Fact. Geert Wilders’ PVV did worse than polls (then again how much faith can you put in their accuracy these days) suggested but still won far more seats (19, but below the peak of 24) than the previous election (15) amidst the highest voter turnout in over 30 years. Somehow this was a rout? The media naturally went into group think mode lambasting the platinum haired demagogue. The German Foreign Ministry followed up tweeting “The Dutch have rejected the anti-European populist. Good for that. We need you for a strong Europe in 2017.” In what way have the people rejected Wilders? Rutte’s party lost a quarter of the seats they held. The Labour Party imploded. The Green-Left Trudeau wannabe was a large winner. Which part of selective journalism did I miss? If anything the German Foreign Ministry just exposed how afraid it is of the instability (which it is indeed a major factor) within Europe. Moreover, the Dutch are speaking for the Dutch not the Deutsche. In fact the Dutch have experienced the foreign policies of the Deutsche in the past and they would play absolutely zero part in their decision making process.
Here is the full breakdown of the 13 parties that will comprise the new Dutch parliament:
VVD (Liberal Party, Prime Minister Mark Rutte) 31 seats vs 41 seats in 2012 elections (24% DOWN)
PvdA (Labor Party, Lodewijk Asscher) 9 seats vs 38 seats in 2012 elections. The party is current government partner with Liberal Party (75% DOWN)
PVV (Freedom Party, Geert Wilders) 19 seats vs 15 seats in 2012 elections (27% UP)
SP (Socialist Party, Emile Roemer) 14 seats vs 15 seats in 2012 elections (7% DOWN)
CDA (Christian Democrats, Sybrand Buma) 19 seats, vs 13 seats in 2012 elections (46% UP)
D66 (Democrats 66, Alexander Pechtold) 19 seats vs 12 seats in 2012 elections (58% UP)
CU (Christian Union, Gert-Jan Segers) 6 seats vs 5 seats in 2012 elections (20% UP)
GL (Green Party, Jesse Klaver) 16 seats vs 4 seats in 2012 elections (400% UP)
SGP (Reformed Party, Kees van der Staaij) recieves 3 seats (NEW)
PvdD (Party for the Animals, Marianne Thieme) recieves 5 seats (NEW)
50+ (50 Plus Party, Henk Krol) recieves 4 seats (NEW)
Denk recieves 3 seats (NEW)
Forum for Democracy gets 2 seats (NEW)
5 parties that had no seats in the 2012 parliament took 17 this time. The average time to form a government in Holland is 75 days. Now that the combinations to form a government become even more complex because Rutte and Asscher suffered huge blows means that may take longer. A minimum of 4 parties is required.
So here is Germany celebrating more political gridlock and compromise, the last thing that any voter wants. As written prior to the election, the PVV was never likely to form a government because most of the other parties vowed to spurn it. Wilders had to win at least 70 seats on his own and hope on a few other’s to take the PM’s role. An unlikely feat.
The extrapolations are that this is likely to dent Marine Le Pen’s chances in the French Presidential elections. The parallels are farcical. Brexit showed that the Brits wanted nothing more to do with the EU, the Italians turned a referendum into a choice to boot out PM Renzi to usher change in favour of Italexit and we don’t even have to mention the Greeks. Yet the Germans and EU officialdom think that this is a precious victory and vote of confidence in the EU.
The idea that PVV was a party for racists and bigoted whites, note that 14% of Dutch-Surinamese voted for Wilders. The majority of them like PvDA but still it puts paid the notion that Wilders was running on the campaign outlined by the biased media. Most Hindus in The Hague voted PVV ostensibly because of its anti-Islam ticket, DENK garnered a lion’s share of Turkish and Moroccan immigrant votes because it opposed PVV.
The most important sign from the Dutch elections is that people stepped up to vote in greater numbers. What we got was even more fragmented politics when some of the silent majority that has stayed on the sidelines stepped up. German politicians should think far more deeply about what might happen if angry Germans who have seen their leaders turn their country turned into a doormat decide to show up at the polling booths.
The Dutch have not had the type of terrorist incidents that have afflicted France and Germany. It is on another level. Having said that, even if Le Pen is defeated there can be no doubt that her success has to date been nothing short of stellar. So much so that the EU, responding to a request from the French judiciary, caused EU MEPs in the legal affairs committee to vote to lift her immunity. How stupid do they take the citizens of the members states for? That she NOW risks being prosecuted for posting pictures of ISIS beheadings in 2015, something that provides proof as to why she pushes the platform she does. If it was such a terrible crime why did they choose to do nothing at the time (i.e. 2015) ? Could it be they finally see her taking the French presidency and with that her anti-EU stance.
In summary there is an irony with regards to the EU and Germany celebrating this way about the Dutch election. It shows they have learnt nothing. Even worse is they fail to see that Europe’s history has always been fractured by cultural, language and nationalist lines. No different over 100s of years. The idea of one Europe is an impossibility. The attitudes of those who believe in the pipe dream like the German Foreign Ministry are exactly the reason the EU will fail – the Dutch result is signal that the supranational body has to rapidly reform to prevent its implosion. Yet they continue to be a ship of fools. The Dutch are with themselves.