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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:06 am    Post subject: Dutch election - who is Geert Wilders ? Reply with quote

Dutch election 2017: Who is Geert Wilders?


By Vin Shahrestani and
Telegraph Reporters
9 March 2017 • 12:14pm


Who is Geert Wilders?

Mr Wilders is the founder and leader of the Dutch far-right Party for Freedom, (PVV) which he created in 2006 to "limit the growth of Muslim numbers" in the Netherlands.

The 63-year-old is nicknamed "Mozart" because of his shock of platinum blond hair which has become as much a trademark as the hardline views that once resulted in a travel ban from Britain.

His popularity comes despite being found guilty in December 2016 for hate speech committed in 2014, in which he asked a rally in The Hague whether there should be “more or fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands”.



The crowd responded by saying “fewer, fewer”, a move which a judge at Schiphol Judicial Complex found to be an organised political stunt.
Four things you need to know about the Dutch elections

What does he want?

Mr Wilders has been campaigning on an anti-immigration platform for more than a decade but his support has leapt in the wake of Europe's refugee crisis.

His party wants to ban the Koran, shut all mosques and asylum centres and take the Netherlands out of the EU.

He has said he hopes to start a “patriotic spring” ahead of elections in France and Germany later in the year, where far-Right parties are already gaining ground.


Geert Wilders campaigns in Spijkenisse, a suburb of Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Mr Wilders campaigns in Spijkenisse, a suburb of Rotterdam, Netherlands. Credit: Reuters


How is he doing in the polls?

Mr Wilders' led opinion polls for most of last year but is now losing ground to the conservative Christian Democrats (CDA) and the far-left Socialists as the election on March 15 draws closer.



His party is running second behind the pro-business liberals of Prime Minister Mark Rutte, which along with the CDA has toughened some of its rhetoric on immigration and Islam in the hope of capturing support from Wilders.



Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, leader of the Liberal party (VVD) party. Credit: EPA


Can he become prime minister?

There is little realistic prospect that Mr Wilders will become leader. His party is only expected to win up to 27 seats in parliament, far short of the 76 needed to form a government.

Other parties have emphatically refused to form a coalition with Mr Wilders, raising the prospect that the leader of the largest party in parliament could be prevented from running the country for the first time since 1977.

Analysts instead expect Mr Wilders to remain in opposition while a coalition of four or more of the 28 parties on the ballot forms a government.
Watch the top video to find out more on Mr Wilders' rise.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new.....t-wilders/
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Monkey Cage
 Analysis

Will the ‘Dutch Trump’ win next week’s election in the Netherlands?


By Matthew E. Bergman


March 8


Supporters of Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders hold leaflets bearing his image and a slogan that translates as “Make Netherlands ours again” at his election campaign launch in Spijkenisse on Feb. 18. (John Thys/AFP via Getty Images)

After the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s win in the U.S. election, are the March 15 Dutch elections the next big test of nationalist populism? Geert Wilders’s Party for Freedom (PVV) may be leading the polls, but there are many reasons that a nationalist-led government might not come to pass in the Netherlands.

Here’s what you need to know about the Dutch elections:

1) Wilders shares many similarities with Trump

Wilders founded the PVV on an explicit anti-Muslim platform that calls for making “the Netherlands ours again,” banning mosques — which he compares to “Nazi Temples” — and closing the Dutch borders.

For reasons beyond his distinctive bleached hair, the press calls Wilders the “Dutch Trump.” He attended the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland and praised Trump’s victory and travel ban. Wilders also spoke of his International Freedom Alliance’s “mission to stop all immigration from Islamic countries” at a 2014 speech in Palm Beach, Fla. Like Trump, Wilders’s message is all about “your own country first, being independent, having heavy concerns about immigration, and the jobs of your own people.”

[Is there a rising tide of Euro-skepticism in the Netherlands?]

Wilders was charged with inciting discrimination for his 2014 pledge to reduce the number of Moroccans in the Netherlands and for comparing Islam to Nazism in 2011. In February, he drew criticism for a comment about the “Moroccan scum in the Netherlands.”

He often takes his message directly to audiences via Breitbart contributions, his PVV party website and a personal blog. Like Trump, he tweets, complaining about the “undemocratic” political system, Dutch judges for being “completely out of touch,” other parties that refuse to work with him and “corrupt Muslim-police” protection. Wilders even briefly had to halt campaign events after a member of his security detail leaked information to a Dutch-Moroccan gang.

And like Trump, he frequently retweets when others provide him favorable mentions.

Like Trump, Geert Wilders spends a lot of time on Twitter.
Like Trump, Geert Wilders spends a lot of time on Twitter.

2) It’s hard to get a majority in the Dutch electoral system

The 13 million or so Dutch voters don’t vote directly for a prime minister or president. And they don’t vote for a single representative per district, as parliament seats are distributed proportionally based on national party vote totals. With 150 seats decided in this manner, the Dutch electoral system is the one of the most proportional systems in use.


Earning 0.67 percent of the national vote entitles a party to a seat. In the 2012 elections, for example, 50+, a pensioners party, and the Party for the Animals each won 1.9 percent of the vote. Receiving double the threshold enabled each to claim two seats in parliament.

The lengthy March 15 ballot will list 28 parties, but only 11 to 15 parties are expected to win seats.

After the winning parties distribute their share of the seats in parliament, the candidate who wins a majority of the votes from the 150 members of parliament (MP) is selected as the prime minister — the country’s chief executive. To gain the support of at least 75 MPs and become prime minister, party leaders make policy deals and offer cabinet posts to other parties. These discussions, on average, take three months.

Only two parties are expected to claim more than 20 seats — Wilders’s PVV and VVD, the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy. The pro-business VVD is the largest party in the Netherlands. In all likelihood, forming a government will require a coalition, and support from four parties. All major parties have refused to cooperate with the PVV.

3) Who are the main parties and where do they stand?

Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s VVD has its preferred partners: Rutte’s former 2010 ally, the Christian Democratic Alliance (CDA), now a midsize party; and the progressive, pro-European Union, neo-liberal D66. D66, a midsize party, favors same-sex marriage, euthanasia, legalized prostitution and marijuana growing. This coalition would be committed to increasing employment.

