Netherlands 2017 open thread

I hope to have something to say about the recent election in the Netherlands. But so far have not. But maybe you do. Here is your chance!

We can talk about the election result itself, or the coalition negotiations, which should be pretty interesting.

(Part of the reason for not having a post yet is that I made this election one of the themes for my students’ final exam earlier this week. And now that means exams and papers must be graded, grades assigned, etc.)

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23 thoughts on “Netherlands 2017 open thread

  1. This comment is by Rob (moved from a different thread).

    Opponents of PR use the Dutch system as an excuse to stick with FPTP because nobody votes for a coalition, the long lengthy talks that takes months, and the Labor Party suffered a massive defeat going in with government with the Liberal VVD, and compromising to the point that it lost it’s identity and distinctiveness in government, seems that the tail wagging the door doesn’t apply here with small parties holding larger parties ransom.

  2. The vote loss of the Social Democrats was particularly striking and I did an analysis with the ParlGov data. It is indeed a particlulary bad election results in comparative perspective.

    http://holgerdoering.net/nld-election

    The German Social Democrats had similiar losses when they where the junior partner in the 2005 Merkel I cabinet. I wondered if we have a good understanding how the “cost of ruling” in parliamentary democracies are distributed among coalition partners. In Western Europe, the radical right regularly suffered large electoral losses when the took part in coaliton cabinets. What are the general patterns across different party types?

    • The Dutch Labour party lost 77% of its vote share, the German SPD lost only about a third in 2009. I can think of few comparable collapses. Greece’s PASOK lost just shy of 70% in 2012a; Spain’s UCD lost 80% in 1982.

      • Kadima’s loss of just over 90% of its vote is another example, but of course that was a far younger and less institutionalised party.

    • The Progressive Conservatives in Canada went went from 154 to 2 in 1993, yet another persuasive example of the stabilising effect of single member districts.

    • Thanks, Holger. There certainly is a literature on costs of ruling for coalition partners, but I don’t know that there is a clear consensus from there yet (it is not a lit I know intimately).

    • Bancki, this is an unusual approach, but my attempt to email you using the address in your comment form, has failed. I want to follow up regarding an earlier comment of yours that I just re-read and find interesting. So please contact me (privately) if you see this.

  3. Who will form the next government? Can one be form with such a fragmented parliament? Will it go the full term like the previous government did?

  4. The VVD+CDA+D66+GL coalition possibility that has been explored since the process of government formation began 62 days ago, has today been abandoned over disagreements over asylum policy. It seems highly likely that VVD+CDA+D66+CU will be the next option to be explored.

    • It seems to me that one coalition formation at a time is attempted. Do they still appoint formateurs (spelling?) to do that formally?

      More importantly, after seeing the BJP and the INC “race” to get enough votes to go to the (governor’s) palace after the recent elections in Goa, is there any are reason why multipl parties cannot conduct mulilaterial coalitions until someone or some group is ready to come forward and say they have a majority ready to be tested (or invested as the case might be)?

      • A formateur will be appointed once party membership in the government is settled, leaving only the issue of nominating ministers to the monarch. An INformateur presides over the negotiations and expected to function as a mostly impartial ‘honest broker’. The informateur is appointed, and reports back to, the lower house (formerly: the monarch). The current informateur is a VVD minister in the outgoing government.

    • D66 suggested a coalition with VVD+CDA+D66 plus SP and/or PvdA. Both of the latter parties declined. Informateur Schippers reports that VVD+CDA+D66+CU is the only remaining (majority) option she sees as having a chance of success, effectively saying D66 should swallow its pride and enter negotiations for that coalition variant,

  5. Week 13. A new informateur was appointed about a week ago – a Labour party political veteran (most recently he was head of the Council of State) who has played the same role in a number of previous government formations. He’s getting the original quartet (VVD+CDA+D66+GL) to talk again.

  6. Week 14. VVD+CDA+D66+GL have done a lot of talking over the past week, but it was no use. The Dutch public broadcaster reports that the debate about the formation in parliament yesterday suggests the talks between the four parties are now “definitively” at an end.

      • So far we’ve only had one (last time, which was relatively fast at about 8 weeks), so it’s too soon to say. But so far, this formation is still quite far from being among the longest-lasting formations ever, so formations with royal involvement could take just as long as this one is taking (at times, even longer).

      • According to the media, 90 days is the average, and we’ve just surpassed that. The record, though, was over 200 days. There remain other options that have not been formally discussed as different parties rejected those options. The Animal Rights party also has just enough seats for a majority with the main three parties of the formation (VVD+CDA+D66), but I have not heard anyone even mention that possibility, so I assume it’s not taken seriously. Then there’s always the possibility of minority govt, which everyone wants to avoid, but it is possible. I’m personally starting to think it’s becoming likely. There certainly has been no talk of new elections – I assume we will have to hit the 200-day mark before anyone mentions that possibility.

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