Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Fragmentation in The Netherlands

The Rise of the PVV

The results of the Dutch municipal election had a big effect outside of The Netherlands. This is due to the good results of Geert Wilders' PVV (Freedom Party). The right-wing PVV came in second in the city of The Hague, the seat of the national government and today I read that Geert Wilders will actually take a seat in the municipal council. In the new city of Almere the PVV came in first and became the biggest party. Both cities saw the PVV litterally starting from zero seats. Nothing illustrates the fragmentation of Dutch society better. The older parties have lost much of their connection to their electorate. This fragmentation means that the political class of about 30.000 hard core party members are socially and ideologically isolated from the voters they are supposed to represent. They do not know what to do with the unhappiness of the voters. This unhappiness is an effect of cultural alieniation as a result of growing Muslim and other immigrant colonies amongst the ethnic Dutch, fear of crime and potential job loss as a result of the global crisis. The older parties want to appeal to the public on issues such as the economy, whereas the dominant and most urgently felt issue in The Netherlands is the threesome that starts with an I. Immigration, Integration and Islam. These issues are monopolized by Mr. Geert Wilders' PVV and he stands to gain from them, becoming the second biggest party. Or perhaps even first.

Why The Hague?

Mr. Wilders chose his battle grouds well. The four main cities in The Netherlands are Utrecht, The Hague, Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Amsterdam is quite prosperous. The city is 50 percent immigrant origin, who vote monopolistically for the Left. The ethnic Dutch in Amsterdam are quite prosperous and many support the Left feel like world citizens and have reason to do so. Their party of choice would be the Greens or D66, a quintessential Liberal party. The PVV could gain here as they start from zero, but not as much as elewhere. Rotterdam already has Leefbaar Rotterdam, a strong populist local party in Pim Fortuyn's track, so any effort in Rotterdam would result in canibbalisation on the right. Utrecht is relatively unaffected by immigration. The Hague has a strong tradition of voting for nationalist parties and a serious problem with immigrants. It was a good battle ground for the PVV and they got an excellent result.

Why Almere?

Then there is Almere. Almere is a new city built in the 1960ies on land that was reclaimed from the sea in 1942. It lies a bit to the East from Amsterdam. The city is populated by people who moved from Amsterdam in the 1970ies and later. A strong motive to move was the takeover of Amsterdam by Muslim immigrants. These days there is a influx of non-western immigrants into Almere and the people there do not want to be ethnically cleansed once more. Voters turned out in significant numbers to vote PVV, voting attendance was high in Almere compared to other years and relative to the rest of the country. The PVV mobilizes voters who used to not vote.

The effect of the municipal elections on the national elections

The PVV only participated in elections in the aformentioned two cities. Polling expert Maurice de Hondt analyzed the voting behaviour (Dutch) in the municipal elections and the expected effect on the national elections on June the 9th. It turns out that the PVV has big support amongst those who voted other parties in the municipal elections. Especially the Liberal-Conservative VVD party, the new right-wing splinter TON and voters for local parties will vote PVV. All together Maurice de Hondt estimates that the PVV will become the biggest party in the national parliament with 16.2 percent of the votes. Bigger than the CDA (Christian Democrats) and PvdA (Labour). This is a picture of incredible political fragmentation.

The Geert Wilders Hate Speech Trial

What does the fall of the coalition and the new national elections imply for the hate-speech trial against Geert Wilders? June is one month before the resumption of this trial against PVV leader Wilders in July. Firstly, it means that some dark influence behind the screens against Mr. Wilders was removed in the form of Interior Minister Guusje ter Horst (PvdA) stepping down. However on the Justice Ministry there is still a dark presence in the form of Hirsch Ballin (CDA). Hirsch Ballin is also the provisional Minister of the Interior so he can make life interesting for Mr. Wilders. It remains to be seen what he will do. Providing we ever really find out. After the elections in June formal or informal PVV support will be necessary to form a new right-wing coalition government which is the preferred option for the CDA. This means they will be directly in contact with Geert Wilders all the time and he will be able to influence his trial that way, while the top Christian-Dems will do some horse trading. The formation of the government will take months. In the end a three or four party coalition. Voters get an unrepresentative government again as the new coalition will be the result of political bartering behind closed doors.

A field of liberal destruction

In conclusion. The Netherlands is no political or social unit anymore. The nation has been destroyed by Liberla policies and has to be rebuilt or to be broken down and abandoned. The PVV may want to change that but it lacks the means to do so.

Dutch municipal election: coming on foot

Local politics influencing national politics

The 2010 municipal elections had been scheduled for March 3. The national coalition government of PvdA (Labour), CDA (Christian Democrats) and CU (Christian Union) fell apart just before these elections, due to the PvdA socialist seeking political advantage by making a pacifist gesture over Afghanistan to their core voters. This was a repeat of what they did over Srebrenica in 2001. Hence the municipal elections had a big impact on the national elections which are due in June.

Three trends

The municipal elections are notable for a number of trends appearing. The further weakening of trust in Dutch society, the increasing fragmentation of the public and the increasing polarization of ethnic Dutch against Muslims and vice versa.

The end of The Netherlands

Trust weakened in Dutch society as a result of voting irregularities in Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Political fragmentation reflecting a deeper social fragmentation is manifest in the weakening of main parties and the rise of the PVV (Freedom Party). The increasing ethno-religious polarization is evident in a number of coups by ethnic Turks and other Muslims in order to take over local chapters of Leftist parties such as PvdA. This phenomenon of local Muslim coups is becoming more and more widespread for a while now and I blogged about such a case on February 2, a month before the elections.

The way back

I suppose the most fundamental trend is the erosion of trust, caused by mass-immigration. A Chinese proverb states: trust comes on foot and goes on a horse. It will take generations to rebuilt the trust that was squandered in the last 20 years of mass immigration and multi-culturalism.