Michiel 2005

Michiel 2005

Posted on 11/15/2007

Photo taken on September 26, 2007

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nrc handelsblad

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The birth of the Purple Government in 1994

The birth of the Purple Government in 1994
Dutch politics could be explained to foreigners by saying that there was a socialist party, who wanted to increase the top rate of tax to 80% of income; a liberal party who wanted to lower the taxes to 78% of income and a party who were against the French Revolution.
Things have changed a bit: the party who were against the French Revolution merged with the catholic party to become christian democrats. In the early 1990s the liberals and the socialists formed a government together, because they were fed up with the christian democrats. The christian democrats (or the seperate christian parties) positioned themselves in the middle of Dutch politics and were part of every government since times immemorial, choosing between the liberals and the socialists depending on their mood and the election result.
The liberals and the socialists are on the opposite sides of the Dutch political spectrum (at least in the 1990s) so it was quite a strange coalition. In order to make this coalition possible, some things had to happen. More in particular, a leadership crises (the old one, mr. Ruud Lubbers of UN fame, didn't like the new one, mr. Elco Brinkman. In the end, the Dutch didn't like Brinkman too) in the christian democratic party and several general scandals.

This is the newspaper about the result of the local elections, just prior to the national elections. That gave enough indication that it the people didn't like the christian democrats and the socialists.