The party that is currently the second largest, the Labor Party (PvdA), is projected to lose big in the election, according to a poll of polls. Some Labor supporters are disappointed with PvdA’s compromises to the conservative VVD after five years in government together. Two other left-wing parties, the Greens and the Socialists — a populist-left, anti-E.U., anti-globalization party — are projected to do well.

For now, there seem to be three potential outcomes: (1) an anti-Rutte-Wilders coalition of at least six parties; (2) Rutte going back on his earlier pledge and bringing Wilders into government; (3) Rutte’s proposed conservative coalition gaining enough votes to form a government without the PVV.



4) No matter the outcome, the Netherlands is headed in a nationalist direction

Even if the PVV isn’t part of the new government, its populist and nationalist rhetoric has influenced other parties. NOvA, a Dutch law society, concluded in February that the manifestos of all five leading Dutch parties are “openly discriminatory,” illegal and contrary to the constitution.

[Europeans might be willing to take refugees — but only if they help the economy]

At the first leader debate, the Christian Democratic Alliance leader noted that without reform, “Brexit might not be the last exit from the E.U.” The PvdA leader called for “being proud of the Netherlands again.” The CDA leader also rejected a coalition with the left-leaning parties, noting that they are “minefields apart” when it comes to environmental policy and migration issues — and with the CDA proposal to ban foreign funding for mosques in the Netherlands.

[So what’s next for democracy and politics in the United Kingdom?]

The ruling VVD passed legislation to limit face-covering clothing in schools, public transport, health care and government facilities. Rutte is proposing stricter rules on immigrants, including a ban of face-coverings in public, an increase in the minimum residency period for naturalization, requiring employment for immigration and language requirements for citizenship, and revoking citizenship from criminal immigrants.


Rutte even penned an open letter to “make crystal clear what is normal and what is not normal in our country … If you reject our country so fundamentally, I’d prefer you leave …. Act normal or leave.”

Polls — and final results — can drastically change. New voters constitute 6.6 percent of the electorate, and they do not favor the mainstream VVD. In the last election, the Socialists led in the polls in the last two weeks yet finished fourth overall.

Research suggests that Dutch voters are able to discern the complexities involved with coalition bargaining and that up to 10 percent of voters will make their choice along such lines. Just before the 2012 election, the support for the Socialists and the PPV collapsed as voters looked tactically toward potential coalitions. In a close race in the Dutch proportional system, even the smallest of swings can affect who comes to power.


At this point, one thing is clear: Whether accepted into government or not, Wilders can claim victory over the battle of ideas. The big question is whether the “patriotic spring” against political elites that started with Brexit and continued with Trump’s election last fall will see its next awakening in the Netherlands.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/03/08/dutch-voters-head-to-the-polls-on-march-15-here-are-4-things-to-know/?utm_term=.4a70c74bc62e
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meet Geert Wilders, the peroxide-blond anti-Islam crusader who could soon top Dutch elections


Michael Birnbaum, Washington Post | March 12, 2017 | Last Updated: Mar 12 5:40 PM ET
More from Washington Post
.
Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch Freedom Party, carries election leaflets while campaigning in Valkenburg, Netherlands, on Saturday, March 11, 2017.



He warns about the perils of Muslim immigrants. A single well-lobbed tweet can ignite his nation’s political scene for days. And in a time of relative prosperity, he has succeeded in focusing dark fears about what is happening in mosques across his land.

The peroxide-blond Dutch politician Geert Wilders was executing the Trump playbook long before the U.S. president started his insurgent campaign for the White House. And in Dutch elections Wednesday, Wilders has a strong chance to come out on top, cementing the influence of a politician who wants to ban the Koran, shut down mosques and upend his nation’s sleepy political scene.

Nervous leaders across Europe are looking to the Netherlands this week for clues about elections this year in France and Germany. There, anti-Islam, anti-European Union candidates also are capitalizing on fears about a wave of mostly Muslim refugees and migrants who have surged over their borders in recent years.

Even if Wilders is barred from power by the wide range of parties that are refusing to cooperate with him, he already has tugged his nation’s political discourse toward a far harder line on immigrants. Anxious to capture Wilders voters, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said this year that immigrants needed to work harder to fit into Dutch society or they should leave — a stark departure from a centuries-old Dutch tradition of acceptance.

“These elections are historic, because the Netherlands can choose on the 15th of March if we want to give our land away further or if we are going to recapture it,” Wilders said this month.


JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images

JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty ImagesA protester holds a banner reading "Refugees welcome, racists are not" during a demonstration against the Freedom Party in Heerlen on March 11, 2017. .

Mainstream politicians shake their heads at Wilders’s contradictions, even as they scramble to match his common-person’s touch. The man who is railing at the establishment is one of the longest-serving members of the Dutch parliament, a fixture of The Hague for nearly 20 years. He is a man who directs his message straight to the gut of ordinary Dutch voters but has hardly any contact with them, as assassination concerns have forced him to live on the move — surrounded by a bristling guard detail — since the 2004 murder of anti-Islam filmmaker Theo van Gogh.

Although he dominates Dutch airwaves and political discussions, Wilders rarely grants interviews to the media, preferring to avoid tough questions by communicating through Twitter. And despite his bar-the-door attitude toward immigration, his mother was born in Indonesia and his hair dye has bleached away the dark curls that once drew racist schoolyard taunts.

“Ever since I knew him starting in 1997, he has been talking about the dangers of radical Islam. And no one in politics was interested at the time,” said Mark Verheijen, a former senior leader of the ruling center-right People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, where Wilders started his career before splitting to form his own party.

After the 9/11 attacks, “he really got wings,” Verheijen said. “He talked about it on Page 32 of the newspaper and suddenly it was a Page One topic.”


In Wilders’ southeastern Dutch home town of Venlo, residents are split about whether their native son is a source of pride or shame. The future firebrand grew up here in middle-class comfort, attending public schools that drew from Venlo’s mostly white, Catholic population; roaming the compact, manicured streets; and pursuing minor rebellions, such as wearing a leather jacket in class.

“It wasn’t the person that you now see,” said Joep Bingels, a former classmate who says he and other boys would pretend to have kung fu fights in the Wilders family basement.

