Where does Wopke Hoekstra’s chagrin about Jesse Klaver come from?

Remarks by CDA leader Wopke Hoekstra about left-wing possible coalition partners caused thorns on both sides this week. The formation therefore came to a standstill, according to those involved. Informer Mariëtte Hamer asked the House of Representatives for more time on Friday, without a new deadline.

Hoekstra’s offending comment was about GroenLinks and the PvdA: ‘The difference with each of those parties, let alone with those two parties together, is very large’. On which Lilianne Ploumen finely rubbed his nose a day later that the CDA leader constantly said ‘go ahead with the goat’, but that she had not yet seen the beast move. Ploumen could also have pointed to the news hourinterview with Hoekstra before the elections. There, the CDA member, like the other party leaders interviewed, had to tell whom he wanted to sit down with after March 17. On Hoekstra’s instructions, Arjan Noorlander conjured up a palette with VVD, D66, PvdA, ChristenUnie, GroenLinks and SP, because – as Hoekstra said – the problems were big and you had to be able to talk to everyone.

Nevertheless, this week the cold feet for GroenLinks in particular got the upper hand. Whether this is due to the large political differences is highly questionable. There are also many substantive similarities, as Sigrid Kaag rightly pointed out. Ensuring an inclusive society, reducing inequality of opportunity, better education, putting the citizen first again, the CDA members can certainly set up a tree about it with Jesse Klaver. Moreover, Klaver radiates on all sides that he is prepared to take responsibility. According to the published notes of Tjeenk Willink, he will not make a breaking point of migration or of halving the livestock.

The idea that CDA – and VVD – have to do business with a ‘left-wing cloud’ – in Rutte’s words – is not that bad in numbers. GroenLinks and PvdA together have two seats more than the CDA, and only half of the VVD. In addition, the CDA will find the VVD at its side in a large number of issues. Still, Hoekstra said on Friday that he would first investigate a coalition with VVD, D66, CDA and Volt or JA21 (both 76 seats).

The corpsball and the curly ball

Hoekstra’s chagrin is in discomfort about a collaboration with what he considers too activist Klaver. The chemistry between the former student body chairman Hoekstra and curly-haired Klaver is impressive. It cannot be ruled out that Hoekstra secretly thinks his younger colleague is a climate pusher, thanks to the term Klaas Dijkhoff once coined for D66 party chairman Rob Jetten.

Hoekstra also feels the eyes of the supporters burning on his back. The CDA is no longer the agricultural party it once was, but agriculture and climate issues are also causing tensions with D66 in the current coalition. These kinds of considerations apparently play a lesser role for Hoekstra with the PvdA, with which the CDA has collaborated in cabinets on several occasions in history. Also in Rutte’s VVD there is some booing about cooperation with Klaver. The prime minister took a square behind Hoekstra on Friday, but does so from a much more comfortable position. Rutte does not have to contend with a party that has not yet processed the relegation to one of the smaller parties in parliament.

Modesty is appropriate for us, Hoekstra said after the election loss. Kaag will blame him if he thwarts her dream of a five-party coalition in advance. Moreover, such a coalition has the broad support in parliament that almost all parties consider necessary when it comes to the recovery plan and other major issues. Hamer said on Friday that she “heard different things inside than outside.” Let’s see if she can still get the goat over the dam.
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