't dismiss the option entirely) and some, pretty much all left wing parties, said they would never form a coalition with the Party of Freedom (PVV).

Better yet, how do you see the elections turning out?

Either a coalition of PvdA, D66, SP and GreenLeft or, more likely it seems, a coalition of CDA, VVD and PVV.

Are there any local elections possibly that might help to gauge the results?

Well, the local elections are March 3rd, and the provincial elections have been over a year ago. The most recent election was the EU Parliamential elections. Ofcourse you have to keep in mind that elections of an other level are obviously about different topics even though they tend to be influenced by national events/politics to an extend.

*seeks some results*

EU elections, June 4th 2009:

  1. CDA with 5 seats or 20,05%
  2. PVV with 4 seats or 16,97%
  3. PvdA with 3 seats or 12,05%
  4. VVD with 3 seats or 11,39%
  5. D66 with 3 seats or 11,32%
  6. GroenLinks with 3 seats or 8,87%
  7. SocParty with 2 seats or 7,10%
  8. ChristUnion with 2 seats or 6,82%

Source: Europese Parlementsverkiezingen 2009 in Nederland - Wikipedia

and Verkiezingsuitslagen Europees Parlement 1918 - heden <- Site covers results of all the elections since 1918! Apparantly it allows you to compare results between two elections of your choice though this complicated the initial selection process.

To simply see results of one election: Select an election from the menu on the left under "1919-heden/now" (Eerste Kamer = 1st Chamber aka Senate, Tweede Kamer = 2nd chamber aka parliamential aka House of Representatives, Gemeenteraad = township/municipal, Provinciale Staten = Provincial, EP = EP). Then select a year under "jaartaal") on the left row (and not the right hand one!) and chose "Toon resultaten" (show results) on the bottom right.

If you want you can specify the data further by province, town etc. or compare the results to an other one by chosing a type of election, year and such at the right hand row.

Provincial elections, 2007: No seats can be given as this is the nation wide avarage/result of all 12 provinces:

  1. CDA with 24,98%
  2. VVD with 18,09%
  3. PvdA with 17,93$
  4. SP with 14,82%
  5. GroenLinks with 6,15%
  6. ChrUnion with 5,47%
  7. Other (regional parties) with 3,73%
  8. D66 with 2,56%
  9. PvdD with 2,55%
  10. SGP with 2,39%

Tweede kamer (2nd Chamber aka parliamential) elections, 2006:

  1. CDA with 41 seats or 26,51% (vs 28,62% or 44 seats in 2003)
  2. PvdA with 33 seats or 21,19% (vs 27,26% or 42 seats in 2003)
  3. SP with 25 seats or 16,58% (vs 6,32% or 9 seats in 2003)
  4. VVD with 22 seats or 14,67% (vs 17,91% or 28 seats in 2003)
  5. PVV with 9 seats or 5,89% (N/A Wilders a member of the VVD party)
  6. GroenLinks with 7 seats or 4,60% (vs 5,14% or 8 seats in 2003)
  7. ChrUnion with 6 seats or 3,97% (vs 2,12% or 3 seats in 2003)
  8. D66 with 3 seats or 1,96% (vs 4,07% or 6 seats in 2003)
  9. PvdD with 2 seats or 1,83% (vs 0,49% or 0 seats in 2003)
  10. SGP with 2 seats or 1,56% ( vs 1,56% or 2 seats in 2003)

Accoding to opinion polls the support is: See Politieke Barometer Synovate for a table.

  1. CDA at 20,8% (32 seats)
  2. PVV at 16,2% (24 seats)
  3. PvdA at 13,9% (21 seats)
  4. D66 at 11,9% (18 seats)
  5. SP at 7,9% (12 seats)
  6. VVD at 11,2% (17 seats)
  7. GroenLinks at 7,2% (11 seats)
  8. ChrUn at 5,4% (8 seats)
  9. PvdD at 2,1% (3 seats)
  10. SGP at 1,7% (2 seats)
  11. ToN at 1,3% (2 seats)
  12. Other at 0,4% (0 seats)

The site also has a graph showing those stats since the last parliamential elections in 2006: Politieke Barometer Synovate - Trends in beeld

Which party is what? Those abrivations and names mean nothing to me!

The Dutch have the following left(ish) parties: - PvdA = Partij van de Arbeid (Party of [the] Labour), center left. - SP = Socialistische Partij (Socialist Party), left. - GL = Groen Links (Green Left), left. - PvdD = Partij voor de Dieren (Party for the animals), left.

