Below you find the last seven Political Quirks entries.
Yesterday featured the first major TV debate between five party leaders. Rutte and Wilders had withdrawn, so only Buma (CDA), Pechtold (D66), Klaver (GL), Asscher (PvdA), and Roemer (SP) participated.
The two main questions were whether one of the left-wing leaders would take a decisive lead over the others, and thus become Rutte’s main opponent in the elections; and whether Rutte and Wilders were right or wrong in abstaining from the debate.
Just in: in an interview with a German broadcaster, Wilders said that Pim Fortuyn was murdered by an Islamic radical. This is false, and Dutch Twitter is in a state of outrage — for once contra Wilders instead of pro.
In preparation for tonight’s first big TV debate, here are a few things that happened over the week. Also, a quick look forward to tonight's debate, and a remark on new elections in 2018.
Three weeks before the elections the state of the race is still quite vague. The parties are starting up their campaign, but the polls aren’t moving a lot. What’s going on?
Three weeks ago the Teeven affair came to a head with Security and Justice minister Van der Steur resigning. This is generally seen as a serious problem for prime minister and VVD leader Rutte, so I’m afraid I’m going to have to treat it.
The affair is nothing new; in fact, Opstelten, the previous Security and Justice minister, resigned over it in 2015. I have been postponing and postponing a post about this affair, since it’s complicated and mostly boring — the ultimate in Dutch inside political baseball.
But here we go.
It is a common misconception that hashish and weed are legal in the Netherlands. They’re not. However, they are tolerated; that is, if a coffeeshop obeys certain strict regulations, it is allowed to sell hashish or weed to the general public, including tourists. This policy was set by justice minister (1973-1977) and prime minister (1977-1981) Van Agt (CDA), and has been in place ever since.
Although a host of election debates will be held in the next seven weeks, there are only two that will be broadcast on national television, and traditionally these two debates have the largest impact on voters.
Also, we have been treated to a debate about the first debate for the past few weeks that was resolved today with a possible defeat for Wilders and Rutte.
Even older entries
See the February 2017 archive and beyond.
This is the political blog of Peter-Paul Koch, mobile platform strategist, consultant, and trainer,
in Amsterdam. It’s a hobby blog where he follows Dutch politics for the benefit of those twelve
foreigners that are interested in such matters, as well as his Dutch readers.
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