Dutch Elections today

(12 Posts)
Fontella Wed 15-Mar-17 11:40:35

Apologies if there is a thread on this anywhere but I can't seem to find one and not even sure if this is the right place to put one.

Given the seismic political events of 2016, further shocks may be on the cards in the Netherlands with the rise of the populist RVV led by Geert Wilders on a platform of euroscepticism and immigration control.

He can't 'win' in the sense of governing the country, due to the political system in the Netherlands, but he can win a significant number of seats - how many remains to be seen. What is unmistakeable is that the RVV will have a far greater presence in Dutch politics than ever before and the knock on effect for the forthcoming French elections could be profound.

www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/netherlands-elections-polls-open-geert-wilders-pvv-vvd-dutch-far-right-mark-rutte-prime-minister-a7630466.html

theresamustgo Wed 15-Mar-17 12:11:24

bloody awful.

applefalls Wed 15-Mar-17 12:24:55

It's quite interesting that Wilders is reported as 'anti-immigrant' rather than 'anti-Islam.'

I lived in Holland for some years and found it to be the most tolerant and welcome society I've ever been part of. My multiracial family fitted in beautifully and I think it's probably the most comfortable we've all felt anywhere.

Many of my liberal friends are voting for Wilders because they see many Muslim immigrants as imposing an intolerant anti-women anti-gay agenda.

There's been a very vigorous debate over immigrants calling for a ban on underwear posters, death penalties for homosexuals etc. Older voters in particulr see this as a threat to their inclusive and liberal values.

Interesting times indeed.

Fontella Wed 15-Mar-17 13:04:08

Thanks apple - very interesting to hear it from someone who has lived/has friends there.

applefalls Wed 15-Mar-17 13:20:28

The Dutch, in my experience, welcome anyone to live with them in their small country and will willingly share; they are also a fiercely patriotic nation and are having real problems ensuring that everyone's rights are respected and protected.

There's a dichotomy between the liberal live and let live Dutch who have fought for civil liberties and a tolerant, equal society, and those who choose to live there but are culturally and very vocally opposed to the drugs, sex, nudity, homosexuality etc that exist in parts.

There's a new unease that my friends are very concerned about. They are dismayed at being portrayed as alt right by certain sections of the press when they genuinely see themselves as protectors of truly liberal and equality values. I don't know the answer but the situation is both nuanced and potentially volatile.

Fontella Wed 15-Mar-17 13:29:53

I do find the labels 'alt right' 'extreme right' over-used in the media of late. It seems that anyone who strays from the liberal agenda gets labelled.

I've been called a 'fascist' on another forum, and nothing could be further from the truth. grin

Was amazed to see there are 28 parties contesting 150 seats in the Dutch parliament? Very keen to know more about their political system - we tend to be so focused on our own and ignore what is happening in other countries.

We've also got the French elections coming up. I lived in France for a few years (was very young though) but I do remember how the elections dominated the French press all those years ago. This time I am sure there will be huge international interest.

applefalls Wed 15-Mar-17 13:51:15

I agree I think there's a hard intolerance onthe left that breaks out sometimes and is frightening.

So many parties plus PR plus a national spirit of inclusion, compromise and cooperation mean it's a very different type of government there.

Plus the Dutch tend not to get too emotional about things. (Apart from football IME!) Mind you, I'd have said the same about the British until the Brexit hysteria and name calling so who knows?

The French also interesting. Passionate engagement but end the evening with a shrug and a handshake and a cognac. Very civilised attitude to differences of opinion IME. Don't know that country as well but certainly colleagues are also askance at the insistence of the British press that it's all about the rise of the far right. Le Pen elder has been around for years and a French friend complained to me recently that Le Pen's daughter has had more airtime in the UK than in France in recent months.

I think the UK media might need some time in Quiet Play soon; the hyperbole and hysteria is unsustainable. I hear the words 'desperate, terrified' almost every hour on R4. It's overkill.

remoaniac Wed 15-Mar-17 18:53:23

Very civilised attitude to differences of opinion IME

Yes I find that in Germany too, you can disagree with someone and they don't get offended by it, whereas in the UK I find people get quite offended if you don't have the same opinion as them.

I don't see anything right-wing about wanting immigrants to abide by the mores of the country they choose to live in (or which has offered them asylum). I get angry when I hear about the way some immigrants behave towards women in Germany, so if that is going in in the Netherlands as well, no wonder there is a groundswell of opinion in Wilders' direction.

It's a pity that you always get extremes. We're seeing that in the UK (England) too - a more left wing Labour and more right wing Tories.

Fontella Wed 15-Mar-17 21:52:27

Exit polls are indicating there isn't going to be the Wilders break through that the media was suggesting.

I do feel that there was an element of 'we predicted things so spectacularly wrongly with Brexit and Trump that we mustn't do the same this time' and in doing so I think they perhaps overplayed the chances of Wilders' winning.

He could never have 'won' as such anyway ... but the level of success he is likely to achieve in terms of seats/votes, should certainly give the Dutch and indeed, their European neighbours, something to think about.

BillSykesDog Thu 16-Mar-17 17:41:36

Really glad he didn't get a breakthrough. There's so much hysteria from the left labelling anything slightly right of centre fascism that I thought some people might not be able to differentiate between that and Wilders - who really is a proper old fashioned facist who wants to ban books and curtail freedom of expression, thought and religion.

Fontella Thu 16-Mar-17 22:10:10

I'm slightly bemused at all the crowing and celebration that I've seen online if I'm honest.

Rutte lost 8 seats, Wilders gained 5 to make his party the 2nd.

Yes he didn't win, but he couldn't have won anyway, as no-one was willing to form a coalition with him. But he did make gains and that is surely still a worry I would have thought.

theresamustgo Mon 20-Mar-17 08:31:21

I agree Fontanella. It is still a worrying symptom of a general rightward drift in world politics. See iandia for some more fascist horror.

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