The following are conservative (and not uncommonly labeled as rightish): - CDA = Christen Democratisch Appèl (Christian Democrat Party/Allience), a bit conservative a bit liberal - CU = Christen Unie (Christian Union), a more conservative party, also a bit more social (due to the social aspect of the bible) - SGP = Staatkundig Gereformeerde Partij (Polical Calvinists Party), a very orthox/conservative party.

The following parties are liberal (following the ideology of liberalism, often labeled as rightish): - D66 = Democraten '66 (Democrats '66) centrist/social-liberal, it ain't extremely liberal orientated neither very social orientated. - VVD = Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie (PeoplesParty for Freedom and Democracy), economical-liberal, favours coporations so to say.

And the two "populist party's are also seen as liberal, and the political leaders actually left the liberal VVD party: - PVV = Partij Voor de Vrijheid (Party for [the] Freedom), individualist populist party, let by Geert Wilders. - ToN = Trots op Nederland (Proud of the Netherlands), an other individualist populist party.

See also: List of political parties in the Netherlands - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Spoiler: Show

Edit: The current wiki entry of Balkenende IV discripes the situation quite well in a nuthshell:

Spoiler: Show

During the night between February 19 and February 20, 2010, after 16 hours of deliberation, it became clear that coalition partners PvdA and CDA had insufficient confidence in each other. As a result, Balkenende will deliver the letters of resignation of the Labour party ministers to Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands once the Queen returns from holiday in Lech am Arlberg. He will also offer the positions of the other ministers to the Queen. It is unclear what will happen afterward; possibilities include a demissionary cabinet or a so-called rump cabinet, a minority government.[4] Either option will be a care taker cabinet awaiting early general elections.

In February 2010, NATO officially had requested the Netherlands to extend its military presence as part of the ISAF operation in the Afghan province of Uruzgan, aimed at training Afghan security forces and transfer of responsibilities to the local authorities.[5][6][7] Coalition party PvdA strongly opposed the extension of the mission.[8][9][10][11][12] The collision between the government and the parliament, of which the majority disagreed with an extension of the mission, as well as between the coalition partners in the cabinet, threatened the existence of the cabinet[13] and led to its fall in the early morning of February 20.[14][15][16][17][18][19][20] [21].

After the resignation of the Labour Party, Balkenende also offered to the Dutch Queen the resignations of the 12 cabinet positions held by his own party CDA and the three held by the smaller CU. Ministers of these two parties would take over the posts previously held by Labour ministers until a new government is formed. Labour leader Wouter Bos, who resigned as deputy prime minister and finance minister, announced that he wanted to continue to lead his party. The new Deputy Prime Minister André Rouvoet expected that the CDA and the CU would form a caretaker government until new parliamentary elections, that were expected in May or June 2010.[22]

According to opinion polls the Christian Democrats would win a new election, but then face the difficulty to require three coalition partners to establish a majority government. A poll by Maurice de Hond on February 14, 2010, put the CDA on 27 seats, followed by the Freedom Party (PVV) on 25 seats and the Liberal Party (VVD) on 22 seats.[23]

Source: Netherlands cabinet Balkenende-4 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia




Commissar MercZ

Notable Loser

300,005 XP

29th January 2005

0 Uploads

27,113 Posts

0 Threads

#6 8 years ago

Thanks for that analyzation of the Dutch politics. I guess looking at that it seems Dutch politics tends to have a number of parties in their cabinents, but in this case will be more left or right wing rather than incorporating both.

I'll answer your question.

Admiral Donutz;5247845Could you expand on this?

I don't mean this that it's directly a result of the war policies, but rather a broader problem that many social democratic parties have faced since the 90s. If you recall I wrote on this in the International Front group, but I'll sum up basically what is going on.

After the neoliberal resurgence in the 1980s, market theories became more accepted and social democrats then had to abandon their original aim of transitioning to socialism from capitalism for an entirely different one. Many of them rather those to pursue a "Third Way" between capitalist and socialist ideals and fusing them into a different form that was reconcilable with capitalism.

Social Democrats largely adapted this because they had trouble with voters getting angry at them over tax rates, immigration, and the level of regulation, so they adjusted their views. This can be seen in virtually every party in Europe. Parti Socialiste of France under Mitterrand came in very radical, with the so-called "110 Propositions for France". By the time the 1990s came in towards the end of Mitterrand's two-term presidency, he was forced to abandon that and accepted market concepts. Labour in UK did the same thing in the 1990s with Tony Blair, making the so-called "New Labour" with a new set of concepts nto appeal to more voters (Blair tried to appease some of the more orthodox members by having Clause 4 define the group as democratic socialist), but had largely accepted some neoliberal concepts in their attempt to "modernize" Labour. It's a similar story with the SPD in Germany and the other social democratic parties elsewhere.

