Provincial election debate a turn-off for television viewers

Stemmen met rood potloodJust 359,000 television viewers tuned in for Monday night’s debate between the main parties competing in the provincial elections later this month, audience figures organisation Stichting Kijkonderzoek said on Tuesday.

The debate did not even hit the top 25 most-watched shows on Monday, the foundation is quoted as saying by the Volkskrant.

During the debate, Christian Democrat Sander de Rouwe said his party will not support any onshore wind farms where there is opposition from the local population.

De Rouwe, who heads the list of candidates for the Christian Democrats in Friesland, said there is a great deal of opposition to wind farms in the north of the Netherlands. However, economic affairs minister Henk Kamp is pushing through his plans for wind turbines in the IJsselmeer lake regardless, he said.

Frank Wassenberg of the pro-animal party PvdD in Limburg, said any opposition to wind farms will quickly disappear if local people are given some sort of participation, such as lower energy costs.


Energy was just one of the themes of Monday evening’s debate. The 12 leading candidates in the election also discussed security, the economy and the recession during the event.

The national party leaders will hold a televised debate on March 17, the eve of the election.

The provincial elections are crucial because members of the 12 provincial councils go on to elect the 75 members of the upper house of parliament or senate in May.

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