Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Trouble in Hague City

The 2006 elections in the Netherlands presented an interesting problem. For those of you unfamiliar with parliamentary democracies*, after the election the parties in the parliament must form a coalition that will govern the country. There are several costraints on these coalitions. The goal is, generally, to have the smallest coherent coalition that has a majority. Coherency involves not being so ideologically opposed that they cannot work together.
*Americans and people who live in one-party states, I suppose.

Den Haag

After the elections in the Netherlands on November 22, 2006, ten parties were represented in the Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal, the Dutch lower house, which is the house that votes on legislation. I made an attempt to order the parties roughly from left to right. This isn't precise, but it gives you an idea of the composition. (For instance, the Party for the Animals is officially neutral to left-right issues. But somebody called "The Party for the Animals" has got to be at least in the left half of the spectrum, right?) Note that historically, the Labour Party and the Christian Democratic Appeal have been the main center-left and center-right parties. Consider them the Democrats and the Republicans, if you are familiar with American politics. (I know that in reality both of those parties would be on the right half of Dutch politics, but they serve congruent conceptual roles.)

Election results by municipality. Green=Christian Democratic Appeal, Red=Labour Party, Yellow=Socialist Party, Blue=People's Party for Freedom and Democracy.

However, unlike in the American Congress in which the two major parties hold all or nearly all the seats, no party in the 150-seat body had a majority. The following is a list of the parties, roughly from left to right, and the number of seats they held.

Socialist Party (25)
GreenLeft (7)
Democrats 66 (3)
Labour Party (33)
Party for the Animals (2)
ChristianUnion (6)
Christian Democratic Appeal (41)
People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (22)
Reformed Political Party (2)
Party for Freedom (9)

It is also important to note where the center-point is. The ChristianUnion considers itself a centrist party. According to Wikipedia, they have "a conservative point of view on ethical issues, with more centre left ideas on economic, migration, social and environmental issues." Seventy-five seats are needed to form a government. Consider the following diagram:

(click for larger)

If the five left-wing parties could join the ChristianUnion, the could form a government with 76 seats. However, the ChristianUnion will not join a coalition without the Christian Democratic Appeal (which, in this case, was the largest party.)

So it would seem if the Christian Union would join a right-wing coalition of the Christian Democratic Appeal, People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, Reformed Political Party, and the Party for Freedom, they would have a majority. This coalition would have 80 seats. However, the Party for Freedom is considered so far to the right that the major parties refuse to coalition with them. Without their 9 seats, a center-right coalition would have only 71 seats, not a majority.**
**Also, the Reformed Political Party is too Calvinist to join any coalition. Ask them about it.

This means that the governing coalition must be a left-right-center coalition. Remember another goal of coalition building is to not have the coalition be larger than necessary. If the Labour Party and the Christian Democratic Appeal agreed to join a coalition, they would have 74 seats.*** They would have to convince one more party to join. But this party must be acceptable to the other coalition members.
***When the main left and right parties coalition, this is sometimes called a "Grand Coalition." Germany had this from 2005-09.

In the course of negotiation, further constraints developed. The Socialist Party would not join a coalition with the Christian Democratic Appeal, who wouldn't join a coalition with them either. The GreenLeft also rejected a coalition with the Christian Democratic Appeal. Democrats 66 said they would not work with the ChristianUnion. The ChristianUnion would not work with the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy over differences regarding immigration. (In case you were wondering, the Party for the Animals did say they would be happy to form a minority government with the Labour Party, the Socialist Party, and the GreenLeft.)

This left only a few possible coalitions. Try out combinations in your head. Remember the goal is to get 75.

What you will find is that the only coalition that works is the Christian Democratic Appeal, ChristianUnion, and Labour Party. This is the coalition that ended up forming the government. The Christian Democratic Appeal got 9 ministries, the Labour Party got 6, and the ChristianUnion got 2. Unsurprisingly, this coalition collapsed in February of 2010.

The reason I wrote about this is to demonstrate how coalition building can become an interesting problem of trying to create the minimum coalition that has a majority and no unacceptable members. Almost like a Sudoku. In this case, it was a bit of a "perfect storm" where a few more seats here or there would have made it simple. The next election looks even more complicated because another right-wing party, Trots op Nederland (Proud of the Netherlands), seems to be on track to get two seats, leading to 11 parties in parliament. Distressingly, polls show the Party for Freedom may be the second largest party. Below is a diagram of what a 14 February poll shows the result might be.

(Gelieve te klikken beeld om het groter te maken.)

