Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Vunerable right flank of Christian parties

There will be municipal elections on March 3. Two days ago on 15 February there was a political debate on Dutch public TV. Amongst others the PVV (Freedom Party) send Geert Wilders and the coalition party CU (Christian Union) was represented by Arie Slob.

The CU is part of the ruling coalition togehter with CDA (Christian Democrats) and PvdA (Labour). CU is supposed to be a Conservative party, but it moved to the left on many issues and is losing its right-wing profile. This makes the CU vunerable to competition from the right especially from the Geert Wilders' PVV. This became glaringly obvious during the debate. At some point Mr. Wilders launched an attack against CU's Arie Slob asking
Mr. Slob you represent a Christian Party in The Netherlands. Do you think Islamic culture is equal to Christian culture, can be combined with the rule of law in a democratic state, do you see Islam is a totalitarian ideology [more of the same from Wilders].... ?
Arie Slob answers for the CU:
There are a million Muslims in The Netherlands, they cannot be excluded, they have to obey the rules everybody has to obey our rules [waffles on]
Geert Wilders interrupts:
That is no answer to my question, you are not answering my question is Islam equal to Christianity ?
Arie Slob:
Do not turn groups of people against each other
Wilders [mockingly in a falsetto voice]:
He is not answering my question he is not answering my question!
The public laughs. In the studio a political commentators says that the question is clever and is impossible for the Christian Union to answer.

Snouck's Commentary: as the right-wing parties are moving to the left they become more and more vunerable to competition from the PVV. The PVV stands to make a lot of hay during the national elections from the failure from CDA and CU to champion the Duch Christian heritage. Polls show all parties a vunerable to competition for votes from the PVV, but the Christian parties more than the Leftist parties. In the municipal elections the effect will not be significant as the PVV is only participating in four municipalities.

The whole fragment of the debate can be viewed here (Dutch).

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