Purple (government)

Purple (government)

Purple (or Paars in Dutch) is the nickname of a government coalition of social-democrats and liberals, excluding Christian-democrats. It is derived from the combination of the colour of the liberals (blue) and social-democrats (red).

Both the Netherlands and Belgium have had such governments. In the Netherlands the two cabinets of Wim Kok (Kok I and Kok II) were composed of social-democrats (PvdA), progressive liberals (D66) and conservative liberals (VVD). The formation of the first purple cabinet was very innovative at the time, combining what was perceived as two extremes: the social-democratic PvdA and the conservative liberal VVD. The progressive liberal D66 was seen as the glue of the cabinet. The cabinet was characterized by consensus, known as the 'poldermodel'. Bill Clinton and Tony Blair hailed Wim Kok and his cabinet for being a perfect example of the so-called Third Way.

In Belgian politics, the term is used as a term for the two governments of Guy Verhofstadt, from 1999 to the general elections of 2007. These cabinets consisted out of social democrats (SP.A and PS) and liberals (VLD and MR). The first government also included the green parties Agalev and Ecolo.

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