Later Wilders traveled to Israel and worked on a kibbutz there, a trip he described as transformative in shaping his pro-Israel, anti-Muslim views.

He has held onto his distinctive regional accent, a point of pride for locals who have long bridled at rule by the faraway Protestant elite in The Hague. Wilders always has maintained a supportive stronghold in his home region.


Carl Court/Getty Images

Carl Court/Getty ImagesPeople walk along a shopping street on Feb. 21, 2017 in Venlo, Netherlands. .

“A lot of people think the things he says, but he says it,” said Marc Schatorjé, 49, who works as a supervisor at a roofing tile manufacturer near Venlo. “I don’t have a problem with the whole of Islam, just Moroccans and immigrants who don’t make you feel safe on the street anymore.”

But others resent his pull on the nation’s political discourse.

“Every city has its idiot, and ours is Geert Wilders,” said Abbie Chalgoum, 37, a high school teacher who moved to Venlo from Morocco when he was a child.

“When you have a prime minister saying you have to work harder to fit in,” he said of Rutte’s message to immigrants, “can’t we work equally? Don’t we have equal chances?”


It’s ammunition for his populist argument that there is an elite that doesn’t listen to the concerns of ordinary citizens
.
For now, the answer may be no. Wilders pulled ahead in opinion polling after Trump’s November victory, starting the year with 20 per cent support in the polls, a result that would have made him the dominant political leader in the fragmented Dutch political landscape. His appeal was only enhanced by a December criminal conviction for inciting discrimination against Dutch Moroccans.

“It’s ammunition for his populist argument that there is an elite that doesn’t listen to the concerns of ordinary citizens,” said Matthijs Rooduijn, an expert on populist parties at Utrecht University.

Wilders has since slumped to second place, but only after the prime minister took on rhetoric that could have come from the challenger’s mouth.

His participation in governing the Netherlands would not be unprecedented — he was a member of a ruling coalition from 2010 until 2012 — but in an era of rising euroskepticism, his most radical messages have powerful new traction. Wilders has long been financially supported by some of the most extreme anti-Islam voices in the United States, and those activists have moved straight into the White House with Trump’s election — a 2015 donation to Wilders of about $125,000 from David Horowitz, an anti-Islam activist who writes for Breitbart News, was the biggest single political donation in the country that year.


Peter Dejong / AP

Peter Dejong / APPopulist anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders prepares to address judges at the high-security court near Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam on Nov. 23, 2016..

Still, most observers expect that Wilders will not take part in any coalition following the election, forcing mainstream parties to form a broad and weak alliance to muster a majority in parliament. If it fails, Wilders may be the long-term beneficiary.

“Wilders is assuming that everything will be broken very soon and that when it does, the urgency to ask him to be the prime minister will be bigger than the aversion to work together with him,” said Wim Kortenoeven, a former ally who split following internal party struggles.

Wilders says that he is seeking ballot box triumph.

“There is a lot of Moroccan scum in Holland who makes the streets unsafe,” Wilders said at a campaign appearance in the town of Spijkenisse, where he spoke in English to drive home his message to his broad new international audience.

“I have one message to the Dutch people, and that is, if you want to regain your country, if you want to make the Netherlands for the people of the Netherlands,” he said, “then you can only vote for one party.”

http://news.nationalpost.com/n.....lections-2
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'We do reasonable' – so why are Dutch voters abandoning the centre ground?


After years of backing catch-all centre parties, many in the Netherlands are turning towards anti-politics-as-usual alternatives for the 15 March election


Jon Henley
Jon Henley in Purmerend


Monday 13 March 2017 05.00 GMT Last modified on Monday 13 March 2017 17.58 GMT


In Purmerend on market day, there is little to suggest the Netherlands may be on the brink of a populist uprising. Little, even, to show the country is days from an election widely portrayed – though not, on the whole, by the Dutch – as the next step in the overthrow of the liberal world order.

On Kaasmarkt, a queue waits patiently in the shadow of the Niklaas church to be served at the stall of Beuse, cheesemongers since 1928. On Koemarkt, the 15th-century cattle market that is now the town’s main square, shoppers sip strong coffee in weak sunshine outside Café Aad de Wolf, talking about anything but politics.

“It’s a bit strange,” said Annemarie Akkerman, 38, a pharmaceuticals manager and liberal VVD party voter. “We get the BBC and some US channels on the cable, you know, and they’re all like, that’s it, the Dutch are next in line, for sure. And we’re: this is Holland, you know? We don’t do that. We do reasonable.”

But for all the bemusement of many Dutch voters at the global spotlight on the far right, anti-Islam Geert Wilders and the chances of his Freedom party (PVV) winning the parliamentary election on 15 March – and prolonging the populist insurgency begun by the Brexit vote and Donald Trump – this remains a very strange election.

A PVV victory is still conceivable, although after leading the polls for nearly two years the party has now slipped to second behind the VVD of prime minister Mark Rutte – whose overtly uncompromising stance in a diplomatic spat with Turkey this weekend will have done him no harm at all with voters tempted by Wilders’ anti-Islam rhetoric.

As many as 40% of voters are still undecided; as many as 15% will not make up their mind until voting day. But even if the PVV does finish top, Wilders is unlikely to enter government: no other major party will work with him.


The deeper story in the Netherlands is one of voters abandoning en masse the mainstream parties of centre right and centre left that have governed the country for the past half-century, and turning instead to an astonishing array of smaller, newer, anti-politics-as-usual parties from across the political spectrum.


The party of Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister, is the favourite to win the upcoming election. Photograph: John Thys/AFP/Getty Images

With seats distributed by direct proportional representation and 70,000 votes enough to give a party one of parliament’s 150 seats, the Dutch political landscape has never looked so fractured. A record 14 parties could end up with at least one MP, eight with 10 or more and six – including the PVV – with up to 25.

Wilders will still be way short of the 76 seats needed for a majority. But even if, as seems most likely, he is effectively locked out of government, a bigger anti-establishment genie is out of the bottle. That could make building a coalition and sustaining a stable government a long and tricky job.

Purmerend is half an hour north of Amsterdam in the polders, the low-lying land reclaimed from water that dominates northern Holland. Round a fine old centre of bricks and gables have sprouted new neighbourhoods of smart, low-rise apartment blocks and neat townhouses with well-tended gardens. The town has grown quickly in recent decades, from 10,000 inhabitants in the 1960s to 80,000 today.


