May Li Vos and Paul Rosenmöller, the leaders of the Senate, will talk to their leaders Attje Kuiken and Jesse Klaver from the House of Representatives on Thursday.Image Freek van den Bergh / de Volkskrant

    You don’t have to be a PvdA or GroenLinks voter to applaud the ongoing cooperation of both parties. Suppose the SP, Denk, Bij1 and the Party for the Animals would also join. Suppose the ChristenUnie and the BoerBurgerBeweging were just wings in the CDA. Suppose VVD, D66 and Volt were just one large liberal party, as in most other countries, where electoral thresholds and district systems prevent any slightly dissenting opinion from immediately growing into an independent group in parliament.

    How much easier it would be to form a government. How much better could those large parliamentary factions control the cabinet. How many parliamentary debates would be a lot less burdened by the profiling urge of the participants. In short, what an enormous contribution it would make to the better functioning of our parliamentary democracy.

    For those who may be PvdA or GroenLinks voters, there is another beckoning perspective. Because no matter how distressed the PvdA may be, and how disappointed GroenLinks may be about Jesse Klaver’s failed electoral breakthrough; thanks to the fragmented political landscape, there is a great chance of suddenly becoming a political factor again. They do not even need to win more seats than in 2019 to become the largest group in the Senate in May and thus, even more than now, an inevitable discussion partner for the often so uncertainly operating Rutte IV cabinet.

    But of course the parties hope for more. The cooperation should bring the momentum that also lures voters away from the competitors on the left. The impetus that can then be extended to the next national elections, for which the parties will then really go to the barricades with one party leader. The Senate is merely the testing ground for this exciting political experiment.

    That the parties themselves also have to get used to the idea, they proved on Thursday when they presented their lists of candidates for next spring. In all their enthusiasm, the party leaders Mei Li Vos and Paul Rosenmöller emphasized again that this spring ‘the settlement with the cabinet will come’.

    This is not only a denial of the narrow margins of Dutch politics (the left-wing combination, just like D66 and CU now, will again be condemned to compromise with VVD and CDA), but also a very defensive approach. There are more reasons why Mark Rutte on behalf of the right wing has held the initiative at the Binnenhof for twelve years now, but the main one is that the left wing has long since failed to put a beckoning, coherent and accessible alternative program in the spotlight. based on one’s own persuasiveness. Such a program with which not only can the elections be won, but also the cabinet formation afterwards.

    Only if the collaboration also gives an impulse to this will the new RoodGroen become more than the sum of its parts.

    The Volkskrant Commentaar expresses the position of the newspaper. It comes about after a discussion between the commentators and the editors-in-chief.