Thirteen party leaders clashed on Tuesday night in the final election debate on NOS, the last chance for the party leaders to sway voters before the election. Topics ranged from income inequality to Dutch identity. And after an entire election campaign of being calm and being nice, PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher went on the attack, NU.nl reports.
The diplomatic crisis between the Netherlands and Turkey had no immediate impact on the political polls one day before the Dutch parliamentary election. The latest Peilingwijzer does show an increase in support for the two leading parties in the polls, the VVD and PVV, but the increase was very minor.
On Saturday party leaders Alexander Pechtold (D66), Sybrand Buma (CDA), Lodewijk Asscher (PvdA), Mark Rutte (VVD), Geert Wilders (PVV) and Emile Roemer (SP) debated policy, explained what topics they find important and played games on kids TV show NOS Jeugdjournaal.
The debate was done by means of a quartet. Each party leader could chose a theme and a topic, such as "healthcare" and "costs". And then they could briefly and simply explain what they find important on that topic.
A quarter of Dutch believe that if a woman dresses sexy, she should not complain when she hears sexual comments, according to a survey by research firm Ipsos on behalf of Rutgers, a knowledge center on sexuality. And 13 percent believe that girls who wear short skirts should not complain when they are harassed, AD reports.
Lower house of parliament president Khadija Arib refused to cooperate in the wish of two of King Willem-Alexander's influential advisors to give the King more influence in the formation of the new cabinet, the Volkskrant reports.
Up until 2012 the ruling Dutch monarch played an active role in the formation of a new cabinet. The King or Queen could, for example, assign a "scout" to examine coalition possibilities and appoint informers. After a majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, changed the rules in 2012, the Kamer itself performs these tasks.
With just a week before the parliamentary election, anti-Islam, populist party PVV continues to lose support in the polls. The PVV dropped to between 21 and 25 seats on Peilingwijzer, putting the party clearly behind the VVD, which is at between 24 and 28 seats.
Over the past weeks the VVD has remained relatively stable on the polls, climbing one seat compared to last week. Put the PVV has steadily been losing support on Peilingwijzer, which combines the data of six different poll for a more rounded view.
Left- and right wing parties clashed fiercely over the retirement age, healthcare deductibles and the Dutch identity in the televised debate between eight party leaders in the Carré in Amsterdam on Sunday. With only 9 days to go until the parliamentary election, party leaders are pressured to create some movement in the polls, which have been quiet over the past weeks.
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.
Even though Dutch people like to grumble when things do not go their way, the population is generally pretty satisfied about the country, according to a study I&O Research did on behalf of newspaper AD. The survey among more than 6 thousand Dutch found that while there are concerns about contradictions in society, most are positive about the Netherlands' future, AD reports.
Christian parties SGP and ChristenUnie are unimpressed by a comment posted on Twitter by SP alderman in Arnhem Gerrie Elfrink. The tweet was directed at the Kees van der Staaij avatar Elfrink is caring for on the Kamergotchi app. "Keesie I am God! If I forget to feed you, that's my wish! First be vaccinated, pervert", Elfrink tweeted.
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.
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.
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.
Dutch voters have little confidence in the country's current healthcare system, which was implemented 11 years ago. 57 percent of voters want the government to take back control of healthcare instead of insurers, according to a study Ipsos did for Dutch newspaper Trouw.
The lower house of Dutch parliament is against a measure proposed by Health Minister Edith Schippers (VVD) to force disturbed persons to be admitted for observation if needed, government party PvdA confirmed to NU.nl.
"Vulnerable people with mental illness can better be helped by giving them the proper care sooner, so that the violent measure of forced admission can be prevented", PvdA parliamentarian Lea Bouwmeester said to the newspaper. "That should really be first to order, before state coercion is used."
A number of Dutch political parties and civil society organizations teamed up in a manifesto calling for more effort to be put into making sure that elderly people can grow old with dignity. A coordinating minister for elderly policy and encouraging family care are two of the priorities in the manifesto, ANP reports.
The VVD will not team up with the PVV after the elections coming up in March, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on television program Buitenhof on Saturday. And with that Geert Wilders and his anti-Islam populist party has no one to cooperate with after the elections - each political party has excluded working with the PVV, the Volkskrant reports.
Rutte said that the "probability is not 0.1, but zero that the VVD will govern with the PVV", on Buitenhof. "It's not going to happen." Previously the PvdA, CDA, D66, GroenLinks and SP already closed the door on working with the PVV.
The Dutch prosecutor's office, OM, waited about four days to notify the cabinet that the man suspected of carrying out a terrorist attack in Berlin also spent time in the Netherlands after the incident. Dutch authorities ultimately notified Minister Ard van der Steur (Security and Justice) that the suspect, Anis Amri, traveled through the Netherlands, Van der Steur said in answer to parliamentary questions on Thursday.
Opposition parties were angered by the delay in notifying the cabinet minister, calling it an apparent lack of urgency among the Dutch authorities.
A total of 42 Dutch parliamentarians resigned since the previous election in 2012. That is the most of any cabinet since 1981, the Financieele Dagblad reports based on data from the Parliamentary Documentation Center of Leiden University. On average 35 parliamentarians resign during a typical four year term of government.
About 20 billion euros is still outstanding from the Tax Authorities, according to data newspaper AD obtained by appealing to the Freedom of Information Act. Some 4.6 billion euros of that owed money dates from 2011 or earlier. The Tax Authorities is uncertain about whether they will ever be able to collect some 6 billion euros of that money, AD reports.
A proposal by VNL to scrap the ban on group defamation, hate speech and discrimination from the Penal Code was rejected by a majority in Dutch parliament on Thursday. A large majority of the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, found the proposal not well thought out as it opens the door to discrimination directed at vulnerable groups such as Jews, Muslims, women, LGBT and disabled people, NU.nl reports.
A majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, voted for a government proposal that bans the wear of face-covering clothing in certain public spaces. If you do not comply with this "burka ban", you risk a fine of 450 euros, NU.nl reports.