It is a thoroughly representative Dutch town. Unemployment stands at 6% and immigrants make up 25% of the population. Purmerend is averagely prosperous, averagely safe – and politically average. The last time it voted, in the provincial election of 2015, Wilders’ PVV finished on top with 18% of the vote.


Why would nearly one-fifth of the electorate of a town such as this – in a strong economy, low-unemployment country such as this – vote for a man like Wilders, whose one-page election manifesto includes pledges to close mosques and Islamic schools, ban sales of the Qur’an, bar Muslim immigrants and take the Netherlands out of the EU?

“We’re ashamed of the man,” said Irene Muusze, 71, walking across Kaasmarkt with her partner, Johan Helffer, 69. Both will be voting for the progressive, eco-friendly Green-Left party next week. “He’s shameless,” Muusze added. “He knows how to wind people up. That’s all.”


What Helffer objected to, he said, was that Wilders, and a fair few of the other outliers and popups on the ballot paper, such as Denk, aimed at Moroccan and Turkish immigrants, and the arch-Eurosceptic Forum for Democracy (FvD), is “a polariser. A divider. And that’s not the Dutch way. We are compromisers. Always have been”.

But for many in the Netherlands now, polarity is the attraction. The endless and amorphous compromise of Dutch politics is driving voters, in Purmerend and across the country, not just to Wilders, but to parties such as the radical Socialists, the socially progressive liberals of D66 and the fast-growing Green-Left.

To anywhere, in short, but the traditional, catch-all centre parties. There was a time, back in the 1980s, when the Netherlands’ Christian and social democrats – CDA and PvdA – could comfortably count on more than 50 MPs each. This year, they will do well to muster 30 between them.


By the free-market 1990s, with politics shifting to the right, the CDA had largely given way to the far more economically liberal VVD, but it too had no trouble governing with the PvdA. In a country governed for more than a century by coalitions, the parties of the centre have become, to many, indistinguishable.


“Everything could be rationalised away,” said Purmerend’s avuncular mayor, Don Bijl from the VVD, in the town hall. “And it was. People felt lost. The traditional parties couldn’t give answers people understood. No one knew what anyone stood for. Governing became about efficiency, technocracy, management.”

But it was not all about that. Society was also changing, Bijl said, in ways some people did not like. “In Purmerend, there are a lot of people who moved out of Amsterdam because, well, they felt their neighbourhoods had changed. Moroccan families had moved there; their streets no longer felt the same,” he said.


“Now they’re here and they don’t want it to happen again. All our surveys show people are happy here – good social provision, no real poverty, minimal crime. But some people in Purmerend will vote for the PVV not because they are unhappy, but because they are happy, and afraid of losing it.”

That could be one reason why, at the height of Europe’s refugee crisis in late 2015, there were protests, and some riots, in several Dutch towns at government plans to build large-scale asylum-seekers’ centres. Arie-Wim Boer, a local councillor who led the opposition in Purmerend, insisted it was not down to anti-Muslim sentiment.

“It was just bad communications,” said Boer, whose party is called Leefbaar (Livable) Purmerend. “There was no prior consultation, no community involvement. We had serious questions about location, access, impact. And about this town’s 10-year waiting list for social housing for young people.”


Finally, after a meeting so heated the police were called, the council voted against the centre. “There were cheers from a few,” Boer said. “‘Our country for us,’ that sort of thing. But you get some of that everywhere. And I told them – lots of people told them: that’s not what this is about. Really.”


Wilders, whose party is anti-EU and anti-Islam, talks to supporters while a man holds a sign saying ‘refugees welcome’. Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

It is, of course, hard to know how far that is true. Surveys suggest that while the generally open and tolerant Dutch care more than most European nations about preserving their customs and lifestyle, they sympathise with genuine refugees: a 2015 survey found 70% would accept an asylum centre in their town.

The migration crisis has, in any event, now largely receded, and with it, steadily, popular support for Wilders, sliding since December. Refugees are still a talking point, though probably not to the extent he would want.

In Purmerend, few seemed happy to say Wilders had their vote. “The others have just broken too many promises, and done nothing,” said one middle-aged man, who asked not to be named. “I could vote PVV. But I wouldn’t expect Wilders to be prime minister. That would not be good.”



However he performs, the broader anti-establishment discontent the blond populist has helped fuel clearly remains. By international standards, the Dutch are well-off and well looked-after: healthy economy, high employment, relative equality, enviable welfare state.


The 'Jessiah': the Dutch progressive trying to turn back the populist tide

Read more

But it depends what your reference point is, said Gijs Schumacher, a political scientist at the University of Amsterdam. “Dutch voters don’t compare themselves to people in other countries,” Schumacher said.

“They compare themselves to themselves, but back in the 1990s” – before the financial crisis and September 11. “Objectively, things may be good, but it’s all really about perceptions.”

And against that background, the outliers among the Netherlands’ huge array of parties – 28 are running in all – offer a promise, however false, of protection, said André Krouwel of Amsterdam’s Free University: for Dutch culture, wages, rents, pensions – even for animals.

“Voters simply no longer trust the traditional parties to look after them,” Krouwel said. “And in times like this, people who feel vulnerable, who are angry and worried, want to feel taken care of. They are drawn to an alternative party.”

The question that begs is how far – and on what – the five parties polls suggest will have to work together to form the Netherlands’ next government will be able to agree. Wilders or no Wilders, Dutch politics could be about to become a deal less reasonable than it once was.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/13/dutch-voters-netherlands-election-wilders
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dutch election: Geert Wilders warns 'genie will not go back in the bottle'


Voting starts across the Netherlands amid diplomatic row with Turkey that analysts say boosted prime minister Mark Rutte



Geert Wilders, far-right Party for Freedom leader, casts his ballot at a polling station in The Hague.


Jon Henley in Amsterdam


Wednesday 15 March 2017 08.37 GMT First published on Wednesday 15 March 2017 07.00 GMT


Millions of Dutch voters head to the polls today in a high-stakes general election overshadowed by a diplomatic standoff between Turkey and EU capitals that analysts believe has played in the prime minister’s favour.

