Mon Oct 23rd, 2023 at 06:13:43 AM EST
Yep. I did follow the debate closely as the setting was very special, on a College campus with the young generation of students. Quite impressive, the winners were clearly the students who were outstanding and the voters who got a clear picture of the candidates on content and ability in debate and knowledge of dossiers. The applause from the students gave a direct response with which answers they agreed, or they considered inferior and not up to par. Quite satisfactory for moderator Twan Huys, a former correspondent in Washington DC.
Follow-up diary …
NeXiT the Trump Era of Dutch PM Wilders
Frontpaged with minor edit - Frank Schnittger - an important beginning to the Dutch election campaign.
I wasn't watching and listening as a neutral observer, as the coming election is quite likely the most crucial choice for the near future of Dutch society living today in turmoil, angst and mental despair for the young adults.
The clear winners were Pieter Omtzigt and Frans Timmermans ... their long career in politics shaped their ability to answer on content of the topics. Frans Timmermans stepped down from his position as VP of the European Commission on Green energy and Sustainability. Caroline van der Plas was the big winner in March with her "one issue" party for the farmers coalition, she missed the clear vision on a broad range of topics the students brought to the debate. Most questions were put forward to Omtzigt and Timmermans.
The new VVD party leader Dilan Yeşilgöz sank like the Titanic, pushed by her party to great heights, but in the debate she was clearly Rutte's stand-in and after thirteen years of damning results for main street Netherlands, she took on the wrong position by showing her loyalty to him. Defending policy no one in the public wanted to hear. Hopefully this debate formed an important starting point as the election date is over 29 days.
COLLEGE TOUR ELECTION DEBATE
On Sunday, October 22, Dilan Yesilgöz (Conservative Liberals VVD), Frans Timmermans (Joint Green Left and Labour), Pieter Omtzigt (New Social Contract) and Caroline van der Plas (BBB Farmers Coalition) will debate live.
Primary topics the Gaza War and effect on Dutch society, Student Loans, Employment, Housing, Cost of Living, and Nuclear energy to complement the energy mix.
The EC Commission is disunited especially on migration. There was bitterness between Ursula Von der Leyen and Frans Timmermans on the Tunisia deal, pushed through by VDL, Meloni and Mark Rutte ... the deal has imploded shortly thereafter. Yesilgöz tried to save Mark Rutte ... she too had her moment not perceived as truthful. On social media the quick response:
Twitter about the first election debate: Just quit and walk away @DilanYesilgoz, no one believes you!!
There was a lot of tweeting and the two women in particular had to suffer. (And the students: they thought Twitter was way too left-wing)
Omtzigt was remarkably factual and repeatedly stole the show, although he continued to refuse to say whether he would want to become prime minister if given the chance.
Striking: Frans Timmermans flirted with Caroline van der Plas. And Omtzigt revealed that his program will actually come on Tuesday.
Housing and Education intertwined with Foreign Students and Labor Migrants
"Expats run the housing market in Amsterdam", Pieter Omzigt
Pieter Omtzigt, leader of the fledgling new party Nieuw Sociaal Contract, has told students that he feels closest to Frans Timmermans, leader of the GroenLinks/PvdA alliance, and pro-farmers party BBB when it comes to dealing with financial security.
But on migration, Omtzigt said he felt more affinity to VVD leader Dilan Yesilgoz, who, despite being a refugee herself, has called for tough new limits on immigration.
Omzigt's party, which has not yet published its manifesto, was also the preferred coalition partner of Caroline van der Plas, leader of the BBB, whose party dominated the recent provincial elections and is now the biggest in the upper house, or senate.
Omtzigt, Van der Plas, Timmermans and Yesilgoz, were being questioned by students on the College Tour talk show on Sunday evening. It was the first televised debate of the election campaign. The vote will take place on November 22.
Omtzigt, whose party is also slightly ahead of Timmermans and Yesilgoz in the polls, also declined to say who would be his party's candidate for prime minister, having said himself several times that he did not want the job.
The party's manifesto will be published on Tuesday, Omtzigt said.