PM second worst politician of the year
15 December 2003
THE HAGUE — Liberal VVD parliamentary leader Jozias van Aartsen has been honoured as the best politician of 2003, while Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende was judged second worst.
The dubious honour of being named the worst politician of the year went to populist LPF MP Joao Varela. He only missed out rising above the PM by a couple of votes, newspaper De Telegraaf reported.
The journalists also chose Social Affairs State Secretary Mark Rutte as the political talent of 2003. Only those who made their debut in Parliament in 2002 or 2003 were eligible for this award.
Prime Minister Balkenende has made a series of public blunders, such as complaining about satirical portrayal of the royal family on television and complaining about a recent protest advertisement depicting him in a singlet vest.
The conservative Christian Democrat CDA leader has taken on the unpopular task of cutting EUR 17 billion from the government budget between now and 2007 to restore vigour in the public finances. Balkenende was also accused of too easily offering political support to the US-led war against Iraq.
The politicians were chosen by parliamentary and political journalists in a poll organised by the NOS radio 1 Journal. The results were announced on Sunday.
Radio 1 also held a public poll in which opposition party Labour PvdA leader Wouter Bos was voted as the most popular politician. But journalists considered him to be the third worst politician of the year.
[Copyright Expatica News 2003]
Subject: Dutch news