Over and out
The prime Minister and the Cabinet resigned earlier this evening... as a consquence of the Ayaan Hirsi Ali/Rita Verdonk discussion.
D66, the smallest coalition party, which is a left-wing free-thinking liberal party decided it could no longer support Verdonk as minister, given the way she had handled the Ayaan Hirsi Ali case. With reason, as the minister refused to accept that she had made any sort of mistake or had acted in haste and so on, when it was so obvious that she had.
The ruling Christian and right-wing liberal parties were not willing to force her to resign, so D66 withdrew its support for the Cabinet, which then resigned.
D66 had for a long time been uncomfortable being in a right-wing domintaed Cabinet and this was a way out for them, after so many. It is a pity that this issue, regarding the treatment of an ex-colleague, was not the biggest issue which has faced this Cabinet, but it did have the advantage of being a clear. well-defined issue upon which one could focus clearly on what was going on.
D66 should never have entered into teh Cabinet. They said before the election that the would not, but after the election, they changed their mind and they DID join. Now they are paying the price for their foolish decision.
We are not sure whether there will be new elections, or whether the remianing two parties might try to carry on, as a minority goverment with support from right wing or fundamentalist Christian parties. The suspicion is that they will want to cary on so that they can get more votes with a give-away budget later in the year.
The Dutch football team came home in disgrace earlier this week, with the Dutch FIFA offering an extension to the contract of the failed trainer, Marco van Basten. Let us hope that when we get a new team in Parliament, that we get a better leader than the one who made the right decision by resigning today.