Today was our election day, for the national parliament, which we call the second chamber. The second chamber of 150 seats is choosen by proporionality, not by geographical representatives who win or loose 100%. After 3.5 years of right wing government, rapidly escalating integration problems fueled by a loony minister, and a steady decline in fair distribution of prosperity, and Bush ass kissing (not in word, but certainly in deeds) it was an election that was considered “relevant”
It is not easy to explain the outcome to US citizens who are used to a in essence two party system, but let me try. Parties marked with * are currently in the administration.
- Right wing nationalisic (PVV): from 0 to 9
- Right wing liberals (VVD *) from 28 to 22
- Right wing traditional Christian-Democrats (CDA *) from 44 to 41
- Christian Liberals (CU, is in essence a fundamental Christian, but somewhat middle-leftish small party) from 3 to 6
- Left wing labor (PvdA) from 42 to 33
- Left wing socialistic (SP) from 9 to 25
- Greens: from 8 to 7
- 3 Smaller parties with less than 6 seats
- Current CDA-VVD coalition looses it majority (yeah)
- Mild shift to the left, former Maoist party SP the big winners
- Shift from traditional center to the more extreme parties (left and right)
- Traditional CDA-PvdA coalition has no majority either
Formation prediction: Based on tradition the “winner” (SP), and the biggest party (CDA) will be invited. Together with PvdA a majority, but SP and CDA is a bit like water and fire. Then, probably CDA-PvdA-CU. Whatever happens, this will take quite some time.
Update 1: The queen appointed what is called an “informator”, a wise old man who will investigate where parties are willing to compromise after all election rethoric. The procedure is he will report, probably in a week, maybe 2, what is feasible and a tad stable. Then, she will appoint a “formator”, who will try to really get the job done. All going well, that results in the “administration declaration”, which has to be OK-ed by parliament, even if it would en up being a minority administration. If not, back to the drawing board. What is kinda interesting in this process that this is virtually the only procedure where the queen has formal personal influence, she has the sole right to appoint the (in)formators. This says nothing of course about informal influence.
Disclaimer: I voted, for the first time in my life, SP. I am not an unhappy man. Oh, and I filed a formal protest because of the stupid voting computers.
Update 2: The second chamber met today (nov 29th) for the last time and (brace) said bye bye to a stunning 70 of its members. As predicted, everybody is aming at a SP-PvdA-CDA coalition. Oh, and I realized something might be very confusing to US citizens. When we choose parliament, that is also the moment that the administration is (possibly) changed. Something like a prime minister election simply does not exist. Here, the administration is virtually always backed my a parliament majority, but as nobody ever gets 50% + 1 vote, that is compensated by the coalition model.
Update 3, dated December 11th: Surprise, surprise. The negotiations between CDA, PvdA and SP were cut off today. CDA couldn’t get over the situation where they would be faced by a huge left wing majority in the administration. How easy to ignore the voters isn’t it. So far, everything is going according to prediction.