The CDA is also focusing on the theme of social security during the campaign for the parliamentary elections in November. Henri Bontenbal spoke extensively about that theme in his first speech as party leader of the party. He was a guest at Theater De Lieve Vrouw in Amersfoort at a meeting of CDA youth branch CDJA.
Bontenbal believes that the Netherlands has become a country “with two faces”, which is not “cool” for everyone. According to him, there is a growing group of people who do not live in poverty, but who do live in uncertainty. As examples he mentioned young people who cannot find affordable housing and put off starting a family and people who have a normal income, but hardly any money left to save.
The new CDA leader longs for a “decent society” with “togetherness”, in which people “behave normal again” and are not the “plaything” of the market or the government. He believes that politics has gone too far with neoliberal thinking and that confidence in the free market has gone too far. As a result, in his opinion, too many citizens have become isolated “against a cold government and a cold market” and “against each other”.
“Man wants to be seen, as recognition of his or her existence”, he summarized his vision. “In the realization that we always need each other. To me that is Christian democracy. That is our view of humanity. Every person counts.”
In addition to the CDA, Pieter Omtzigt (New Social Contract) and the combination PvdA/GroenLinks, among others, have already announced that they want to focus on the theme of social security.
The CDA will present its draft election program on Monday and Bontenbal has already mentioned a few points that will be included in it. The Christian Democrats want a “substantial increase” in child benefits and the child-related budget, a reduction in the burden on labor and an increase in the burden on assets. The CDA also wants a different government, which “must trust its inhabitants again and act reliably itself”.
The party leader also quoted former CDA politician Hannie van Leeuwen. He said in 2011, when the party had to decide on the tolerance construction with the PVV: “If the party is on its back, then you will try to get the party back on its feet with all the more élan. So I say to all people who tend to drop out: ‘Don’t do it now, come stand next to me and let’s fight for the content together’.”
In a poll by I&O Research last Saturday, Bontenbal’s party came out with a historically low number of seats of three. Many prominent CDA members have indicated that they do not want to be on the list of candidates, such as Bontenbal’s predecessor Wopke Hoekstra, former party leader Hugo de Jonge and party chairman Pieter Heerma.
The CDA announced two weeks ago that they want to go into the elections with Henri Bontenbal at the helm. He has been a member of the House of Representatives for the CDA since 2021. He is a physicist by training and said at his presentation that he stands for a CDA that operates “from the middle”.
- Hoekstra is no longer a minister as of today
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- New CDA leader Bontenbal goes for the political center, without ‘shouting’