It is by far the friendliest debate of the election. During the Youth News Debate, children are allowed to ask questions to the party leaders of the six largest parties in the House of Representatives. They also have to give a speech and are allowed to make proposals from their party program.
Geert Wilders backs down with his proposal to hoist the Dutch flag every day in primary schools. None of the other party leaders support the idea. According to CDA leader Hoekstra, the tricolor is intended for ‘special occasions’ such as football matches and King’s Day.
Lilian Marijnissen (SP) and GL leader Jesse Klaver exchange minor bullying. Marijnissen, for example, thinks that Klaver talks through others too much in debates. When one of the children later asks the GL leader if he also has friends in politics, he retaliates: “I thought I was friends with Mrs. Marijnissen, but she just said very unkind things about me.”
One of the children present asks Rutte which animal he would most like to be for a day. A German shepherd, the prime minister laughs. Rutte used to have a sheepdog. “He would lie in the hall all day watching.”
‘Ajax – Feyenoord merger’
In a quiz about things that occupy children (what is the name of the newborn panda cub in Ouwehand Zoo? Who is the world’s biggest TikTok star? Which famous singer has green hair?), The party leaders have to join forces in teams of two. Klaver has to go with Wilders, Rutte with Marijnissen and Kaag with Hoekstra. They are not the most obvious combinations. “Working with Rutte feels a bit like a merger between Ajax and Feyenoord”, Marijnissen sums it up.
The end of the debate causes emotion among the party leaders. They all receive a note under their seats with a message from the children present. “We think it’s good that you keep up your work despite all security,” Wilders is told, for example. Marijnissen also receives praise: “You look very good, and how cool that you have such a strong opinion.” Klaver is complimented on the fact that he is the only politician on TikTok: “We see there that you can cook well. And you have beautiful curls. ”