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Dutch Elections Show Gains by Far Right

Com­ment: One of the ironies of the Euro­pean growth of the Mus­lim Brotherhood–an Islam­ic fas­cist organization–concerns the extent to which the pres­ence of Islam­ic fun­da­men­tal­ist ele­ments in that con­ti­nent is spurring polit­i­cal reac­tion.

In FTR #348, we not­ed this phe­nom­e­non, which may do much to effect the tri­umph of fas­cism in Europe, as well as the Mus­lim world.

“Dutch May Face Months of Coali­tion Talks After Tied Elec­tion” by Jur­jen van de Pol [Bloomberg]; Busi­ness Week; 6/9/2010.

Excerpt: Dutch polit­i­cal lead­ers may face months of talks to form a coali­tion gov­ern­ment after pro­ject­ed elec­tion results showed the Labor Par­ty led by for­mer Ams­ter­dam May­or Job Cohen and Mark Rutte’s Lib­er­als tied for first place.

Labor took 31 of the 150 seats yes­ter­day, down from 33 in the last vote in 2006, nation­al newswire ANP report­ed with more two thirds of the votes count­ed, cit­ing its own cal­cu­la­tions. The Lib­er­al Par­ty, which led in pre-elec­tion opin­ion polls, also had 31 seats, up from 22. Geert Wilders’s anti-immi­grant Free­dom Par­ty more than dou­bled its vote to take third place. Prime Min­is­ter Jan Peter Balke­nende stepped down as Chris­t­ian Demo­c­rat leader after his party’s sup­port was cut in half.

It would be the first time par­ties have tied for first place in a Dutch elec­tion in more than 50 years. The leader of the biggest par­ty gets the first shot at form­ing a gov­ern­ment. The pro­jec­tion sug­gests the even­tu­al win­ner will need a coali­tion with three oth­er groups to have a major­i­ty in par­lia­ment. The only pos­si­ble three-par­ty coali­tion would be made up of Labor, the Lib­er­als and Chris­t­ian Democ­rats.

“We should be hap­py if we have a coali­tion Cab­i­net by Octo­ber or Novem­ber,” said Andre Krouwel, who teach­es polit­i­cal sci­ence at VU Uni­ver­si­ty in Ams­ter­dam. He said he expects Labor and the Lib­er­als to try to work togeth­er “as the nucle­us” of a new gov­ern­ment, togeth­er with the small­er D66 and Green Left par­ties.

Bud­get Dead­line

It’s tak­en an aver­age of almost three months to form a Dutch coali­tion since World War II. The longest was 208 days in 1977. Rutte said dur­ing the cam­paign he want­ed to see a new Cab­i­net in place by July 1, well before the gov­ern­ment is sched­uled to present next year’s bud­get on Sept. 21.

“If Labor and the Lib­er­als are indeed tied, it’s unclear who will take the ini­tia­tive in form­ing a gov­ern­ment,” said Kees Aarts, a pro­fes­sor of polit­i­cal sci­ence at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Twente in Enschede. “The image of the par­ty that starts the talks might seri­ous­ly suf­fer if the nego­ti­a­tions lead to noth­ing.”

Labor and the Lib­er­als would have to over­come dif­fer­ences on their pro­grams to rule togeth­er. Cohen has set out plans to cut gov­ern­ment spend­ing by 10 bil­lion euros ($12 bil­lion). His par­ty aims to nar­row the deficit to 1.8 per­cent of gross domes­tic prod­uct by 2015, when the Lib­er­als, who want to reduce expen­di­ture by 20 bil­lion euros, aim to bal­ance the bud­get.

Tax Break

Cohen also wants to phase out a tax break on mort­gage pay­ments for home­own­ers, a step opposed by both the Lib­er­als and Chris­t­ian Democ­rats.

The gov­ern­ment last week raised its fore­cast for the 2010 bud­get deficit to 6.6 per­cent of GDP, the biggest short­fall in 15 years, from the pre­vi­ous 6.3 per­cent. That’s less than the 8 per­cent deficit the French gov­ern­ment is expect­ing, though more than the 5.5 per­cent Ger­many is pre­dict­ing.

Falling nat­ur­al-gas rev­enue and aid to keep ABN Amro Bank NV and oth­er banks afloat have added to the short­fall in the euro region’s fifth-largest econ­o­my. The gov­ern­ment fore­casts debt will rise to 66 per­cent of GDP this year.

Even so, Moody’s Investor Corp. gives Dutch state debt its top AAA rat­ing, cit­ing the government’s healthy bal­ance sheet and an “excep­tion­al­ly high lev­el of eco­nom­ic com­pet­i­tive­ness, pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, and eco­nom­ic resilience” in a Feb. 12 report.

The Free­dom Par­ty will have 23 law­mak­ers, an increase from 9 in the last par­lia­ment, the pro­jec­tion sug­gest­ed. Only the Lib­er­als and the Chris­t­ian Democ­rats haven’t ruled out team­ing up with the anti-immi­grant par­ty.

Wilders, 46, is being pros­e­cut­ed for com­ments in his 2008 film “Fit­na,” in which he calls on Mus­lims to rip out “hate- preach­ing” vers­es from the Koran.

‘Less Islam’

“More safe­ty, less crime, less immi­gra­tion and less Islam is what the Nether­lands has cho­sen,” Wilders said last night in The Hague, where he was giv­en a tick­er­tape wel­come by sup­port­ers. “We would love to gov­ern. I don’t think oth­er par­ties can ignore us.” He called it a “glo­ri­ous day for the Nether­lands.”

The Lib­er­als, Chris­t­ian Democ­rats and the Free­dom Par­ty would have to bring in the Protes­tant Reformed Polit­i­cal Par­ty to gain a major­i­ty with 77 seats. There will be 10 par­ties rep­re­sent­ed in par­lia­ment in The Hague.

A gov­ern­ment involv­ing the Chris­t­ian Democ­rats, Lib­er­als and a pre­vi­ous anti-immi­grant par­ty, the Lijst Pim For­tuyn, named for its leader mur­dered two months before a 2002 elec­tion, col­lapsed after only 87 days.

The Chris­t­ian Demo­c­ra­t­ic Alliance’s 21 law­mak­ers would be the small­est num­ber in the party’s his­to­ry, down from 41 in 2006. Chris­t­ian Demo­c­rat Balke­nende has led four gov­ern­ments since 2002, three of which col­lapsed. . . .


One comment for “Dutch Elections Show Gains by Far Right”

  1. [...] Spit­fire List – Dutch Elec­tions Show Gains by Far Right [...]

    Posted by The Wilders Round-Up, July 10th 2010 « Defend Geert Wilders | July 10, 2010, 10:14 pm

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