Wilders trumped

By March 16, 2017EU Politics

Now the Dutch election is over and the counting just about finished and the oily bouffant, Geert Wilders, only gained 20 seats of the 32 he had hoped to win for his far right Party for Freedom (PVV). Instead, his hoped-for voters seem to have gone for the centre-right Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) and centre-left Democrats 66 (D66), with each of them taking a similar number of seats (19 each) as Wilders’ PVV1.

The Labour Party’s support has nosedived, and it will only have 9 seats, but the Green Left Party will likely have 14 seats, as will the Socialist Party. The big winner is the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), led by the current Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, which will take 33 seats, and by some distance will be the largest party in the parliament1.

To form government, the VVD will have to go into coalition with at least three other parties to obtain a majority of the 150 seats. This is sometimes not easy, and in 2012 it took almost two months to hammer out a coalition, and that was between only two parties2.

Rutte has said that he would not even consider working with Wilders and will look toward other pro-European Union parties such as CDA and D66. After that it is anyone’s guess who will be the likely other coalition partners2.

Many commentators seem to think that Wilders’ poor showing was in part due to his refusing to take part in televised debates, seemingly because of scathing comments made about him by his brother, and because much of the commentary he offered was to foreign rather than local journalists. Rutte’s standing up to the Turkish despot Erdogan was also seen as a positive2.

However, I believe that one of the major factors in Wilders’ disappointing result was the Trump Effect. People have seen what depredations a far right buffoon can do when given more power than a toddler should have, and it made many of them choose safety rather than stupidity.

Sources

  1. http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/03/16/winners-and-losers-five-points-dutch-election-results
  2. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39287689?ocid=socialflow_twitter

 

7 Comments

  • Wendy McLeod says:

    What a relief and unexpected blessing Trump’s win has turned out to be (in this event)! Maybe we can thank him for Pauline Hanson’s poor result too!

    • admin says:

      I think One Notion’s relative failure was largely their own work (attracting fruitcakes, opening your mouth without putting your brain in gear, swapping preferences with a party you have been complaining is part of the problem). Trump is a perfect example of the dangers of having half-wits in charge. I think people are starting to realise that governing is not an easy thing to do, especially when you are an ignoramus.

  • Jim Jago says:

    There is a clearly an inherent problem with the Dutch system, which if we are not very careful, will also affect Australia–indeed it is already starting. The problem the Dutch have is that there are a large number of parties with only a limited number of seats which leads to fairly unstable coalition governments who are incapable of taking any real decisions. We are clearly heading the same way, particularly in the Senate where there are numerous small parties and independents who are all pulling in disparate directions which is making governing difficult. Although we may not like it the Liberal-National coalition won the election quite clearly, but cannot do much because of the irrational behaviour of the Greens, One Nation, etc.

    • admin says:

      Winning the election clearly is an overstatement. They ‘won’ by one seat in the Reps and did not get a clear majority in the Senate. So you could argue equally validly that the Senate represents the will of the people more than the Reps does, as it more closely approaches proportional representation. The big problem with politics today is the fact that a party’s donors have more say than their voters. If we resort to slavishly following the crowd who got the most seats in the Reps, we forego real democracy, and only have a system which is occasionally disrupted mob rule. What we need are politicians who are not in it for their career, but to further the interests of the nation, not their party. This current crowd are incapable of that. Talking about irrationality in referring specifically to the greens is ridiculous. They are no more irrational than anyone else. Indeed, you could argue that they actually have a greater grasp of what is important for the future of the nation than those who have been purchased by the fossil fuel industry.

  • Jim Jago says:

    The House of Reps situation is as follows, Liberal/NP 76, ALP 69, Katter 1, Greens 1, Xenophon 1, Wilkie 1, McGowan 1. Of these Katter and McGowan usually side with the government, although relying on Katter could be tricky. The Greens and Wilkie would normally support the ALP, although Wilkie was badly shafted by Julia Gillard. No idea what the Xenophon lot will do (incidentally in SA state opinion polls they are running at over 20%). This means that on most occasions the government would have 78 votes, a clear majority. This is a much better situation than Menzies found himself after the 1961 election that he won 62 to 61 with Jim Killen’s seat going to the Liberals on the basis of communist preferences, a delicious irony. Menzies governed happily for two years before calling the 1963 election that he won easily.

    Re the Senate, Turnbull only has himself to blame in that he clearly did not think it out when he called a double dissolution. If there are 12 people to be elected then all sorts of people will be elected towards the end of the count–this is not rocket science. Coming back to the suggestion that 76 votes is not a clear majority, if I may draw a sporting analogy–in 1964 we lost the Southern Tasmanian Amateur Grand Final by one point (59 to 58) –if you look at the records our opponents won and that is all there is to it. We simply had to suck it up.

    • admin says:

      Jim,

      Yes, but this is not an unimportant football game, this is about the future of the nation, and about a government which does not seem to understand that they are there to serve the people, not their donors. The planned $50 billion in tax cuts for business is just a symptom of their adherence to the failed trickle down economics of last century. I will not acquiesce while this country slowly goes down the gurgler. Almost half of the government are too stupid to realise that global warming is already happening. Their knowledge of science is so limited that some of them think vaccinations are somehow connected to autism. I’ll not acquiesce and let cretins like that bugger up this country.

  • Jon says:

    Personally I’m sure Turnbull thought through the DD VERY closely, although it was a fine line to tread. On the one hand his ego told him that he was a certainty to romp home in any election at any time because everyone would recognise his inherent greatness, which in turn would lead to the undying gratitude and support of his acolytes. On the other hand he undoubtedly had advice that the more his indecisiveness and lack of policies was exposed the lesser would be his chances of “re”-election down the track. In the end the nation was left with a choice between two incompetents.

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