Well it has happened. Yesterday the ship of the negotiations for a cabinet consisting of right-liberals (VVD), Christian Democrats (CDA) and the populist Freedom Party (PVV) has run on a sandbar, stalled and the crew is trashing about.
A split team
The negotiations team to form a new cabinet consists of 6 persons. Two from each party. The CDA is represented by Maxime Verhagen and Ab Klink. Ab Klink opposes formation of a cabinet with support from the PVV on grounds of principle. It is not clear which one of Klink's principle's have been violated. Otherwise Klink has send a letter to the party leadership last Monday stating that he thought that his party is getting a raw deal out of the negotiation. He should know. He is one of the two negotiators.
The other negotiator on the CDA team, Maxime Verhagen, wants to press ahead with negotiations.
A narrow majority
Klink has a essential poition any cabinet of VVD, CDA and PVV will have 76 seats out of 150. That is the tiniest of majorities. Every seat is pivotal.
Getting underway again
The CDA MP's met in the early afternoon and have resolved to have talks with all the individual MP's. The idea is to sound them out whether they would agree to continue with the negotiations for a minority cabinet. Whether this makes any sense when the minority cabinet needs all the seats it has. And Ab Klink already having made clear that he wants the negotiations to discontinue is unclear to me.
CDA in dissarray
It is becoming obvious that the CDA is in convulsions and that the troubles which befell Labour (PvdA) and VVD when they had to confront the issues of the failing of Multiculturalism are now hitting the CDA. Its orderly ranks are being ripped apart by discord and fraticide. The CDA is nearly without leadership. The former PM Balkenende has left after the halving of the vote for the CDA. Balkenende's deputy and replacement Camiel Eurling conveniently left politics just before the elections. The old guard of the party is plotting in the shades to sabotage co-operation with the PVV.
Any resolution to these problems is going to be short-lived