Now what happened in the process was that they got a temporary boost, but ended up disillusioning many of their supporters to other more left-wing groups. The third way policies didn't work out too smoothly, so they lost many of the fence voters who will go to other parties. So with the absence of a reliable base of voters and lack of appeal to the average voter, they have lost a lot.

So in short, in an attempt to "modernize" and move to the center, they became more confused and lost and implemented some shitty policies, which in turn made them get more losses.




Admiral Donutz VIP Member

Wanna go Double Dutch?

735,271 XP

9th December 2003

0 Uploads

71,460 Posts

0 Threads

#7 8 years ago
Commissar MercZ;5248073Thanks for that analyzation of the Dutch politics. I guess looking at that it seems Dutch politics tends to have a number of parties in their cabinents, but in this case will be more left or right wing rather than incorporating both.

Basically it comes down to this: there are several parties. In the lower house ("second chamber" as we call it, the "first chamber" would be the senate or upper house) there are currently 11 parties, the once I listed in my earlier post.

During elections, known as "parliamential elections" or "2nd chamber elections" here these parties compete for the 150 seats. Every vote in the nation counts ("popular vote") and it's then an easy calculation to see how support a party expressed in a percentage of the overall election turnout. A calculation then follows to see how many seats a party gets (roughly 0,7% equals one seat). Once the 150 seats have been divided amongst the parties talks will start about a coalition to achieve a majority power in the parliament. Basically this means that the largest party gets to engange into talks/negociations with potential partners.

The parties will try to form an allience. On certaiin topics the parties in the coalition may disagree so an acceptable comprise will have to be made or the agreement that a certain toic will not be open for debate during this administration's time in office. Usually a party will make certain sacrifies, giving up their original/official view on a certain topic in return of the support of their partner(s) in the coalition to support them on an other topic. Obviously they parties cannot make agreements on every topic, so proposals of minor importance can be voted on by any party has they see fit.

Late 2009 for example their was a vote on wether to stick to the orginal plan of not extending the current mission in Uruzgan (Afghanistan), in which a majority, including the PvdA, of parties voted to indeed not extend the mission. This was called a "principe akkoord" ("agreement based in principle"), though the coalition was yet to formulate their opinion on the matter. Basically this meant that the second chamber announced their intend not to extend the mission in Uruzgan but that the coalition yet had to come to a final position regarding this subject.

In theory the coalition could come to various agreements such as "discontinue the mission but set up a new type of mission", "discontinue and pull out" , "continue the current mission" etc.). The leader of the PvdA, Wouter Bos, accepted to keep the option of "extending the mission" on the table" but said that it would not be able to accept this as the final decision/stance of the coalition. Then the CDA minister of foreign affairs, Maxiem Verhagen, was contacted by Rasmussen (NATO) about the stance of the Dutch goverment on Uruzgan. He told Rasmussen that discussions where ongoing and that various options where still on the table, he added to this that a NATO request might succeed in forcing the goverment/coalition to a swift decision on the matter. NATO did sent this letter, an official request to extend the mission once more, and the PvdA was not amused and said that it would not and could not accept or agree this request. Wouter Bos publically denied having known about the letter, and Maxiem Verhagen said that Wouter Bos knew or should have known about the letter an that the PvdA had told their coalition partners that the option of staying in Uruzgan by extending the mission was allowed to be kept on the table as an option. This polarized the relatinship between CDA and PvdA and eventually let to a gridlock regarding this topic. No compromise could be found and the PvdA announced that it stepped out of the coalition.

FYI: The "First Chamber" (Senate) has 75 seats and is not directly elected by the people (were as the Second Chamber, States Provincial, Muncipal council and EP are). Instead the politicians of the Provincial goverment have an internal election just after new provincial goverments has been elected.

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eerste_Kamer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tweede_Kamer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Provinciale_staten

I'll answer your question.

I don't mean this that it's directly a result of the war policies, but rather a broader problem that many social democratic parties have faced since the 90s. If you recall I wrote on this in the International Front group, but I'll sum up basically what is going on.

Ah, I see. Yep.




Commissar MercZ

Notable Loser

300,005 XP

29th January 2005

0 Uploads

27,113 Posts

0 Threads

#8 8 years ago

So I have read that the next elections are set for June 9th. What is the government going to be doing between now and then?




