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It appears that the left/right balance is virtually unchanged.

But it seems that isn't even relevant, because nobody would dream of trying to form a homogeneous government of the left or of the right.

And that's profoundly fucked up. Pardon my French.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Sep 13th, 2012 at 04:30:14 AM EST
No, the real divide right now is "EU right or wrong" vs. "wait a minute". We'll get austerity with lip service to growth and no jobs because what matters is being "pro EU".

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Sep 13th, 2012 at 04:33:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but on the other side of the fence there is the it's-all-Brussels'-fault-crowd. Would you rather have sovereign national austerity or pro EU austerity?
by Katrin on Thu Sep 13th, 2012 at 06:36:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can I pass on austerity?

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Sep 13th, 2012 at 06:37:36 AM EST
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Are you arguing another EU enlargement now? ;-)
by Katrin on Thu Sep 13th, 2012 at 06:49:55 AM EST
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well, a government with Labour in it is going to be less growth-unfriendly than the previous one. i.e. will presumably reinforce a "growth" caucus within the EU council.

Though if Rutte is still PM, I suppose the effect is minimal.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Sep 13th, 2012 at 12:00:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've lost track on the definitions of 'growth' and 'austerity' - by politicians, by business-lobbyists and here at ET. I'll struggle on.

Labour's gambit in resisting the Dutch Austerity 2.0 package of past spring may have helped them. Then again, the minute the signatures were put to paper, the five parties that had grouped together began calling for changes and honing election rhetoric. And hardly anyone has mentioned the austerity package during the elections.

Labour has consistently resisted the three percent EU-budget ceiling, thereby risking an EU penalty. The party's program heckles the EU's insistence on 'growth', while rallying for a program for jobs instead. A Tobin tax, clear support for a large role of the ECB, Eurobonds, an absolve of liberalizing the health and housing market - it's all in there. Plenty of populist pipe-dreams are there as well (scrapping Strassbourg, reducing the EU budget) - but still. Labour has shifted relatively rapid towards the French negotiation position and the Dutch Socialists.

Combine this breed with the anti-EU, pro-austerity stance of Merkel's lapdog, Rutte, and what we'll get in the Netherlands is rather beyond speculation at this point - and somewhat frightening, might I add.

by Nomad on Thu Sep 13th, 2012 at 02:10:50 PM EST
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There was slight shift to the left, if you see CDA/PVV/VVD as the right and PvdA/SP/GL/D66 as the left. the gains of the VVD were slighter then the losses of PVV and CDA. On the other hands the gains of the PvdA and D66 were bigger then the losses of GL.

Still that gets you to ca. 44% left and 45% right. So power is hold by the parties neither clearly left or right: the christian and animal fundamentalists (SGB Christenunie and PvdD) and the new pensioners party.

So instead of cobbling a six party coalition were two parties are nuts, a two party government looks attractive.

And a PvdA-VVD-D66 coalition already existed. there is even a color name for them.

by IM on Thu Sep 13th, 2012 at 06:24:14 AM EST
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to the left is maximally 3 seats and most likely 2. In a parliament of 150 seats, that's a marginal 2 percent.

The smallest parties may eventually have some minor influence in course-correcting through parliament, but not in the formation of government, I'd wager. Had four to five parties been needed to form a majority, the smallest parties were (silently) hoping to plug the gap for considerable leverage. That scenario hasn't panned out.

Now the bigger parties need to muscle it out first. For coalition building, one should look at the medium-sized parties. The CDA, reduced to medium size, will think twice of being pulled into a coalition - but they love power, never say never. Greens are now too small and need cleaning up first.

Intuitively, D66 has the best cards to be eventually invited. But that would mean Samsom would have to make a deal with two Marketista parties, which would reduce his bargaining power.

Headaches galore.

by Nomad on Thu Sep 13th, 2012 at 07:47:15 AM EST
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The new Purple color would be less bright than the Third Way's.

If VVD and PvdA would come together, why they would need a third party?

by das monde on Thu Sep 13th, 2012 at 10:33:56 AM EST
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Two reasons: One, to guarantee a majority in the Senate. Which is why CDA remains attractive as partner. Two, as a mediator between the two opposites. But number wise, PvdA and VVD can form a coalition without a third party involved.
by Nomad on Thu Sep 13th, 2012 at 10:41:26 AM EST
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