Little middle ground

Little middle ground

An interesting debate has ensued in the Netherlands after VVD leader Dilan Yesilgoz declared her party would not enter a cabinet with anti-Islam and -immigration PVV of Geert Wilders (see related story), but was willing to facilitate a right-of-centre government led by the biggest party. VVD lost 10 of its 34 seats in the Dutch Second Chamber of Parliament, while PVV and newcomer NSC of Pieter Omtzigt were the big “winners” with respectively 37 and 20.

That’s still far from a majority, so other governing partners will be needed and Wilders was “unpleasantly surprised” by this position of VVD’s leader before negotiations start. He suggested that’s not what her party’s voters want and several of its prominent members have since expressed similar sentiments.

Ironically, PVV did the same thing in 2010 by “tolerating” a minority cabinet headed by then VVD-leader Mark Rutte, which lasted only two years. Nevertheless, such a scenario might be turn out to be the only viable alternative for Wilders, because lacking that legislative support a likely coalition with NSC and BBB even when adding CDA and SGP won’t be enough for a majority, while there is also the First Chamber where NSC has no seats yet to consider.

Although keeping PVV on the sideline having doubled its seat total and earned 25% of the vote seems almost unthinkable, it is not impossible. However, a left-of centre combination led by PvdA/Groen Links (25 seats) would be equally, if not more, difficult to achieve.

One should thus certainly not exclude a formation impasse and perhaps early elections. Political observers say all this is all the result of polarisation, as there is too little middle ground.

The Daily Herald

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