February 8th, 2007

Drag

Dutch politics for outsiders (10)

As I predicted in the previous episode of this series, the key role in the last General Election went to the Christian Union and its leader Andre Rouvoet.

With all three major parties losing ground, the big winner was the extreme left wing Socialist party, yet they soon found out that the two major parties CDA and the PvdA did not want to cooperate with them. Step in Rouvoet.

A small conservative right wing party up until recent, his style in parliament was widely praised, awarded and now also rewarded with more seats. They are still not a big party, yet big enough to help the two biggest parties to a majority.

Last week the end of the negotiations were there, the three parties will form a new government. The coming fortnight will be used to find the right people for the government. Before the end of the month, the Dutch will have a new socialist-Christian government. Time will tell what this means for the country.

Right wing parties criticized the yet to form government for overspending and especially surprise winner Geert Wilders and his extreme rightist party PVV does not like the idea of 26.000 former refugees getting a permanent residence permit.

Left wing parties talk about a missed opportunity for real solidarity and not enough attention for environmental issues. Liberal thinkers are afraid that progressive laws on abortion and euthanasia will be affected with two Christian conservative parties in the government.

Time will tell who is right and how this new government will affect the country.