A debate on Sunday between the top female candidates of the five biggest political parties in the Netherlands revealed that the old left-right divide is giving way to something new. Read more
Dutch Labor Party leader Lodewijk Asscher refused to shake hands with his Green party counterpart, Jesse Klaver, on Friday and agree not to go into government again with the right.
In an election debate broadcast on Dutch public radio, Klaver asked Asscher to commit to a progressive alliance and not join another coalition with the center-right liberal party.
Asscher refused to make that promise, calling Klaver’s suggestion “a little arrogant”. Read more
The Dutch election campaign is overshadowed by the rise of nationalist party leader Geert Wilders and his controversial views on the European Union and Islam.
But don’t overlook what could be one of the stickiest point in coalition talks after the election in March: the liberalization of the labor market.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s liberals, on the right, and the liberal Democrats, in the center, are both likely to be part of the next government. Both want to free up the labor market, but polls suggest that many of their voters agree with the left that liberalization has already gone too far. Read more
Are all populists so thin-skinned?
The Dutch Donald Trump, Geert Wilders, canceled his participation in an election debate organized by RTL in two weeks’ time after its news division published an interview with the politician’s older brother on Sunday.
The Freedom Party leader called the interview “incredibly vile,” but his brother hasn’t exactly shied away from the media. He even contributed to a left-wing opinion website for a while. Read more
More parties than ever could win seats in the Dutch parliament next month, but that hardly means the country is on the verge of becoming ungovernable.
The Financial Times writes that the proliferation of political parties in the Netherlands — 28 will be on a ballot paper in March — makes the election hard to call and its aftermath potentially messy.
But less than half those parties are projected to win seats and only one newcomer, 50Plus, is expected to win more than a handful. Read more
The Dutch economy would grow faster if the manifesto of Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s liberal party were implemented while pensioners and those on welfare would be better off under a left-wing government.
Those are some of the findings of the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, which calculated the effect proposals from the country’s eleven largest political parties would have on incomes, jobs and growth. Read more
Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s liberal party would benefit from switching the election debate in the Netherlands to the economy, on which it is trusted the most.
Cultural and social issues, like immigration, pensions and security, currently play a major role. Read more