For those of you following the Dutch elections on this blog, (and honestly, who isn't?) came out with a new survey on 14 March. I've recorded the results into the now familiar Prestigious Internet Dutch Election Bar Graph.

It looks a lot like the last poll, with D66 and the GreenLeft taking seats from the Socialist Party and the Labor Party, although not as much as in the previous poll. The 14 February poll had the Labor Party losing 18 seats, but the current poll has them losing only 6 seats. The Party of Freedom has grown at the expense (it seems) of the Christian Democratic Appeal, but the left-right balance seems unchanged.


lpcyusa said...

Irrefutable Proof ICTY Is Corrupt Court/Irrefutable Proof the Hague Court Cannot Legitimately Prosecute Karadzic Case
(The Documentary Secret United Nations ICC Meeting Papers Scanned Images)

This legal technicality indicates the Hague must dismiss charges against Dr Karadzic and others awaiting trials in the Hague jail; like it or not.

Unfortunately for the Signatures Of the Rome Statute United Nations member states instituting the ICC & ICTY housed at the Hague, insofar as the, Radovan Karadzic, as with the other Hague cases awaiting trial there, I personally witnessed these United Nations member states openly speaking about trading judicial appointments and verdicts for financial funding when I attended the 2001 ICC Preparatory Meetings at the UN in Manhattan making the iCTY and ICC morally incapable trying Radovan Karazdic and others.

I witnessed with my own eyes and ears when attending the 2001 Preparatory Meetings to establish an newly emergent International Criminal Court, the exact caliber of criminal corruption running so very deeply at the Hague, that it was a perfectly viable topic of legitimate conversation in those meetings I attended to debate trading verdicts AND judicial appointments, for monetary funding.

Jilly wrote:*The rep from Spain became distraught and when her country’s proposal was not taken to well by the chair of the meeting , then Spain argued in a particularly loud and noticably strongly vocal manner, “Spain (my country) strongly believes if we contribute most financial support to the Hague’s highest court, that ought to give us and other countries feeding it financially MORE direct power over its decisions.”

((((((((((((((((((((((((( ((((((((((((((((((((((((( Instead of censoring the country representative from Spain for even bringing up this unjust, illegal and unfair judicial idea of bribery for international judicial verdicts and judicial appointments, all country representatives present in the meeting that day all treated the Spain proposition as a ”totally legitimate topic” discussed and debated it between each other for some time. I was quite shocked!
The idea was "let's discuss it." "It's a great topic to discuss."

Some countries agreed with Spain’s propositions while others did not. The point here is, bribery for judicial verdicts and judicial appointments was treated as a totally legitimate topic instead of an illegitimate toic which it is in the meeting that I attended in 2001 that day to establish the ground work for a newly emergent international criminal court.))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

In particular., since "Spain" was so overtly unafraid in bringing up this topic of trading financial funding the ICC for influence over its future judicial appointments and verdicts in front of every other UN member state present that day at the UN, "Spain" must have already known by previous experience the topic of bribery was "socially acceptable" for conversation that day. They must have previously spoke about bribing the ICTY and
ICC before in meetings; this is my take an international sociological honor student. SPAIN's diplomatic gesture of international justice insofar as, Serbia, in all of this is, disgusting morally!

I represented the state interests' of the Former Yugoslavia, in Darko Trifunovic’s absence in those meetings and I am proud to undertake this effort on Serbia’s behalf.

lpcyusa said...

What It’s Like to Chill Out With Whom the World Considers the Most Ruthless Men in the World Ratko Mladic, Radovan Karadzic and Goran Hadzic (+) Confessions of a Female War Crimes Investigator

Retrospectively, it was all so simple, natural and matter of fact being on a boat restaurant in Belgrade, sitting with, laughing, drinking a two hundred bottle of wine and chatting about war and peace while Ratko Mladic held my hand. Mladic, a man considered the world’s most ruthless war criminal since Adolf Hitler, still at large and currently having a five million dollar bounty on his head for genocide by the international community. Yet there I was with my two best friends at the time, a former Serbian diplomat, his wife, and Ratko Mladic just chilling. There was no security, nothing you’d ordinarily expect in such circumstances. Referring to himself merely as, Sharko; this is the story of it all came about.
(Read My Entire Book Here For Free Now).
(Jill Starr's Entire American Expose Including the Secret Scanned Photo Documentary Evidence I Obtained From the CLOSED UN ICC Preparatory Meetings (2001)
(Jill Starr On Instablogs)
(Now Everyone Can Purchase My Rare Books)

Jason said...

That is some weird Hague-related spam, guys.

Blase Kearney said...

Its like blaine was cloned and cared about slavs.