Carla Dik-Faber stops: ‘I want my life back’


On a Saturday in August, Member of Parliament Carla Dik-Faber (ChristenUnie) was to take care of her demented father. Then her mother could get out of the house, cycle. And then it was decided in the coalition that they should consult about the labor market conditions in healthcare, the same afternoon. Carla Dik-Faber thought at first, she says: “Just drop it.”

After that, she sat with her iPad on her lap, in the attic of her parents’ house. Her mother stayed at home.

Three days later she was with the other MPs of the ChristenUnie and their employees in Elspeet for their ‘faction days’ and told political leader Gert-Jan Segers that she would retire as a Member of Parliament after the March 2021 elections.

In June she had registered as a candidate for the Lower House. She said in an interview at the Binnenhof to the selection committee of the ChristenUnie that she wanted to be in an eligible position: in the top five. She has been a Member of Parliament since 2012, she speaks about care, medical ethics, agriculture, climate, housing. She had explained to the committee why she thought she deserved such a high place. “When I left I thought: this is not okay. I would have liked to say put me where you think I could be of use to the party. But I now think I was shouting out my doubts. ”

The day before that conversation, she had a debate about the corona virus until night, like almost every week. And it was just before the summer recess. She knew that she would also be busy discussing the virus during the recess. She hoped for a week’s holiday, she had rented a house in Austria with her family. “But I was walking through the mountains with my phone in hand.”

It is not the case, she says a few times, that she does not want to work hard. “It has been very busy for a long time, we have a small fraction and are in the coalition. It means that you can achieve a lot. I do this with my heart and soul. ”

Then why are you stopping?

“I recently had a conversation with a woman in my church. She brought up nitrogen and said that “those farmers” “got off it very easily.” At a family gathering it was about the CBR and that it takes so long before you as an elderly person could renew your driving license. I heard: ‘They should do something about that in The Hague.’ And they meant me. I don’t want that anymore. I just want to be a member of the family again and a sister in the faith in the church. I want my life back. ”

Do you think that too much is being asked of politicians?

“I see a lot of suspicion against the government, reason is often hard to find. But people also believe that politicians should solve their problems. It’s a crazy contradiction and I am not a sociologist, I cannot interpret it. In the summer I had a talk with a group of farmers in Overijssel and I was just handed a whole package of problems, please. ”

What do you say then?

“That we as ChristenUnie stand next to the farmers and want to help them through circular agriculture. But that we also have to make compromises in a coalition. ”

Then they think: yes, that is of use to us?

“People really want you to solve their problems and I understand that. But I found it a very difficult working visit. And I do see that politics itself reinforces this. Then you have something that media reports about and then we come up with motions, new rules. As if we can really solve it all. ”

In the cabinet formation of 2017 it still seemed that medical ethics would become the most difficult theme for Rutte III: D66 wanted a law that regulated that healthy people can receive euthanasia if they find their life ‘completed’, the ChristenUnie is there strongly against. The outcome of the negotiations was that D66 MP Pia Dijkstra would wait with such a bill until an investigation had been conducted into the group of people for whom the law was intended. That investigation took a long time, D66’s law will not be discussed this cabinet term.

You said earlier in NRC that the political fight over medical ethics had to end, you wanted to drink coffee with Pia Dijkstra. Did you do that?



“It was a good conversation. But we disagree. What I find complicated when I talk to her, and also to others, is that you soon hear: you think that way because you are a Christian. Then you have been put in the corner. ”

Was that the way it went over coffee with Pia Dijkstra?

“I do not know that anymore. It was only mentioned again in an interview with her de Volkskrant: ‘If you yourself think that something is not possible based on your religious beliefs, then do not put a blockage on those people who want to. Then I think: oh yes, there he is again. If you as a Christian are against something, you are no longer allowed to participate. ”

Dijkstra and you are now both leaving politics. What are you going to do?

“A few years ago I started a movement with others called Green Faithful. I want to do more in that, closer to people. I recently went out on a Saturday with a nature organization for the World Cleanup Day, we started cleaning a neighborhood. As a Member of Parliament, together with colleagues, I have managed to get a deposit on small bottles and cans. But it is also necessary for someone to take all those cans and bottles off the street with a stick. ”

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