Admiral Donutz VIP Member

Wanna go Double Dutch?

735,271 XP

9th December 2003

0 Uploads

71,460 Posts

0 Threads

#9 8 years ago

I see you are keeping track of this (6 hours ago, 15:00 CET this news surfaced).

Queen Beatrix spoke with all party leaders, starting ofcourse with the CDA, CU and PvdA to hear their opinion on how they view the goverment should continue, how should the cabinet (CDA and CU) continue (try to make up with the PvdA and continue on into the last year? seek a new coalition partner? continue as a minority cabinet with limited powers?)? Do they want to have elections as soon as possible or try to stick with the orginal elections in 2011? Having received the last party leaders this morning and having spoken with various other advisors she made her decision.

Queen Beatrix has accepted the resignation of the PvdA ministers and state-secretaries, they were officially removed from their position today. It became quite clear that all parties prefered early elections. The earlist possible data was Wednesday May 26th but to give new parties a bit more time to prepare they chose to go with Wednesday June 9th.

Trying to glue the coalition back together wasn't going to happen, finding an other coalition partner would be tricky, finding to find a new coalition partner would also be tricky and require time better used on preparing for the new elections and dealing with ruling the country. Which left the options limited to either a so called "rompkabinet" and "demissionair kabinet".

rompkabinet (Eng: "Rump cabinet": is minority cabinet that will prepare upcomming elections while only dealing with legislation that is currently being discussed by the goverment. Any topic can be discussed and voted on by parliament, although the cabinet, now being in the minority, will need to seek support from opposition parties to get a majority and pass new legislation. Demissionair kabinet (Eng: "Demissionairy cabinet"):is when the entire cabinet has stepped down. The Tweede Kamer ("Second Chamber", the Lower house) will vote on which legislation that was currently under discussion of the parliament to decide which ones are too sensitive, too controversial to hold debates and votes on. These topics will be put on hold and stay in the fridge untill a new goverment has been elected into power.

The CDA favoured a romp cabinet (Balkenende V, just like Balkenende III), but it became quite clear that most parties preffered the entire cabinet to resign.

Ofcourse it would be silly to have no minister, minister-president or state secretaries. So the CDA and CU have taken over the positions of PvdA ministers and state-secretaries. All these officials will be reffered to as "demissionairy" ("demissionary Minister-president Balkenende" etc.). They will keep an eye on things so to say, untill a new parliament is elected.

Which topics will be tagged as "too sensitive, too controversial" and put in the fridge? Well an extention of the Uruzgan mission ofcourse, raising the retirement age (and retirment pensions) from 65 to 67 and a few other things. Once a new parliament and cabinet take seat they will proceed with these topics. You can bet that these controversial topics will become important in the upcomming campaigns. The current campaigns of the March 3rd muncicpal elections may smoothly tranfer over into national election campaigns.

What kind of cabinet may we expect? Well, the polls currently seem to indicate a very divided population. Most of the time you have 2, maybe 3 major players (35,40+ seats), a couple of other fair sized parties (15-25 seats) and a bunch of small parties (5-7 seats) who may end up with as few as one or even zero seats. But it seems like we may have a number of parties, all with around 25+ seats. This would make a 2-3 party coalition unlikely. obviously, the more parties one needs to form a majority, the more difficult things become. Coalition partners will have to make consessions afterall. Thus such a cabinet would be seen as more fragile then a 2-3 party coalition.

Though I have to say that coalitions between the CDA and PvdA always have been more out of necessity then eagerness or love. Not too suprisingely, this cabinet hasn't made a fair amount of large or even significant changes. The retirement age topic was one, but even getting them or a majority in the parliament to support raising it, they still haven't agreed on the details yet. If you'd asked me one thing this goverment did? I'd say err.. they sort of acted firmly to deal with the economic situation, although errors have been made there aswell (banks that were bailed out giving out huge bonusses while firing staff as soon as they payed the goverment back, pissing of plenty of people) and using tax payer money to compensate those who lost money when the Icelandic IceSave bank went down. The Icelanders were/are supposed to pay back the Dutch (and British) goverment(s) but as you may know the people there aren't too keen on this as they find this unreasonable.




Commissar MercZ

Notable Loser

300,005 XP

29th January 2005

0 Uploads

27,113 Posts

0 Threads

#10 8 years ago

The reason I am keeping track of this is that with the nature of the NATO mission, what the Netherlands chooses could influence other members in their approach to the Afghanistan mission currently.

Additionally, I'm just interested with the politics of countries that have a wide array of poltiical views, compared to say America which we're limited to two feasible ones.