A Political Catastrophe Unfolds: Are the Dutch in a Crisis?

A Political Catastrophe Unfolds: Are the Dutch in a Crisis?

Today, May 14, 2024, marks a critical juncture in Dutch politics. Since the parliamentary elections on November 22, 2023, the Netherlands has been embroiled in a protracted and complex cabinet formation process. The House of Representatives, the country's second most powerful governing body, has been at a standstill as the largest parties—PVV, VVD, NSC, and BBB—struggle to form a new government.

The Divergence of Forming Parties

The main challenge in this formation lies in the significant ideological differences among the parties. The PVV, the election's winner, is a radical right-wing party known for its extreme positions. The VVD, also right-wing, is seen as a champion for entrepreneurs. NSC, a newcomer to the political scene, presents a mixed ideological stance, sometimes right-wing and occasionally left-leaning, led by Pieter Omtzigt, a former member of the CDA with strong agricultural support. The BBB, another new party, originated as a farmers' movement against stringent nitrogen reduction policies threatening their livelihoods.

The Feasibility of a Joint Government

The prospect of these parties forming a cohesive government is daunting. The inexperience of two parties and the ideological disparities among all four make consensus difficult. The Netherlands, waiting for a new cabinet for six months, is in dire need of leadership to address the damage left by former Prime Minister Rutte. Tomorrow's decision on whether these parties can govern together is eagerly anticipated.

Post-Formation Expectations

In my opinion, Dutch politics faces significant challenges. Typically, a cabinet serves a four-year term, but this lengthy formation period reduces the effective governing time to three and a half years. This is insufficient, especially given the outdated laws that need urgent reform. Many politicians use their tenure as a stepping stone to further careers, often prioritizing personal reputation over national interest.

Can the Netherlands Still Be Governed?

The outdated laws complicate governance, and many politicians seem more focused on future career moves than on effective governance. This behavior leads to confusion among the Dutch populace, who seek clarity and direction. Without effective political leadership, people may turn to groups that offer perceived protection, exacerbating societal divisions.

Voter Awareness and Responsibility

Voters often base their choices on election propaganda rather than on the actual achievements of parties. In these turbulent times, old laws need modernization or complete overhaul. New parties should be given the chance to shape policy. Pieter Omtzigt's NSC appears to be on the right track, advocating for policies that go beyond benefiting just entrepreneurs (VVD) or farmers (BBB).

A Call for Political Reform

The LPF, led by Geert Wilders, poses a significant threat to immigrants, highlighting the need for a balanced approach. The Netherlands requires political reform with laws that reflect contemporary realities. A technocratic cabinet focused on repairing the country's systemic issues might be necessary before any long-term political stability can be achieved. Additionally, the diverse religious composition of the Dutch population offers an opportunity for mutual learning and cooperation.


The ongoing political crisis highlights the urgent need for reform and effective governance. While the future remains uncertain, it is clear that the Netherlands cannot afford another prolonged period without a functional cabinet. Political leaders must prioritize national interest over personal ambition to restore stability and public confidence.

I wish the best of luck to everyone involved, but I remain skeptical about the immediate prospects of a stable and effective new cabinet.