Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Municipal Elections

Yesterday there were municipal election in The Netherlands. In stead of local issues governing the election results, there was a heavy influence of national politics. The impopularity of the so-called right-wing coalition caused both the Labour Party, the Greens and the Socialist Party to grow. The Christian Democrats and the Liberal Conservatives lost heavily. Labour had kept very quiet for four years. People must have elected them due to a desire for stability in the same way people voted Christian Democrats in 2002. The shift towards the left is also indicative of a move towards Secularism, away from the faith based Christian Democrats. This trend has been going on since the 1960s.

The Socialist Party have a strong profile and they go steadily from strength to strength. Their leadership is excellent and they have been taking special care to develop their voter base and networks in blue collar worker area's in the past 20 years. They are unequivocally Pro-Western culture, which is unique within the Left nationally. This makes them ideal allies of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, but she has chosen for the Liberal-Conservative VVD, which is not a good match.

They are also popular amongst the cognoscenti and literati, the pundit caste, which improves their media exposure at no expense. They will be a force to be reckoned with in the future.

The Greens performed less impressively due to weak leadership. They are environmental yuppies and push an impossible combination of favouring large scale immigration and environmentalism. They are so enamoured of these irreconcilable good intentions that they choose to remain oblivious of this fact. Their leader is a pretty lady. She is smart but she has neither strength nor insight.

The Christian Democrats see their voting base in the country side further eroding. The Netherlands is secularising and the trend bodes ill for them. The Left is gaining strength in the South and has already a strong presence in the North. Only the East is remaining strongly Christian politically.

The Liberal-Conservatives had a poor showing. The trend for them should be positive due to the continuing growing affluence of the Dutch mainstream. However lately they seem to be struggling and they suffer from increasing right-wing competition and weak leadership and cadre. I did not vote for them this time due to their Amsterdam proposal to close bars which discriminate. This is another ploy to increase State power.

Rotterdam. The city where Fortuyn made his devastating appearance in 2002. Marko Pastors, the party leader showed himself to be a very good administrator and politician and a right-winger. The man makes no mistakes but lacks the charisma of Pim Fortuyn. Good news overall I think. The Liveable Rotterdam party lost a little but remained a dominant party. They will leave the coalition and become an opposition party. This means that they will have time to re-establish the contact with the voter base and to strengthen party cadre, following the example of the Socialist Party 20 years ago.

Labour regained a bit of their strength in Rotterdam. This means the end of the present Rightwing coalition in that city.

In Amsterdam the Labour Party carried the whole city. All the Boroughs are Labour's. There will be a Left-Wing coalition instead of the present business friendly Labour-Liberal Conservative coalition. Job Cohen the Labour Mayor said in effect: "we have to be VERY carefull not to become arrogant and this victory is in fact too big".

These victories are indeed a curse for Labour. Labour does not believe in Socialism. They say they have an ideology but they are utterly empty. They want coalitions with Conservative Parties, so they can execute watered down Right-wing programs. They will tell their ideologically committed cadres that the coalition partners "made them do it". Now being forced into Left-wing coalitions they are going to have to agree on policies they do not believe in. It will be a joy to see them squirm in the next few years. And they tragically lack the law-and-order instinct that the electorate wants to see.

Brussels Journal gives the origin of the Leftist victories in the cities:
"According to the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies of the University of Amsterdam 80% of the non-indigenous electorate voted for Labour. This explains why cities such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Breda and Arnhem succumbed to the Left. 84% of the Turks voted for the PvdA; 81% of the Antillians/Surinamese did likewise. Of the Moroccans 78% voted Labour and 12% voted Green Left.

The center-right VVD, the party of famous Dutch policians such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Frits Bolkestein, received only 1% of the immigrant vote. The CDA got 3%, the SP 5% and Green Left 7%."

During the previous municipal elections the minorities did not show up for voting. Obviously they have corrected that. It gives new meaning to: "the government has elected a new people".

I think the municipal trend will also be the national trend in 2007. The present Right-wing coalition is doing great work both on slowing immigration and on Liberalising the economy. But large parts of the electorate outside the cities are not affected by the Multicultural society and want to hold on to a welfare society, which is impossible. On this the Right-wing message will be a very hard sell. But it has to be done, because it is the right thing to do. The secular Right wing lacks good cadres but has a message that goes with the Zeitgeist. The Christian Democrats have an excellent cadre, but its message is sadly unpopular these days. It will only get worse. The Right-wing is lacking in Reagan or Pim Fortuyn style Great Communicators. Maybe someone will come along.

Building, building, building local networks and cadres should be the motto for the Secular Right in the next few years. And harvest season will surely come.


susie said...

Can you tell me what the consequences of this election will be for future immigration into the Netherlands?

Kleinverzet said...

Not a lot. Not directly, anyway.

First of all, they were municipal elections, elections for city councils, basically. They don't make immigration policy.

And even then, it has been predicted that in most municipalities there won't be a true left coalition. Local circumstances make such a coalition virtually impossible.

They do however, and have, resisted expulsions of illegal immigrants ordered by the Ministry of Integration. But whether that will be an issue more the it is now remains to be seen.

The election results are prett much a wake-up call for the current national (right wing) coalition. They now have 14 months untill the parliamentary elections to get their story together and explain what has happened the last couple of years and how it could have been that much worse if Labour were in charge.

The coalition getting bitch slapped in this way might turn out to be a blessing in disguise, after all is said and done.

susie said...

Is there any substantial movement that would reverse the numbers of immigrants within the country in the future? In other words, are you doomed to die quickly or slowly?

Ethnocentrist said...

I am in the dark about this as much as Susie appears to be, if not more. Is this not a setback? Shouldn't the Dutch want politicians that are more "right wing" as opposed to left wing? Why is the right wing government being penalized for what amounts to liberal policies that have permitted massive Muslim immigration? Maybe a clarification on what the major parties stand for would be of benefit for us that are not so close to the situation. That would be much appreciated.

Ethnocentrist said...

Actually, re-reading your post after a good night's sleep, I get a better idea of what's going on. Especially the local elections angle and the mobilization of immigrant votes. However, can you explain how a larger, national election is determined? Is it by electing local members of government and do cities like Rotterdam, Amersterdam have more weight than voters outside these cities?

Pim's Ghost said...

What are the chances, do you suppose, of Pastors next year? I am aware that he lacks the charisma despite his brilliance otherwise, but has he a chance in all of your opinions?

I have been involved in a project to translate Pim's works and bring them to the US as I think that his works are relevant to all at this time. Currently we are working on his columns, but also presenting his books to a publisher interested here, so keep your fingers crossed for us! And for article translations (this is slow going) please see my site at and tell me how we're doing. I need all of the Dutch help I can get right now!

Snouck said...

Can you tell me what the consequences of this election will be for future immigration into the Netherlands?

No consequences imo. This will be decided at the national elections. My prognosis is that Labour (PvdA) will win again. So the Left will win. Only I think they will try to create a government with right wing parties. Labour does not really believe in socialism and multiculturalism anymore is my judgement. But they keep tight lipped about it in order to maintain their hands on the immigrant vote.

They will limit immigration as well. They are doing a balancing act, trying no keep both the old Labour voters and the new immigrant voters happy. Their biggest fear is that the Leftist majority will be so big that there will be no possible of forming a coalition with a right wing party. If that happens, there will be a radical left wing government and we will be a very interesting situation. All bets are off after that, I really do not know if the country will be able to handle such a siituation for a long time.