The vote has been widely viewed abroad through the prism of the UK’s Brexit referendum and Donald Trump’s US victory. On Tuesday late polls gave Mark Rutte’s liberal centre-right VVD party its clearest lead yet over Geert Wilders’ populist, anti-Islam Freedom party, which some put down in third or even fifth place.

Wilders appeared early on Wednesday morning to cast his vote at a polling station in The Hague. After casting his ballot, Wilders told reporters: “Whatever the outcome of the election today, the genie will not go back into the bottle.”


Experts said the increasingly acrimonious spat with Ankara – over the Dutch refusal to allow Turkish ministers to campaign in the Netherlands for a referendum on plans to grant Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, sweeping new powers – had benefited Rutte.

In a campaign dominated by Wilders’ core themes of immigration and integration, the row “allowed Rutte to show himself as a statesman – and to send a Turkish minister packing”, said André Krouwel, a political scientist at Amsterdam’s Free University.

“What better publicity could a politician want a few days before an election?” Klouwer said. “Rutte was able to show he could actually expel Turks, and to tell Wilders: ‘You’re just sitting there, tweeting’ … This has won Rutte the election.”

A survey by the Dutch pollster Maurice de Hond said 86% of voters backed the way the two-term Dutch prime minister, 50, had handled the situation.



On Tuesday, however, having suspended high-level relations and repeatedly described the Dutch government as Nazis, Erdoğan warned the Netherlands it faced further retaliation.

Erdoğan said he held the Netherlands responsible for Europe’s worst mass killing since the second world war. In a televised speech, he said of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre: “We know the Netherlands and the Dutch … we know how rotten their character is, from their massacre of 8,000 Bosnians there.”

In an episode that 20 years later remains a national trauma, Dutch UN peacekeepers failed to prevent killings for which a UN tribunal later found the former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžić guilty of genocide.

Rutte denounced Erdoğan’s claim as a “repugnant distortion of history”, saying the Dutch would “not lower [themselves] to this level”.



Foreign votes could be crucial to Erdoğan’s efforts to win the referendum, the outcome of which is likely to be tight. More than 1.4 million Turkish nationals eligible to vote live in Germany, with a further 250,000 in the Netherlands.

Erdoğan described the Netherlands, and Germany – which has also barred Turkish ministers from trying to drum up expat votes – as “bandit states” that were harming the EU.

Germany’s interior minister, Thomas de Maizière, said Ankara was playing the role of victim as it sought to “build solidarity” in the run-up to its referendum. Germany would not take part in a “competition of provocations”, he said.



The Turkish president also accused the Netherlands of “state terror” over the weekend’s events, when Turkey’s family minister, Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya, was escorted out of the country and the foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, denied permission to land.

As many as 28 parties are fielding candidates in the Dutch vote, with Rutte’s liberal VVD party on course to win up to 28 seats in the 150-seat parliament, and Wilders, having led in the polls for the best part of two years, predicted to secure 24.


On Wednesday, Erdoğan’s comments were denounced by the European council president, Donald Tusk. “Rotterdam, the city of Erasmus, totally destroyed by the Nazis, which now has a mayor born in Morocco: if any anyone sees fascism in Rotterdam they are completely detached from reality,” he told a plenary session of the European Parliament.

Tusk’s remarks were echoed by the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, who told parliament he was “scandalised” by the Turkish comments, saying they drove Turkey further away from becoming a member of the EU.



Geert Wilders talking to Mark Rutte during a national televised debate this March. Photograph: Yves Herman/AP

Wilders’ performance is being keenly watched ahead of the presidential elections in France, in which the Front National leader, Marine Le Pen, is expected to reach the second-round run-off, and before a possible strong showing by the far-right Alternative for Germany party (AfD) in German parliamentary polls this autumn.

But the Dutch vote is about far more than Wilders, who was found guilty of inciting discrimination in December and whose brief election manifesto includes pledges to close mosques, ban sales of the Qur’an, bar Muslim immigrants and take the Netherlands out of the EU.



In a Dutch parliament fragmented as never before, a record 14 parties are expected to wind up with at least one MP, including eight with 10 or more and six with up to 25. Analysts expect the governing coalition that emerges will involve at least five parties. Up to 15% of voters have yet to make up their minds.

“Wilders will play no role in forming the government,” Krouwel said. “But he has played a huge part in the campaign and in that sense has already won, because the two biggest rightwing parties have adopted his policies.”

Besides the VVD, the centre-right Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) is forecast to fare well, while on the left, the social democrat Labour party (PvdA) – part of Rutte’s governing coalition – is expected to lose most of its MPs.

But the pro-EU, liberal-progressive Democrats 66 (D66) party is on track to return more, and GroenLinks (the Green Left) is on course for its best ever result – and a possible kingmaker role.

The EU-Turkey standoff has further strained relations already frayed over human rights, and looks likely to dim yet further Turkey’s prospects of joining the bloc, a process that has been ongoing for more than 50 years.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/15/dutch-pm-mark-rutte-boosted-by-spat-with-turkey-as-election-nears
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hours before elections, Dutch have a problem: They can’t decide whom to vote for



Dutch Green-Left party leader Jesse Klaver campaigns outside a train station in Leiden, Netherlands, on March 14. There will be 28 political parties vying for power in the nation’s elections March 15. (Dylan Martinez/Reuters)

By Michael Birnbaum

March 14 at 2:25 PM 

UTRECHT, Netherlands — Just hours before Dutch voters went to the polls Wednesday in an election whose results will ricochet across Europe, many people couldn’t make up their minds.


Faced with a dizzying 28 political parties and worried that the Netherlands’ coalition-driven system means that both center-right and center-left leaders push the same policies, as many as 40 percent of voters were still undecided heading into the elections.

It might be a campaigner’s dream: a true last-minute opportunity to capture ballots. But the unsettled political arena is also a warning sign that voters across Europe are deeply dissatisfied with the status quo ahead of pivotal votes this year in France, Germany and possibly Italy. The outcomes will shape the direction of the continent for years to come.


