Dutch election promises political upheaval and a new era


The upcoming parliamentary election in the Netherlands marks the start of a new era in Dutch politics.

A new party that was started only three months ago is leading in the polls. Also, the Netherlands might get its first female prime minister.

After being prime minister for 13 years, Mark Rutte is stepping down. The upcoming election on 22nd November is focused on a number of problems in the country, like high living expenses, not enough housing, healthcare and migration.

“What you need to understand”

It’s only been two years since the last vote, but many of the leaders running now are new, including the two top candidates.

Dilan Yeşilgöz, age 46, is the new leader of Mr Rutte’s liberal-conservative VVD party. She is the daughter of Turkish refugees and is expected to lead her country.

Pieter Omtzigt, who is 49 years old, is becoming very popular in Dutch politics. His centrist party, New Social Contract, is now a favorite in the upcoming election even though it was not well-known before. But he has not been very excited about becoming the prime minister.

This election is very hard to guess because a lot of people haven’t decided which of the 26 parties should get the 150 seats in the Dutch parliament. There is a small number needed and the polls show that up to 17 parties could get in. It took a long time to make the last coalition, and it didn’t last very long, only two years.

Be careful of who you keep an eye on.

Dilan Yeşilgöz was called a “pitbull in high heels” because she is tough and doesn’t mess around with politics. Now, she is leading a smooth campaign as the new leader of VVD. A video on social media shows her practicing kickboxing with heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven.

As the justice minister, she was known for being a tough negotiator and a good communicator. Her gender didn’t affect her campaign. “I believe she’s ignoring these problems because there are too many male voters in the party,” explained Sarah de Lange, who teaches about different political views at the University of Amsterdam.

The next election in the Netherlands is the beginning of a new time in Dutch politics.

A party that just began three months ago is winning in the polls. Furthermore, the Netherlands could have its first woman leader.

After serving as prime minister for 13 years, Mark Rutte is leaving his position. The next election on November 22 is about a lot of problems in the country, like expensive living, not enough homes, healthcare, and migration.

“What you should know”

It has only been two years since the last vote, but there are a lot of new leaders running for office, including the two most popular candidates.

Dilan Yeşilgöz, who is 46 years old, is now the leader of Mr Rutte’s VVD party, which is liberal-conservative. She is the child of Turkish people who had to leave their own country and is supposed to be in charge of her country.

Pieter Omtzigt, 49, is getting more famous in Dutch politics. His party, New Social Contract, is now popular for the upcoming election even though it was not well-known before. However, he is not very thrilled about being the prime minister.

A small number is needed, and the polls show that up to 17 parties could win. It took a while to form the last group, but it didn’t stay together for very long, only two years.

Watch out for the people you are watching.

Dilan Yeşilgöz is tough and doesn’t play around with politics. That’s why she’s sometimes called a “pitbull in high heels. ” Currently, she is running a successful campaign as the new leader of VVD. She was recorded doing kickboxing with heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven and shared it on social media.

She was a strong negotiator and good at talking to people when she was the justice minister. Her being a woman did not have an effect on her campaign. “I think she’s not paying attention to these issues because there are too many men who vote for the party,” said Sarah de Lange, a teacher at the University of Amsterdam who studies different political beliefs.

Simon Otjes, from the University of Leiden, says that Pieter Omtzigt is the politician in charge of the election and other parties are waiting to see what he will do.

His main ideas have become popular words in the campaign: making Dutch households financially secure and changing the way politics is run.

As people talk more about a group of four center and right-wing parties joining together, he has said he doesn’t want to work with populist leader Geert Wilders. He believes a government should follow basic rights.

Geert Wilders and his Party for Freedom want to stop mosques, the Koran, and Islamic schools. But now, Wilders is saying there are other things that are more important. He might put his ideas on hold to be part of the government. His party is currently in fourth place in the polls, behind a Green-Labour alliance.

Frans Timmermans is a left-wing candidate who is doing well in the polls. He quit his job as EU climate commissioner to lead the campaign for the Labour and GreenLeft parties.

According to a poll, most young adults aged 18-34 prefer the Labour-Green leader to be the next prime minister. However, the man in charge of the EU’s green deal had to give up a promise to reduce nitrogen pollutants by half by 2030 after speaking with young farmers.

He doesn’t have clear people to work with from the other top candidates, but he hasn’t said no to working with Pieter Omtzigt or Dilan Yeşilgöz.

The BBB’s support has decreased, but they might be part of the next government. They mainly want to fight against tougher rules for the climate and set a limit on the number of refugees. But Ms van der Plas has said she won’t be the prime minister because she’s afraid of flying and prefers talking to the public instead of working in Brussels.

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    There aren’t enough houses for sale, so the price of a regular home has gone up to over €400,000 (£350,000). There are nine times more people looking for homes than there are homes available to buy.

Asja has been looking for a home for herself and her two kids for seven months. “She told the BBC that it’s not possible to afford an €800 monthly mortgage on a teacher’s salary. ”

Government housing is very popular and there is not enough of it. On top of that, the cost of renting a private home in big cities has gone up a lot.

Cost of living is going up. Prices at the stores, for energy, and for housing are getting higher. This is causing about 830,000 people to have less money to live on. Surveys show that most people in the Netherlands, even those with average incomes, are worried about what’s going to happen next.

Even people who have found a place to live are dealing with very expensive energy bills. Laurie Schram, a new teacher in training, says she and her daughter rely on warm clothes and electric blankets to stay comfortable.

All the parties agree there is a problem, and an expert from the University of Groningen says the issue has almost stopped being political. Money problems are the most important thing for 18-34 year olds when deciding who to vote for.

Migration: The old government fell apart in July because they couldn’t agree on how to limit the number of people seeking asylum. Almost two-thirds of Dutch people want fewer people to be able to claim asylum. One of the issues is that there are not enough places to stay. Three top candidates want to make it harder for people to seek asylum, and Pieter Omtzigt thinks immigrant rights are connected to not having enough houses.

Healthcare is getting more expensive and five million people in the Netherlands say they are taking care of others without being officially recognized.

Since 2006, the people in the Netherlands have been paying over €141 a month for basic health insurance. However, 61% of them are worried that they won’t be able to afford it. That’s maybe why lots of voters want the government to take control of healthcare again.

Climate change: Ten days before the election, a lot of people in Amsterdam marched to ask for quick action on the climate crisis. The Labour-Green team is talking a lot about the issue in their campaign, but Pieter Omtzigt thinks that recent climate policies only help rich people.


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