While it does not seem that the first televised election debate on RTL on Sunday had much affect on the polls, Maurice de Hond's latest poll does show left-leaning parties CDA and PvdA each gaining slightly more support and going up one seat. Right-wing PVV's support continues to dwindle slowly. Elderly party 50Plus took quite a blow this past week, losing almost half of its support.
GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver and SP leader Emile Roemer could not agree on whether the VVD should or should not be excluded from forming a new government after the parliamentary elections on March 15th. During the first televised debate for the upcoming elections, Roemer called on Klaver to clearly state whether GroenLinks and the VVD would form a coalition. Klaver said he can not rule out that possibility, AD reports.
PvdA leader and current Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher criticized the Amsterdam city management in an interview with AT5. According to him, the Dutch capital is turning into "a theme park for people with a big wallet".
The Amsterdam PvdA and the National Youth Council believe that there should be polling stations at more vocational high schools for the parliamentary elections on March 15th. As the plans stand so far, there will only be polling stations at ROC Amsterdam and ROC Top. Universities and academic high schools are somewhat better represented when it comes to polling stations in Amsterdam, AD reports.
If it is up to PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher, the Netherlands' new government will be a left-wing one. Asscher's first choice of government would be a coalition between the PvdA CDA, GroenLinks and SP, he said on television program WNL Op Zondag.
The Amsterdam city council adopted a proposal made by the D66, PvdA and GroenLinks to limit the certificate of good behavior rule at some jobs in the city, including jobs at the Amsterdam municipality itself. This means that young people with a criminal record now have a better chance at finding work in the Dutch capital, Het Parool reports.
Voters will have quite a selection to choose from in the parliamentary elections next month when it comes to picking a political party based on the financial and economic choices, according to calculations by Dutch central planning office CPB. A major difference between this and last election is that the parties are focused on spending money now that the economy is recovering, instead of the 2012 election's focus on cutbacks in the aftermath of the financial crisis, NU.nl reports.
The lower house of Dutch parliament is discussing a PVV legislative proposal today that wants to ensure that Zwarte Piet keeps his blackface makeup. According to initiator Martin Bosma, "for years there's been a war against Zwarte Piet" and that has to stop, the Telegraaf reports.
PvdA parliamentarian Ahmed Marcouch wants to make sexual harassment on the street a punishable offense. If he has his way, anyone who cat calls, whistles, chases or in anyway sexually harasses another person on the street, will spend up to three months in jail or pay a hefty fine, ANP reports.
Broadcaster RTL decided to go through with the "Premier debate" later this month despite the VVD and PVV refusing their invitations. RTL initially decided to cancel the election debate after Geert Wilders and Mark Rutte said they wouldn't participate. But a massive outcry from viewers and other political parties made them change their mind.
Over this weekend union FNV received complaints from hundreds of employees and former employees of the 16 Primark branches in the Netherlands. The union launched an investigation into the working conditions at the clothing chain after workers in Groningen complained last week about intimidation, heavy workloads, ignored health complaints and being watched in staff areas, AD reports.
Both the PvdA and D66 promise to invest more money into education in their respective election campaigns. The PvdA set 5 billion euros aside for education and promises substantial salary increases for teachers and a lighter workload. The D66 assigned 4.5 billion euros to education and wants more teachers and smaller classes.
PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher wants to invest an additional 100 million euros a year into helping people who have a hard time getting by, he said to the Leeuwarder Courant. He also wants to increase welfare benefits and child support.
The current Deputy Prime Minister praised the so-called Leeuwarden child package, which helps kids from less fortunate families join a sports club, take music lessons or go on a field trip. He wants to introduce a similar system nationwide.
A data leak from Dutch voting guide Stemwijzer, the only one online as yet, revealed which parties are most often recommended to people. After answering 30 questions, most people got the PVV recommended to them, followed by the PvdA. GeenPeil and Forum voor Democratie are at the bottom of the list.
D66 leader Alexander Pechtold thinks that PVV leader Geert Wilders crossed a line by spreading a Photoshopped image of Pechtold protesting with what Wilders calls "Hamas terrorists".
Traditionally the Dutch labor party PvdA could count on most of the votes from minorities living in the Netherlands, but that no longer seems to be the matter of course, according to a unique survey by EtnoBarometer. Many voters with immigrant backgrounds will instead vote for new party DENK in this election. And the PVV is surprisingly popular among Dutch-Surinamese voters, being the second most popular party in this population group, AD reports.
The survey was done by market researcher Aziz El Kaddouri among 1792 ethnic minority voters.
The PvdA, D66 and GroenLinks want to change Article 1 of the Dutch constitution - which deals with equality - to specifically mention disability and sexual orientation. In this way people with disabilities and the LGBT community will be specifically protected by the constitution. A parliamentary majority supports this proposal, NU.nl reports.
According to D66 parliamentarian Kees Verhoeven, Donald Trump's decree to close the American borders to people from seven Muslim countries is "pure discrimination". In a parliamentary debate on the matter on Thursday he that the Dutch government makes a "strong noise against" this decree, a sentiment shared by a number of other parties. The Netherlands decided to suspend talks with American Border Patrol regarding the entry ban for the time being , AD reports.
Thousands of people gathered on the Malieveld in The Hague on Wednesday afternoon for a Holland against Hate demonstration against American president Donald Trump. The initiators want the protest to show that the Netherlands is against Trump's "xenophobic policy" of closing the United States borders to people from seven Muslim countries. They also hope to convince the Dutch government to send the same signal.
The PvdA wants to give employees in the Netherlands the right to be unreachable to their boss and colleagues outside of working hours - no more answering a quick work email during dinner time, if PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher has his way, RTL Nieuws reports.
Most of the political parties in the Netherlands do not secure their websites properly, which means that they are vulnerable to hackers, ethical hacker Sijmen Ruwhof said to NRC. "PvdA, PVV, VVD, CDA and D66 for example have not installed certain security updates on their party websites for over a year, which makes them more vulnerable to hackers", Ruwhof said to the newspaper.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs are against a ban on entry for asylum seekers and people from seven Muslim countries that United President Donald Trump implemented over the weekend. They reject and regret this ban, the two Dutch officials said in a joint statement on Sunday, ANP reports.
Opposition parties and even coalition party PvdA have nothing but criticism for current Prime Minister and VVD leader Mark Rutte's "if you don't like it here, then get out" election campaign. PvdA leader and current Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher called Rutte a poor substitute for a populist and accused him of sowing cynicism, while people who are dissatisfied should in fact work to improve the situation, NOS reports.
The D66, PvdA and GroenLinks wants the law to explicitly protect transgender- and intersex people against discrimination. D66 MP Vera Bergkamp, PvdA MP Keklik Yucel and GroenLinks MP Liesbeth van Tongeren submitted a legislative proposal to add that distinction to the law, the Telegraaf reports.