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So, PvdA became once again a victim of a surging political party: it was Fortuyn in 2002, and now SP. What is their problem in protecting "their" votes?

I was not following Dutch politics at all lately. Could it be that Bos campaigning was too populistic, too sound-byte oriented? For serious progressive politics, doing what you can in keeping the political discourse more intelligent than simplistic is important, especially when your referrence frame is actually rather empty and not resonating with the public.

Funny still: like Clinton-Gore administration in the 90'ies, PvdA under Wim Kok did not do much wrong, for most individual voters as well. Yet they seem to be destined for years of relative oblivion somehow, even if "other" ruling party is more dissapointing (arguably or not).

by das monde on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 09:50:09 PM EST
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I think at least two things were at hand.

  1. The PvdA campaign approach. Bos already had some of a reputation of a turncoat and a wishy-washy, and his campaign did not help to dispel that. CDA came out swinging (unexpectedly harsh even), and PvdA cowered. It shouldn't have happened: PvdA got hammered by the VVD earlier. Every politician was terrible in its sound-bites, Rutte and Balkenende as bad or worse than Bos (in my opinion).

  2. Secondly, the strategic vote. PvdA decided they could take on the CDA alone by its own strength. Time and again Bos was asked for his favourite coalition parties - he never answered it, leading to a growing unrest he'd just as well pick CDA over the other left parties. And people who detest Balkenende's policy saw already happening Balkenende still would return to the government - so they moved further left: to the SP. To no avail, in the end, but there you have it. Some 25% of previous PvdA voters went into the SP vote.
by Nomad (Bjinse) on Thu Nov 23rd, 2006 at 10:14:28 AM EST
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