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Old 2017-03-16, 03:45   #1
VictordeHolland
 
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"Victor de Hollander"
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Default Dutch Election Day (a.k.a. political nightmare!)

The Dutch general elections for the House of Representatives the took place today. Let me give you a short overview of our (very difficult to understand) political landscape with a tons of political parties.
It's an alphabetical gibberish and a complete nightmare....
38 parties competed in the election, I'm not kidding, 38! The voting pass was huge, it was a big clumsy voting pass that you needed origami classes for just to fold it back. Now most of those parties were new and probably won't make it into the
House of Representatives, which consist of 150 seats and is chosen every 4 years.

So lets get started, I'm only going to list the parties that have seats in the HoR or are very likely to get them. I've added their English translation and their most important political ideology/ position (left/centre/right wing).
With left-wing being communism (extreme left) to socialism (modest left) and right-wing capitalism/conservatism.

Christian parties:
CDA = Christian Democratic Appeal (Christian democracy, centre)
CU = Christian Union (Christian democracy/ Social Christian, centre)
SGP = Reformed Political Party (Christian right/ Social conservatism, right)

Liberal:
VVD = People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (Conservative liberalism, Economic liberalism, centre-right)
PVV = Party for Freedom (Nationalistic, anti-islamic, populistic, right)
D66 = Democrats 66 (Social liberalism, centre)

Labour:
PvdA = Labour Party (Social democracy, centre-left)

Socialistic:
SP = Socialist Party (Social democracy, left)

Green:
GL = GreenLeft (Green politics, Green liberalism, left)
PvdD = Party for the Animals (Green politics, Animal rights/welfare, left)

New:
50+ = 50PLUS (Pensioners interests, centre)
DENK = DENK (Social democracy, Pro-multiculturalism, left)
FvD = Forum for Democracy (National conservatism, more Direct democracy, right)

After elections, forming a coalition.....

Our cabinets form based on coalitions of two (or more parties) and are named based on the name of the Prime-Minister leading it (we don't have a president, since we still have a king though he doesn't hold any real power). Since our Prime-Minister has relatively little extra power compared to the other ministers, it is not a problem if a Prime-Ministers gets more terms). For instance, we had 4 cabinets with Prime-Minister Balkenende, so the Forth was simply named Balkenende IV. The current (since 2010) Prime-Minister is Mark Rutte of the VVD, now in his second term.

But......what's different this year?
Historically 6 parties get the majority of votes. For example the last cabinet was formed by VVD+PvdA (liberal & labour, centre-right & centre-left), which got 41+38=79 seats and formed in the last months of 2012.

Prelimary results for the 2017 election (2012 election in brackets):
  • VVD 32 (41)
  • PvdA 9 (38)
  • SP 14 (15)
  • PVV 19 (15)
  • CDA 19 (13)
  • D66 19 (12)
  • CU 6 (5)
  • GL 15 (4)
  • SGP 3 (3)
  • PvdD 5 (2)
  • 50+ 4 (2)
  • FvD 2 (0)
  • DENK 3 (0)
PvdA (Labour party) lost big this year! They were 'punished' by their supporters for supporting too much of the VVD (liberal right) policy in the economic and immigrant crisis. VVD lost a little too, but are still the largest party in the Netherlands. Green is gaining ground (GL & PvdD) and a lot of new small parties get a few seats in the HoR.



But I think you see the big problem, right? The votes/seats are scattered so much this year, that forming a cabinet will be a big headache. Remember, a cabinet needs >75 seats or else it can't rule effectively.



Some first logical combos someone would try to make:

2 largest parties: VVD + (CDA or D66) --> 32+19=51
3 largest parties: VVD+CDA+D66 --> 32+19+19=70
Left combo: PvdA+SP+GL+PvdD -->9+14+15+5=43
Christian combo: CDA+CU+SGP --> 19+9+3=31
Green combo: GL+PvdD --> 15+5=20



Why didn't I include the PVV? Their nationalistic, anti-immigrant/anti-islam agenda is very difficult to unify with the agenda/ ideas of other parties. They tried to co-rule in 2010-2012 with some sort of principle agreement, but withdrew their support in 2012 and (early) elections were needed.



VVD+CDA+D66 is the most likely combo to begin with, with 2 Liberal parties and 1 Christian-democrat. Those 3 are in the centre to centre-right wing ideology and have formed successful cabinets in the past. But it would still require a forth party with >6 seats, which leaves a only few options: CU, PvdA or GL.
- GL (GreenLeft) would be an obvious choice, since they won so many votes compared to the 2010 and 2012 elections, but they are the second most left wing party after the SP. Those will be difficult negotiations....

- CU (Christian Union) has always been a small party, but could now play a vital role. They are more centre-wing than GL, but that combo will give 76, which is very marginal (considering the final count may be 1 seat of the preliminary results).

- PvdA (Labour), unlikely if you ask me. After such a great defeat, they've got to lick their wounds. Probably best to differentiate yourself a few years in the opposition.


