The CDA must do everything to keep Pieter Omtzigt in the party, but should not rule out the rule with Rutte either. That says part of the constituents in a tour of DeccEit past dozens of departments. DecceIT spoke with CDA group chairmen throughout the country: from Ameland to Heerlen, from Groningen to Vlissingen.
Most say they have not signed the fire letter from two weeks ago, in which 20 departments wrote that the CDA should no longer rule with Rutte.
Local CDA politicians believe that strong efforts should be made to restore confidence. The political crisis surrounding VVD leader Rutte also has its impact on the CDA.
Hague sources confirm that the party summit is working on a solution and has had “good” talks with Omtzigt. The talks will continue this week because there is not yet a solution.
It‘s still unclear what Omtzigt does. An insider thinks that Omtzigt “knows his responsibility and the CDA will not want to break up.” The top of the CDA fears that if Omtzigt would leave or do so when the CDA goes with Rutte.
Omtzigt has been at home sick for some time. During his installation as a member of parliament, he spoke fiercely about the “function elsewhere” suggested to him. Omtzigt denounced obstructing his functioning. “I’ve been lied to for four years.”
Many feel that pain with him. The number two of the CDA is greatly appreciated by many departments for his tenacious and good work, and many hope that he will remain with the CDA. A public gesture from the party would not be out of place.
“ He is of the outside category” says the chairman of the group in Hoorn, Dick Bennis. “You would prefer to have more Omtzigts in the Chamber”, says the Rotterdam group chairman Christine Eskes. “It does hurt how someone has been treated so much for tens of thousands of people,” says Leiden group chairman Joost Bleijie. He can still get angry when he thinks about the words “function elsewhere” and “sensitizing”. The image that came out of the notorious minutes calls Bleijie downright “staggering”. As far as he is concerned, the party has to ask itself very well whether you want to go back together with the same people. He himself doubts but ‘it is ultimately up to the national group’.
All group leaders emphasise this: in the end, the group in the Chamber has the mandate.
It is too easy to attribute everything to Rutte, says Rotterdam‘s chairman Christine Eskes. According to her, there is a broader problem, replacing the dolls is not going to solve that. “It’s not always good in politics, you have to be honest about that, but we have to go on as well.”
“ Such a calculation culture makes no sense,” says Eskes. “We have also ruled for ten years, we are jointly responsible,” says the chairman of the Hilversum Group Olaf Streutker.
More departments bring this to the fore. Changing the culture of governance, you all have to do that, is the idea. Rutte has indicated by wanting and doing things differently. Everyone is curious what they are going to say about that.
Fraction leader De Jong van Ameland thinks that Hoekstra also has some explaining to do. According to him, in the interests of the country, “everyone will have to step over his shadow”.
Many group chairmen refer to the problems facing the country, such as the coronacrisis, the health crisis, the economy, housing problems and the climate. Most people think the CDA should not run away from that. “We all know that you can achieve more if you co-rule,” says Erik-Jan Kreuze from Hoogeveen.
And don‘t forget Rutte’s leadership capabilities, says Dick Bennis from Hoorn. Let‘s be honest, few others have those qualities. The man has made mistakes and I hope he will look at himself in the mirror ten more times, but in the end, tell me who represents us internationally and is leading us through the crisis? I don’t see any other for now.”
In that respect it is exciting what Rutte is coming with tonight, says Ron Dreijer from Haarlem. “Regaining confidence is much more difficult than losing confidence. It will certainly need time.”
“Strong CDA sound‘
If the CDA is going to join a new cabinet again, the party has to “make a big bet” and fight for the ideals. And there really needs to be something to get, emphasises the supporters.
In this respect, departments welcome the evaluation of the election defeat that started under the leadership of Liesbeth Spies.
From cities such as Leiden, Rotterdam and The Hague there is a plea for CDA to highlight the problems in big cities more. Even the sometimes “dusty image” can be better, thinks the chairman of the Hague group, Partiman. “The townsman thinks that the CDA is not a match for him or her, but we can and should be right”.What D66 did with Education should be done by the CDA with care, Partiman thinks: embracing as a theme.
The Rotterdam Christine Eskes wants to give Wopke Hoekstra a message to the formation. He says that, given the results of the election, it is not up to the CDA, and talks about making ‘just in place‘. “That’s all understandable. But we also need a missionary cabinet soon. I‘d say, not too long a pass on the spot, Wopke. Don’t linger too long in that modesty.”