In the Netherlands, far-right, anti-immigrant nationalist views, once considered fringe, have now entered the Dutch mainstream. (Photo: Michael Robinson Chavez/Video: Anna-Maria Magnusson / Full Story Media for The Washington Post)

[The peroxide-blond crusader who could soon top Dutch elections]

Anti-Muslim leader Geert Wilders, who recently called some Moroccans “scum,” is poised to come at or near the top of the polls Wednesday, a development that would hearten anti-immigrant leaders in neighboring nations. But he is unlikely to find enough partners to govern, so a patchwork constellation of smaller parties will probably have to form an alliance instead.

“If I want to vote, it’s for social security, the welfare state,” said Amel Elbali, 28, a teacher who stopped to chat with campaigners from the surging pro-European Union Green-Left party in front of the main train station in Utrecht on Tuesday. He was debating between two left-wing parties, both of which could help blunt anti-immigrant concerns, he said.

“People are angry about the social welfare state. And the Muslims and Moroccans, they’re blamed for everything,” said Elbali, whose mother is Dutch and father is a Moroccan immigrant. He said that if economic problems were fixed, integration problems would probably ease across the nation of 17 million.

The tumult has created opportunities for insurgent parties such as the Green-Left party, an environmentally focused group that supports making changes to the European Union to make it more accountable to voters. The party – led by a charismatic 30-year-old, Jesse Klaver – has risen to fifth place in recent polls, enough support to make it a potential kingmaker in coalition talks. Those are expected to drag on for months.

“You see that people like Trump win, that there is Brexit, and meanwhile you hear that people here are afraid they can't pay for the doctor,” Klaver said Tuesday at the final debate.

Even as the debate got underway late Tuesday, party volunteers were still winning over on-the-fence voters as they campaigned door-to-door in Utrecht – an unusual, U.S.-style innovation for Dutch politics.

Right-wing leader Geert Wilders gestures during a debate Monday in Rotterdam. (Yves Herman/AP)

Still, if the fragmentation opens the doors for new parties to join the government, the likely exclusion of Wilders from power could strengthen him in the long run, analysts say.

“He can make the argument that all the parties are the same,” said Matthijs Rooduijn, a sociologist at Utrecht University who researches far-left and far-right parties. “Convergence is good news for him because that provides him with more space.”

Utrecht has a powerful part in Wilders’s own account of his evolving views about Islam, which he boiled down in this campaign to a single-page platform that calls for the banning of the Koran and the closure of all mosques. The firebrand politician got his start in political office here in 1997 as a city council member, living in a low-income, increasingly immigrant area of the city. He said there were “no-go” zones in his own neighborhood that were plagued with high crime.

[Ahead of pivotal European elections, rightist websites grow in influence]

The reality, observers say, is more complicated. The proportion of Dutch municipalities with between 10 percent and 25 percent non-Western migrants doubled between 2002 and 2015, according to the Netherlands Institute for Social Research, a government research agency, fueled in part by the arrivals of asylum seekers from Middle East conflicts in recent years. Overall, non-Western immigrants rose from 7.6 to 12 percent of the Dutch population between 1996 and 2015.

In Utrecht, the large new Ulu Mosque, built 300 yards from the central train station in 2015, has turned into a local Rorschach test about whether the city is integrating its immigrants or being overrun by them. The mosque’s twin minarets can be seen from around the city, which has historically been the heart of Christianity in the Netherlands. Wilders and allies in parliament tried unsuccessfully to stop the construction.

“It’s a symbol of immigration’s success,” said Fleur de Bruijn, a campaigner for the Green-Left party in Utrecht who on Tuesday was handing out fliers on a plaza within sight of the mosque. “The movement in Europe and America is that you have right-wing populists. But people are saying, ‘Enough. Stop being afraid.’ ”

That may be a winning message for Susanna Groenendijk, 19, a social work student – at least if she makes up her mind to vote for the Greens.

“I didn’t expect I’d be so interested in the election,” she said, as she chatted with de Bruijn. She said she was waffling between the Green-Left party, which she thinks would do a better job on the environment, and the Labor Party, which she favors for its policies on funding university educations.

For now, Groenendijk said, “I’m undecided.”



Annabell Van den Berghe contributed to this report.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/hours-before-elections-dutch-have-a-problem-they-cant-decide-whom-to-vote-for/2017/03/14/944b3306-0828-11e7-bd19-fd3afa0f7e2a_story.html?utm_term=.571639592f95
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This really is much to do about nothing.
Who is going to be in Geert Wilders & The Party of Freedoms' coalition to form Government?

At present none of the parties seem willing and they will need 76 seats to do so and the PVV appears on track for maybe 35 - 40 seats?

Then on Election Night they declare that the "populists" have been defeated when there was never a major threat of them forming government to begin with.
RCO





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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cosmostein wrote:
This really is much to do about nothing.
Who is going to be in Geert Wilders & The Party of Freedoms' coalition to form Government?

At present none of the parties seem willing and they will need 76 seats to do so and the PVV appears on track for maybe 35 - 40 seats?

Then on Election Night they declare that the "populists" have been defeated when there was never a major threat of them forming government to begin with.



there parliamentary system is very weird and makes it much less likely that a right wing party would actually be in government . is pretty much no chance one party outright wins this election and forms government

no doubt be some sort of coalition formed between ? the parties open to that
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RCO wrote:
cosmostein wrote:
This really is much to do about nothing.
Who is going to be in Geert Wilders & The Party of Freedoms' coalition to form Government?

At present none of the parties seem willing and they will need 76 seats to do so and the PVV appears on track for maybe 35 - 40 seats?

Then on Election Night they declare that the "populists" have been defeated when there was never a major threat of them forming government to begin with.



there parliamentary system is very weird and makes it much less likely that a right wing party would actually be in government . is pretty much no chance one party outright wins this election and forms government

no doubt be some sort of coalition formed between ? the parties open to that


Right now the government consists of Mark Rutte's VVD and Lodewijk Asscher's PvdA and their 41 and 38 seats respectively.

In the past the the VVD formed government w/ the CDA (2010).

As Labour (PvdA) appears likely to lose a lot of support,
I would imagine the VVD (Rutte) who is polling in first and the CDA (van Haersma Buma) polling in third will likely have enough support between the two in order to govern maybe having a need to tag in a minor third party.