Confused yet ? No? Welcome to the alphabetical gibberish that is the Dutch political landscape.
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Old 2017-03-16, 04:00   #2
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What's wrong with running a minority government?
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Old 2017-03-16, 04:48   #3
VictordeHolland
 
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I remembered incorrectly there were only 28 parties. It was late when I posted it :)
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Old 2017-03-16, 09:04   #4
Dubslow
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Though I have little of value to contribute, maybe someone will enjoy this.

My mother (native-born-american child of nederlandse immigrants) sent me a link to a BBC article, with no accompanying text: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39275194

And my just-now reply:

Quote:
"Mr Wilders has pledged to [...] close all mosques and ban the Koran."

That's an even more extreme than the idiotic travel ban Trump proposed.

I hope that the Nederlandse citizens (and Opa, and American citizens...) realize that that sort of logic is exactly the same logic used by Hitler to justify his "final solution", or the same logic used by FDR to imprison tens of thousands of American citizens (of Japanese ethnicity) for years without any sort of probable cause, or remotely plausible cause, without due process, in blatant violation of the constitution.

Or the same logic that engendered European (and later European-American) slavery for several hundreds of years.

No, closing mosques (or banning entry into the US) isn't the same as gassing millions of people to death, but the underlying selectional logic is the same, even if the action against those targets is at least non-lethal (and even not-seriously-life-altering, unlike say the interment camps of FDR).

Btw here's a very recent (only a few hours old) summary of the elections/parties involved by a current citizen (from a forum I frequent): http://mersenneforum.org/showthread.php?t=22134

Apparently this Wilders dude's party tied for second most seats. I hope the damage is limited by reasonable people.
I guess I mostly want feedback on my argument (where by feedback I mean I expect someone will make me feel quite silly about it).

Last fiddled with by Dubslow on 2017-03-16 at 09:05 Reason: waving to the soap box
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Old 2017-03-16, 12:57   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VictordeHolland View Post
[...]
But I think you see the big problem, right? The votes/seats are scattered so much this year, that forming a cabinet will be a big headache. Remember, a cabinet needs >75 seats or else it can't rule effectively.

VVD+CDA+D66 is the most likely combo to begin with, with 2 Liberal parties and 1 Christian-democrat. Those 3 are in the centre to centre-right wing ideology and have formed successful cabinets in the past. But it would still require a forth party with >6 seats, which leaves a only few options: CU, PvdA or GL.
- GL (GreenLeft) would be an obvious choice, since they won so many votes compared to the 2010 and 2012 elections, but they are the second most left wing party after the SP. Those will be difficult negotiations....
[...]
This is a lot more than was reported last night, thanks! About all I heard was that Wilders & Co apparently had not done as well as expected/feared.

As I understand it, Wilders has been in the Parliament a long time. This indicates he has some working knowledge of the processes of government, and a significant base of loyal support. Given his rabble-rousing, anti-immigrant, anti-Islam positions, neither is encouraging.

Also as I understand it, the preliminary results are from "exit polls," and actual returns won't be tallied till next week. Why the prolonged counting process? It seems there was concern about hacking the tally, so the ballots will be counted by hand. After which I guess we'll have some indication of how honest the voters were with the exit pollsters...
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Old 2017-03-16, 14:06   #6
VictordeHolland
 
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Correct, after reports that the USA elections were possibly influenced by the Russians, the Dutch government wanted to do it oldskool. So counting by hand, pencil, papers, calculators and communications in person on by telephones.

Yes the preliminary results are based on the exit-polls. As of now 94% of the votes are counted and closely follow those exit-polls. Differences: VVD and PVV both get 1 seat more than the polls, CU and GL 1 less.

Edit:
Wilders (PVV) is the Dutch version of Trump, but a little more extreme. He is a talented politician and gained support after the influx of (mostly Islamic) refugees and immigrants from the middle east. He is very careful with his choice of words and keeps it just within the law (somebody tried to sue him once for racism and failed.) IMHO he is a dangerous man and I'm glad he didnt get the majority of votes.

Last fiddled with by VictordeHolland on 2017-03-16 at 14:30
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Old 2017-03-16, 14:07   #7
lycorn
 
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How high was the abstention rate?
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Old 2017-03-16, 14:38   #8
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Participation was 80,4 %. Vote is no compulsory.

Jacob
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Old 2017-03-16, 15:49   #9
VictordeHolland
 
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Vote Eligible People Netherlands: 12.980.788 (2017)
Participation 2017: 80,4% (2012: 74,6%)
Divided in 388 municipalities

I live in the manicipality called Nieuwkoop, which historically has mostly VVD voters, but it is now fairly representative for the rest of the country.
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Old 2017-03-16, 16:03   #10
Nick
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
Also as I understand it, the preliminary results are from "exit polls," and actual returns won't be tallied till next week.
The result at party level is now known, but preference votes for particular candidates within each party's list have still to be tallied.
We have proportional representation (no constituencies/districts) so anyone can vote for any candidate (and there is no gerrymandering).
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Old 2017-03-16, 16:24   #11
henryzz
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It does look like a mess of parties although it is better in some ways than a 2-3 party system that can end up getting stuck on one party for too long.
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