Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wilders' Freedom Party steams ahead

Dutch politics thrown in chaos

Confusion reigns on the political polling front in The Netherlands. This blog reported a month ago that the Freedom Party (PVV) was losing seats. But now the news came out today that the PVV is polling at 28 seats in the 150 seat parliament. The other "big" parties have fallen to 22 seats or less. Therefore the PVV is now the biggest political party in the Netherlands! It also means that the theme of political splintering that this blog has featured is continuing and that Dutch politics will be increasingly paralysed and chaotic. Comparable to Belgium now or Israel for the past twenty years.

The state of political polling

It also seems that one of the polling firms, Political Barometer by Synovate, has lost the plot. The bi-weekly poll first reported a big increase for the PVV of 9 seats together. And then in a later published poll (Dutch) a big drop in seats which showed the PVV losing ground and grasping.

Unorthodoxy rules

On the third Tuesday of September The Netherlands has an annual "State of the Union" like event called "Prinsjesdag". The politicos of the ruling coalition gave a weak and unconvincing show. Geert Wilders performed masterfully giving a sarcasm-laced speech in which he compared the cabinet to a car with a dead battery. In the speech he went as far as proposing a headscarf tax, a tax specifically aimed at muslim women.

That was highly unorthodox and many people feel uneasy about it. Including me. But it does not to seem to have hurt him.

We could call him "Teflon Geert".

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