What makes this election far more interesting is that based on polling we may see the three largest parties in their Parliament all be Centre-Right Parties which I don't believe has ever happened.

That story is far more interesting to me and relevant politically than Wilder sitting in opposition with a caucus size likely slightly larger than he had in 2010.
RCO





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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exit poll suggests Dutch PM Rutte beats anti-Islam leader Wilders


Mike Corder And Raf Casert, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

First posted: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 04:41 PM EDT | Updated: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 07:04 PM EDT



THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Wednesday claimed a dominating parliamentary election victory over anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders, who failed the year’s first litmus test for populism in Europe.

The Netherlands’ main exit poll suggested Rutte’s party won 31 seats in the 150-member legislature, 12 more than Wilders’ party, which shared second place with two other parties.

Following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and Donald Trump’s election as U.S. president, “the Netherlands said, ’Whoa! Stop!’ to the wrong kind of populism,” said Rutte, who is now poised for a third term as prime minister.

“We want to stick to the course we have — safe and stable and prosperous,” he added.

Wilders had insisted that whatever the result of the election, the kind of populist politics he and others in Europe represent aren’t going away.

“Rutte has not seen the back of me!!” Wilders said in a Twitter message after the exit poll results had sunk in.

Both France and Germany have elections this year in which far-right candidates and parties are hoping to make an impact.

“Wilders could not win the election,” German socialist leader Martin Schulz tweeted. “I am relieved, but we need to continue to fight for an open and Free Europe.”

Rutte, who for much of the campaign appeared to be racing to keep pace with Wilders, may have profited from the hard line he drew in a diplomatic standoff with Turkey over the past week.

The fight erupted over the Netherlands’ refusal to let two Turkish government ministers address rallies in Rotterdam about a referendum that could give Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan more powers. It gave Rutte an opportunity to refuse to bow to foreign pressure, a stance with widespread backing in the nation.

Amsterdam Free University political scientist Andre Krouwel said the clash with Ankara allowed Rutte to tell the electorate, “’We are the ones who really protect your interests; we are the ones who go down into the trenches to defend the Netherlands.”’

Under brilliant skies, the Dutch went to vote in huge numbers, with turnout estimated to have reached at 82%.

In a subplot of the elections, the Ipsos exit poll had the Green Left party registering a historic victory, turning it into the largest party on the left wing of Dutch politics for the first time.

The Greens leapt from four seats to 16 in parliament after a strong campaign by charismatic leader Jesse Klaver, who invites comparisons to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, according to the exit poll.

“This is a fantastic result for us, a historic victory,” Green Left chairwoman Marjolein Meijer said.

It remains to be seen if the 30-year-old Klaver will take his party into the next ruling coalition, which looks likely to be dominated by Rutte’s VVD and other right-leaning parties.

The Labor Party of Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem appeared to have been punished by voters in the election, plunging from 38 seats at the last election to just nine, according to the Ipsos exit poll.

Because of the result, it looked unlikely Dijsselbloem would be able to hang on to his post of leading the 19-nation Eurogroup, which manages the currency of the European Union nations that use the euro.

Rutte had framed the election as a choice between continuity and chaos, portraying himself as a safe custodian of the nation’s economic recovery and casting Wilders as a far-right radical who was unprepared to make tough decisions.

The chance of Wilders becoming prime minister in the Netherlands, where a proportional representation voting system all but guarantees coalition governments, was remote, even if his party had placed first in the election.

Wilders’ one-page election manifesto included pledges to close borders to immigrants from Muslim nations, shutter mosques and ban the Qur’an, as well as to take the Netherlands out of the European Union.

Rutte has driven through unpopular austerity measures over the last four years, but the Dutch economic recovery has gathered pace and unemployment has fallen fast.

Wilders, meanwhile, tapped into discontent among voters who say they are not benefiting from economic recovery.

The left-leaning Dutch Labor Party appeared to be hammered by its supporters for its role over the last four years in pushing through a tough austerity package as junior member in a two-party Cabinet with Rutte’s VVD.

The coalition Rutte’s VVD party had with Labor can no longer be replicated and the prime minister is likely to look to the right for new coalition partners.

The main exit poll showed Rutte controlling 31 seats, 10 fewer than his party won in the 2012 elections. Three parties each won 19 — the pro-EU centre party D66, the Christian Democrat CDA and Wilders’ Party for Freedom.

Rutte has been resolute about not wanting to rule with Wilders, so that tightens the market in which he can acquire the necessary 75-seat threshold.

Weeks, if not months of coalition-building talks may be required before a new government is installed.

http://www.torontosun.com/2017.....er-wilders
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Centre-left shift in Dutch election deals blow to populism


Paul Waldie - EUROPEAN CORRESPONDENT

THE HAGUE — The Globe and Mail


Published Wednesday, Mar. 15, 2017 4:25PM EDT


Voters in the Netherlands have delivered a major boost to the European Union, turning away from firebrand populism and electing a decidedly pro-European parliament.

After weeks of bitter campaigning, Wednesday’s election delivered a blow to Geert Wilders’s anti-immigration Freedom Party and major gains for the Green Left, a pro-EU party led by a charismatic 30-year-old with Moroccan heritage.

Dutch PM scores election victory against anti-EU Wilders (Reuters)

The clear shift toward a more centre-left Netherlands government that embraces immigration and Europe will be a sigh of relief for many across the EU. And it bodes well for candidates in France and Germany who share similar beliefs and are leading in public-opinion polls in the run-up to elections in those countries.

Mr. Wilders had been trying to capitalize on the same forces that led to Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. He’d been leading the polls for months, calling Moroccans scum and vowing to close mosques, ban the Koran and pull the Netherlands out of the EU.

Doug Saunders: What if Europe’s elections aren’t about angry intolerance?

There had been fears across the EU that he would win the most seats on Wednesday, causing political turmoil in the Netherlands and bolstering the cause of far-right parties in France and Germany. In a sign of how intense the campaign had become, more than 80 per cent of voters turned out, a stunning figure even for the Netherlands where voter turnout is routinely well above 70 per cent.

But Mr. Wilders’s message failed to gain much traction and the Freedom Party was expected to end up tied with the Christian Democrats and D66, both pro-European parties, with 19 seats in the 150-seat legislature. And Green Left was only slightly behind at 14 seats. However, all four were running well behind the Liberals, who were on track to top the seat count at 33.

