Politicians can’t keep their promises

The poor old Labour party is really in trouble. It’s sinking in the polls and declining in popularity by the day. Once one of the biggest parties in parliament, it would now win just 10% of the seats.

Disillusionment with the established parties has, of course, been growing for years, opening the door to the likes of anti-immigration campaigner Geert Wilders and nationalist Rita Verdonk.
But we should not forget that the nature of the Dutch political system makes it impossible for parties to implement their promises – particularly those which could be considered controversial in any way.
You can say what you like to get those votes, but to form a government you have to be prepared to compromise.
The Labour party has the misfortune to have given the country its finance minister, Wouter Bos, a man whose room for manoeuvre has been cut by events outside his control.
Did anyone vote for a party that said it would put up all plane tickets by at least €11.25? Did anyone vote for a party that said it would cut spending on child-minders? But that is what we have got.
Labour has not been helped either by a seemingly spineless group of MPs. But their hands are tied too. Rock the boat too much and the fragile coalition could collapse. And a new election is the last thing Labour needs at the moment.

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