Mixed result in Netherlands

Written By: - Date published: 9:58 am, March 17th, 2017 - 18 comments
Categories: International - Tags: , , ,

I guess it’s good that some parts of the world are going nuts at a slower rate than others?

Europe’s governments signal relief after Dutch election defeats far right

European governments facing a rising tide of populism heaved a collective sigh of relief after the Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, swept aside the challenge of the anti-Islam, anti-EU, populist. Geert Wilders, in the parliamentary elections.

Angela Merkel was among many EU leaders to congratulate voters on what she called “a good day for democracy”. The German chancellor said she was “very glad”, as she thought many people were, “that a high turnout led to a very pro-European result”.

Putting a brave face on his defeat, Wilders, who led the polls for nearly two years and was at one stage credited with a 25% share of the vote before slumping to barely half that figure on polling day, cracked open champagne to celebrate being the country’s second largest party.

“We would have preferred to be the first,” he conceded on Thursday, but added that the VVD had lost eight seats while he had gained five. “We are not a party that has lost,” he said. “We gained seats. And Rutte is certainly not rid of me yet.” …

Gained seats is not good. Still and all, there’s plenty to like in this result:

Populism can be stopped, says jubilant Dutch GreenLeft leader

GreenLeft was the big winner in Wednesday’s poll, leaping from four MPs to 14 in the 150-seat parliament, topping the bill in Amsterdam and overtaking the stricken social democratic PvdA to become the largest party of the left nationally.

As traditional left and centre-left parties suffer across Europe in countries including Italy, France and Britain, the Dutch GreenLeft, formed 25 years ago by a merger of communists, pacifists, evangelicals and radicals, is growing fast.

The party is unashamedly pro-European and campaigned on a mix of environmental and old-fashioned leftwing policies: tighter bonus rules, zero tax avoidance, sharing of refugees across the EU and obligatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions. …

Time to move to the Netherlands?

18 comments on “Mixed result in Netherlands”

  1. Cynical jester 1

    Well the torys still won but id rather a tory than a fascist.

    Can’t help but think that the dutch labor party is dead and too right, they went into coalition with the torys and deserve to become a non factor, much like in Germany.

    I can see our Labour party doing the same purple coalition to be honest.

    • Johan 1.1

      Mark Rutte’s party the VVD is hardly a Tory party, being slightly right of center.
      The huge loss of seats would be by the PvdA party. GroenLinks and PVV cashing in on the unsafe, anti-Islam feeling in the Netherlands.

      • Johan 1.1.1

        The PvdA a traditional Dutch Labour Party, dropped from 38 to 9 seats, this huge drop will be placed under the microscope for deep analysis.

        • dukeofurl

          Thats what happens when you are in co-coalition with the Tories. Same happened to Liberal- democrats in UK.

          What concerns me , is not that a traditional liberal country like netherlands didnt swing right, but you have a far more concerning results in Hungary, Poland, even Austria.
          Germany will be interesting, but again the SPD will be affected by its Coalition with the CDU.

          • D'Esterre

            Dukeofurl:”you have a far more concerning results in Hungary, Poland, even Austria.”
            We here are in no position to sit in judgement on Europeans’ views on Islam. We have no land borders, and no history of large-scale invasions by other polities – including the Ottoman Empire. We don’t have “the Turk under the Roof”, for instance, with all of its implications.
            We have been fortunate to have been spared the flood of immigrants and refugees in recent times. Note, too, that the countries you adduce here are bearing the burden of a refugee problem that they had no part in causing. The blame lies entirely with the US

          • D'Esterre

            Dukeofurl: the blame for the refugee imbroglio belongs with the US. It’s both a proximate and distal consequence of its insane neoconservative foreign policy in both the middle East and North Africa over the past three decades, more or less. In my view, not only are the citizens of these European countries justified in taking a harder line on Islam and uncontrolled immigration from Muslim countries, for their long-term safety they’d be well-advised to do it.

  2. Wilders will only be around until a Muslim succeeds in killing him, at which point his party would most likely collapse. It’s nice that he’s pushed the centre-right parties to take Islam more seriously, though – now just need the left parties to stop pretending there’s nothing to see here folks.

    • Johan 2.1

      Geert Wilder’s PVV party obtaining 20 seats in the recent election is hardly significant in a 150 seat lower house.

    • D'Esterre 2.2

      Psycho Milt: “It’s nice that he’s pushed the centre-right parties to take Islam more seriously, though…”
      Indeed. And not before time. The fact that Theo van Gogh and Pim Fortuyn were both assassinated for their views about Islam, and Wilders has had to take security precautions, indicates that Dutch society isn’t anything like as tolerant as many people – no doubt including the Dutch themselves – believe.
      People need to take Wilders’ views seriously. Rutte has, even if he’s been motivated by electoral self-interest. And it’s clearly paid off for him and his party.
      He’ll need to follow through, though, if he wants to keep the electorate on side.

  3. Tui 3

    good. at least holland is still one place where a woman can wear a hijab and not be attacked!

    (i’m thinking of getting a hijab myself and wearing it in solidarity with our muslem sisters!)


    • D'Esterre 3.1

      Tui: “(i’m thinking of getting a hijab myself and wearing it in solidarity with our muslem sisters!)”
      Why on earth would you want to do that? And why not a niqab, if you’re wanting to show solidarity?
      Neither hijab nor niqab is necessary to the expression of faith: millions of Muslim women worldwide wear neither garment. Their adoption by young NZ women is purely political. This is a most unfortunate development: women here had better hope that it doesn’t become normative.

  4. james 4

    I love it when Merkel says “a good day for democracy”.

    Isn’t any democratically elected government, where the people get to vote and choose their own leader “a good day for democracy”.

    If Geert Wilders had of won – it would have been a good day for democracy.

    • McFlock 4.1

      Technically yes, but it would also have meant tomorrow would be a bad day for democracy. Takes the edge off the sunshine, a little bit.

      But then of course the popular candidate winning shouldn’t be regarded as a “good day” for democracy: that’s democracy’s only bloody job.

      Leave it to a fragile tory to assume that competently doing the job you’re supposed to do somehow deserves congratulations.

    • Elections do not a democracy make. They’re merely the bare minimum requirement. A win for someone who doesn’t believe in the rest of democratic norms (such as free media, a responsibility to the truth, open government, responsiveness to public feedback, consultation, and devolution of power to local government where possible) is never a “good day for democracy.”

      oh, and grammar protip: there’s no such thing as “had of.” The contraction you’re looking for is “had’ve,” literally “had have,” but it doesn’t belong in that sentence, which only needed “had.” All those “* of”s after verbs are actually “*’ve”s.

  5. D'Esterre 5

    Matthew Whitehead: “…grammar protip”
    Just to be clear: there are only conventions in grammar, no hard and fast rules. What you’re looking at there is likely to be language shift, given that its usage is increasingly common. You may not like it, but there’s bugger-all you can do to stop it. In any event, we understand perfectly well what James means. Which of course is the way with language shift: it doesn’t obscure comprehensibility, it’s just a different way of using the language.
    Almost 20 years ago, somebody who’d spent the summer in France remarked to me that young French people had in ordinary conversation largely abandoned the “nous (we)” construction in favour of “on (one)”. Very interesting: I doubt that l’academie Francaise was too keen on it! But they’d have been no more successful in stopping it than they have been in preventing English words from creeping into common French usage. That’s language shift for you.

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