Together D66 and Green Left will now have the largest block of seats in parliament and both parties are expected to be part of a coalition government with the Liberals, led by Mark Rutte, the Prime Minister in the outgoing government.

Mr. Rutte said voters had opted not to take any risks on someone such as Mr. Wilders. “It is also an evening in which the Netherlands, after Brexit, after the U.S. elections, said stop to the wrong kind of populism,” he said, amid a crowd of well-wishers who gathered at a hotel in The Hague Wednesday night to celebrate the results.

“I think this is very good news for Europe,” added Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, a Liberal member of parliament who is the country’s Defence Minister in the outgoing government. “All of us have been witnessing Brexit and also Trump. … So I am convinced that Germany, France and all the others with elections coming up will be able to act accordingly.”

Mr. Wilders, who lives in seclusion because of death threats, fired off a tweet saying: “We won seats! We’ve passed the first hurdle! Rutte is not rid of me yet!”

And indeed there are still plenty of worries for EU leaders. Mr. Wilders’s party did win four more seats, not as many as had been predicted only a few months ago but an indication that he remains a powerful figure in the country with a core base of support.


And the two big establishment parties – the Liberals and the Labour Party – suffered drops in support. The Liberals lost nearly 10 seats while Labour went down by close to 30. Analysts said both parties, which had governed in a coalition since 2012, had been punished for a series of austerity measures introduced after the financial crisis that hit in 2008.

Instead, voters turned to a wide selection of other parties, particularly the Green Left. Led by Jesse Klaver, the Greens were heading toward quadrupling their seat total to 16, the biggest gain of any of the 28 parties contesting the election.

Mr. Klaver, whose father is from Morocco and mother is of Dutch-Indonesian heritage, had been cast as the counterweight to Mr. Wilders by strongly supporting the EU and immigration. Mr. Klaver is often compared to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau but his politics are much closer to Democrat Bernie Sanders, whom he considers a kind of mentor.

In a brief interview this week, Mr. Klaver called Mr. Wilders dangerous. “I think we have to make sure that we beat all the populists. Not only here in the Netherlands but all over Europe,” he said. I think it’s time for a new period here in Europe. And the populists for too many years they were too powerful and I think let’s quit with it.”

He and others pointed to the impact of Mr. Trump, suggesting the U.S. President’s election and early days in office had turned off voters and hurt Mr. Wilders, who had aligned himself with Mr. Trump’s message.

Mr. Rutte also received a boost from a recent diplomatic row with Turkey over the Netherlands’ decision to stop two Turkish cabinet ministers from addressing a rally in Rotterdam for Turks planning to vote in a referendum in that country on constitutional changes. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called the Netherland’s actions “Nazi like” and hit back with diplomatic sanctions. Mr. Rutte won support for appearing decisive and standing up to Turkey.

Mr. Rutte also benefited from the growing strength of the Dutch economy. Unemployment is at a five-year low and the country’s economy is forecast to grow by about 2 per cent this year. Over all, the euro-zone economies have been turning around in recent months, with unemployment falling and growth ticking up in most of the 28 countries. That could also help lift pro-EU candidates in France and Germany, such as En Marche! leader Emmanuel Macron and German Socialist Martin Schulz who have been leading in some opinion polls in their respective races.

“I am relieved, but we need to continue to fight for an open and free Europe,” Mr. Schulz said Wednesday after the Dutch results began to come out.

Judith Tesser was relieved too. She campaigned for the Liberals and smiled broadly as the exit polls showed her party led the seat total and was heading back into power.

“People trust the things we do and they believe in our way of working,” she said, amid cheers and boisterous music at the downtown hotel. And she dismissed Mr. Wilders, saying he is all talk and no action.

“Our people here, we are really very tolerant,” she said gesturing around the ballroom. “For us, black and white, whatever religion, everything is the same. We live together, we share everything together, we work together. Populist people will always be around. But for us, it’s just statements and nothing more than that.”

http://www.theglobeandmail.com.....e34313960/
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cosmostein wrote:
This really is much to do about nothing.
Who is going to be in Geert Wilders & The Party of Freedoms' coalition to form Government?

At present none of the parties seem willing and they will need 76 seats to do so and the PVV appears on track for maybe 35 - 40 seats?

Then on Election Night they declare that the "populists" have been defeated when there was never a major threat of them forming government to begin with.


Just Sayin'
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RCO wrote:


The clear shift toward a more centre-left Netherlands government that embraces immigration and Europe will be a sigh of relief for many across the EU. And it bodes well for candidates in France and Germany who share similar beliefs and are leading in public-opinion polls in the run-up to elections in those countries.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com.....e34313960/


What in the world is the Globe talking about?
The Labour party lost 29 seats yesterday the socialists lost 1; whereas the Greens and D66 gained 17 seats combine.

The three largest parties are all centre-right to right parties;

While no one seems interest in working with Wilder and the PVV;
The reality is the VVD, PVD, and CDA have 72 seats and 47% of the popular vote between them.

Toss in the the CU and you are over 50%;
Has that ever happened in a Dutch election?

Yet this is being declared a victory for the centre-left?
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cosmostein wrote:
cosmostein wrote:
This really is much to do about nothing.
Who is going to be in Geert Wilders & The Party of Freedoms' coalition to form Government?

At present none of the parties seem willing and they will need 76 seats to do so and the PVV appears on track for maybe 35 - 40 seats?

Then on Election Night they declare that the "populists" have been defeated when there was never a major threat of them forming government to begin with.


Just Sayin'



this sort of shows what can happen when voters get worked up over a candidate they feel is too right wing . the voter turnout went way up and this allowed for the greens and other parties on the left to gain seats

I'm sure if voters weren't as worked up about the idea of Wilders anti muslim party winning the turnout would of been much lower

( we can also see why the federal liberals here don't want proportional representation , it allows for smaller left of centre parties to gain many seats and gain unheard of influence in parliament as the lefty voters feel safe voting for them under such a system )


I'm not really that familiar with dutch elections to have any idea of the past results or its history but its viewed as a mainly left of centre country politically
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Dutch election - who is Geert Wilders ?

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