On-page link, opens in this window 03/01/24 The will they, won't they affair
On-page link, opens in this window 03/01/23 Christian Democrats win
On-page link, opens in this window 03/01/21 Elections coming up
On-page link, opens in this window 03/01/17 Latest developments
On-page link, opens in this window 03/01/13 Hello again


Reasons why Labour and the Christian Democrats should form a center-left coalition:

Reasons why Labour and the Christian Democrats shouldn't for a center-left coalition:

More Dutch politics and current events:
On-site link, opens in this window Dutch politics in 2003


The Christian Democrats have won the elections:

CDA (Christian Democrats)44 seats
LPF (List Pim Fortuyn)8 seats
VVD (liberal conservatives)28 seats
PvdA (Labour)42 seats
Groen Links (greens)8 seats
SP (socialists)9 seats
D66 (political reform)6 seats
Christen Unie (Christian Union)3 seats
SGP (Christian fundamentalists)2 seats

As to the differences with the polls: hard to say.

Job Cohen was announced as the Labour candidate PM on Sunday. One polling expert predicted that any other candidate than Wouter Bos himself would cost Labour seats in the elections. There was little time for any effect of this to show in the polls.

Another possible reason might be that many people who would otherwise vote Socialists or Greens voted Labour hoping that they would win the elections (something similar happened at the right-hand side of the political spectrum). In the final debate the night before the elections Green leader Femke Halsema did very well, which may have persuaded some Green Labour voters to return to their original preference.

More Dutch politics and current events:
On-site link, opens in this window Dutch politics in 2003


The latest polls for the main players. According to all three polls that are held here Labour is ahead:

CDA (Christian Democrats): 42 seats
PvdA (Labour): 43-45 seats
VVD (Liberal conservatives): 28-29 seats

We seem to be voting for two different things tomorrow: who'll be in the new gouvernment, and who'll be in parliament.

If you're left-wing, you might want a strong representation of the Greens or the Socialist Party (who are more hardcore socialist than the PvdA) in Parliament. But not voting Labour might mean that the Christian Democrats will win the election and form a coalition with the conservatives and the LPF or the D66 political reform party. Right-wingers are even worse off: they may find themselves voting Christian Democrat to keep Labour from winning the elections and end up seeing the Christian Democrats form a coalition with Labour anyway.

More Dutch politics and current events:
On-site link, opens in this window Dutch politics in 2003


Latest developments in the election campaigns.

Labour and the Christian Democrats both hover slightly above 40 seats in the polls. There are three major polls over here: according to one Labour would become the largest fraction in parliament after the elections, according to the others the Christian Democrats are still a few seats ahead but Labour is gaining on them. Currently the Christian Democrats have 43 seats and Labour 23.

This development is in itself pretty amazing. After the general elections on May 15th last year Labour was in turmoil, blamed by Fortuyn's following for creating the political climate in which the murder could happen, criticising its own leadership and seeming to have lost its sense of direction. What turned things around for Labor is electing Wouter Bos as its political leader. The guy is a natural at campaigning, courteous and thoughtful but excellent at getting his point across. The fact that he's young and quite good-looking doesn't do any harm either. Interestingly enough Bos was Junior Finance Minister in the cabinet Kok, serving under his current conservative opposite number Gerrit Zalm.

Demissionary Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has been very adamant about wanting to continue in a coalition with the conservatives. It looks like Christian Democrats and conservatives might need a third party to acquire the necessary parliament majority. This third party might be either the Lijst Pim Fortuyn (though Balkenende has stated that this option is unacceptable to him) or the D66 political reform party. Other theoretically eligible parties are either left-wing (the Socialists and the Greens) or Christian fundamentalists who'll want to make abortion and gay marriage illegal (the Christian Union and the GPV). Balkenende may end up biting the bullet and entering a center-left coalition after all.

The other possibility is that Labour ends up with the largest number of seats after the elections. Currently the media are buzzing with the question who would be their candidate Prime Minister if they do. Wouter Bos has clearly stated that he will take his seat in parliament after the elections and has no intentions of joining the government himself. Though the media have been bugging him for a name for days now, he is still refusing to name his candidate. The latest news is, since all polls indicate that Labour has a real chance of winning the elections, he will name the name on Sunday. In the meantime, rumors fly. One candidate who's mentioned often is Job Cohen, currently mayor of Amsterdam.

More Dutch politics and current events:
On-site link, opens in this window Dutch politics in 2003


Oops, it's been another unplanned hiatus.

Stuff that happened in the meantime: in November I got told that I would lose my job per January 1st 2003 (the eventual decision was that my contract with my current employer will end on February 1st); my bank failed to automatically renew my credit card, so I couldn't pay my webhost anymore; the bank also managed to lose my application for a new credit card, so the whole thing took even longer; by the time the new credit card arrived my ISP had deleted my account (one day before the actual enddate of the contract) so it took a while before I could contact the webhost. The good news is that things are getting back to normal. There's a good chance that I'll have a new job by February 1st, I've got a new ISP, and the webhosting problems are in the process of being sorted out.

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