According to both polls, Jan Peter Balkenende came out as the worst politician of the Netherlands. The public seems to have enough of the Prime Minister who won two elections in a row. Balkenende has lost all his credits in the two years he was prime minister of the Netherlands.
Also, the press does not have much trust in the capabilities of the CDA front man. They elect him second worst after Joao Varela of the LPF.
Jan Peter Balkenende was the surprising winner of the elections shortly after the murder of Pim Fortuyn. Most people in the Netherlands where happy with ‘the state of the nation’, until Fortuyn started shacking up the political tree.
To everybody’s surprise, Wim Kok has become the largest party.
Balkenende formed his first government with the LPF, the party of Fortuyn, and liberal party VVD. It proved a very unstable coalition with the inexperienced Prime Minister loosing all direction when internal power struggles within the LPF made the Dutch cabinet fell within months. In the following election voters restored the former balance in Dutch politics with socialist party PvdA with charismatic leader Wouter Bos as the great come back kid. Balkenende managed to stay with his CDA the largest party.
Balkenende had a rough year after the elections. Given the clear signal that a government with the PvdA was what the voters demanded, he sabotaged the negotiations and formed a government with liberal parties VVD and D66. The government that will be known for having proposed the most rigid financial regime ever. He had no eye for the troubles that sick, poor and elderly people had to endure and claimed that poverty was almost none existent in the Netherlands.
Balkenende became the target of comedians, when he claimed that a popular TV show should be more careful with its imitations of members of the Royal House. Also he went against the wishes of most of the Dutch giving political support to the invasion of Iraq. He also had to deal with troubles inside the Dutch Royal family. Trouble in Europe with the Dutch shooting a blank over the Euro. A visit to George W. Bush showed not an important political European ally, but an awed schoolboy posing next to the American president. The message in the polls was clear; we have no faith in this man.
Remarkably members of Dutch parliament voted second best politician Balkenende. The polls indicate however that the CDA is losing rapidly in newly acquired voters to the PvdA. If Balkenende survives he will still have a fair amount of time until the next elections to prove that he is a better politician than is commonly perceived.