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EU Elections - The Netherlands

by Nomad Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 06:15:34 AM EST

 EUROPEAN ELECTIONS 

AKA "The Goons are Marching In"

As was already projected in polls, the party of Geert Wilders (diary here) has most likely become the big winner of the European elections in the Netherlands yesterday. The official announcement of the results will wait until Sunday, however, the preliminary results below are from counted votes (not all of them). Characteristically recalcitrant to the European standard, the Dutch stick to the opinion that voting should be transparent and open. So there. Actually, there is not one word in the press that the Dutch are the only ones bringing their results out in the open.

Plotted as European groups in parliament, the results are projected as following:

Whereby the anti-European party of Wilders is represented as "Non-Inscrits" - a party operating outside a traditional parliamentary group.

Below the fold, a breakdown at the national level.


With 36,5% (estimated), national turnout was not a success at all, and worse than 2004 (39,3%). I suspect this also gives an extra boost for Wilders – as he rallied people who generally don’t come out to vote. I won’t put judgement whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing for democracy, but it has ravaged the traditional parties, and particularly Labour.

Although 17 parties were competing for votes, the traditional national political parties were the only ones that kept or gained seats. The Party for the Animals (ET diary here), which gained 2 seats in national parliament in 2006, did not manage to get a seat yesterday.

I’ve put the national party with behind their affiliated parliamentary group, then the (preliminary) results of yesterday and then, in brackets, the results of 2004:

CDA - EPP: 5 (7)
Labour - PES: 3 (7)
VVD - ALDE: 3 (4)
D66 - ALDE: 3 (1)
GroenLinks - Greens: 3 (2)
SocialistParty - EUL : 2 (2)
ChristenUnie/SGP - ID : 2 (2)
PVV – Non-Inscits: 4 (0)

Data taken from NOS. Diaries on the Dutch parties here (right parties) and here (left parties).

A few observations. If the preliminary results remain standing, Labour got butchered, while also the EPP gets less power (and personally I won’t lose tears over the latter). As both the VVD (economic liberal fundies) and D66 (economic liberals but greener and more humane) work together in ALDE, there is an increase for ALDE, making ALDE the group that represents most voters.

On the environmental side, two parties with eye for durable solutions, D66 and GroenLinks, both gained. Both are in opposition in national parliament, which always helpe,s and particularly the seats for D66 are a remarkable turnaround from the disastrous state in 2006 – and much of this can be credited to its leader, Alexander Pechtold, who really has become the most vociferous stance against the other great winner: Geert Wilders.

It is clear that Geert Wilders has found consistent traction in the Netherlands with his message of “No against Europe” and bashing Turkey. His party is the only party that utterly rejects Turkey becoming a member of the European Union, and with 68 % of the population not favouring Turkey as member now, there is a majority of people to which his message appeals.

As Wilders has announced they will not “betray” themselves by joining any European parliamentary group, there will be another splinter fraction added to the parliament, with little weight or leverage. And a perfect example to show how little their party seems to understand of the political poker play in the European Parliament. I wouldn't be surprised if the PVV makes very little result in the European Parliament the next 5 years, but it still bears watching in relation to other anti-European parties.

That Wilders (and also the increasingly more foolish Mark Rutte, leader of the VVD party) now demand national elections to be held because yesterday’s elections have supposedly shown how the Dutch dislike the current cabinet, is of course here nor there. Never mind that Rutte's party (VVD) actually is projected with a loss. Never mind that the results are still preliminary, but it does underline how out of whack and megalomaniac Wilders actually is.

The official results will be released on Sunday with the rest of the EU countries, and will be covered here at European Tribune.

Display:
BBC NEWS | Europe | Dutch far-right 'gain' in EU poll

If confirmed, the Freedom Party's result is second only to Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's Christian Democrats (CDA), which dropped almost 5% to just under 20% of the vote.

The polls showed that the CDA's governing coalition partner, the labour party PvdA, was the biggest loser - down nearly 10% to about 14% of the Dutch vote.

"We dare to talk about sensitive subjects like Islamisation and we use plain and simple words that the voter can understand," Mr Wilders has said.

The controversial politician is facing prosecution in the Netherlands for making anti-Islamic statements, following a court ruling the previous month.

Despite the charges many Dutch voters seem to like what Mr Wilders is saying, the BBC's Geraldine Coughlan in The Hague reports.

His party was campaigning under the motto "For the Netherlands" and was extremely anti-EU, our correspondent says. Mr Wilders has said he will not take up his seat if elected as an MEP.

Polls show that Euroscepticism among Dutch voters has increased since the last European elections, with EU enlargement and integration the most unpopular issues, our correspondent adds.

by Nomad on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 06:22:06 AM EST
to protect Europe from hair like this?



Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 09:13:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Credit to D66 for having the guts to run a "Europa Ja" poster campaign.
by det on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 12:18:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They seem to have done well on it, too!

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 12:40:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The centre is dying even in the European elections - those most explicitly in favour for Europe (and against Wilders...) gained, and those most explicitly for feeble, xenophobic protectionism gained.
by Nomad on Sat Jun 6th, 2009 at 03:55:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The centre is only viable when a campaign is effectively single-issue.

What is remarkable in the Netherlands is that the largest party got 20% of the votes and 5 out of 25 seats.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 6th, 2009 at 05:19:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's part of a long-running trend of political fragmentation. This will continue in the Netherlands as in other European countries with low electoral thresholds and proportional representation.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Jun 6th, 2009 at 07:23:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nomad:
we use plain and simple words that the voter can understand

I think all pols have been doing this for ages now, spending their time with communications experts armed with talking points and focus group results etc. What Wilders means is a hot-button choice of simple words.

Like (here goes for a Godwin Award): Ein Volk ?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 6th, 2009 at 06:05:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Compared to recent projections of 6 seats (and position of largest party) for Wilders, this is some solace.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 06:59:48 AM EST
The Commission has by now complained to the Netherlands.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 09:19:51 AM EST
"When we have elections, we consider that voters have the right to find out the results rapidly. It's not a matter of official results, these are early and incomplete counts," Tijs Manten, spokesman for the ministry of Interior told AFP.

WHat's behind this bullshitting? What part of "influencing results in other EU states" does he not undertand?

By the way, have there been absolutely no moves to have the vote in the Netherlands on Sunday?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 12:53:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Netherlands never has elections on sunday. On the seventh day he rested and such. IOW the christians would never agree with that.
by Wilfred on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 04:07:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm mystified at how Catholic countries manage to all vote on Sunday because that's the say when peope don't have to take time off work to vote, whereas Protestant countries vote on workdays. It seems backwards somehow.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 6th, 2009 at 05:25:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Historically there's a strong strain of Sabbath observance among Protestants. Not only is work on Sunday frowned upon, but one should not do any business or attend to worldly concerns (voting would come under this heading).

I've no specific knowledge that this is the reason for non-Sunday voting in some countries, but it seems possible to me.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 6th, 2009 at 05:57:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hi Wilfred, and welcome to ET. As you see, I rather agree with your point.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 6th, 2009 at 06:00:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver / Commission criticises Dutch for early results publication
"The events that took place in the Netherlands yesterday seem not to comply with the spirit of the European elections. They're supposed to go beyond the purely national aspects. If we want citizens to understand the European nature of these elections, we think it's absolutely essential that we release the results in all countries at the same time, also in order not to influence the vote in the countries which have not voted yet - and that at the moment is 25 out of the 27 member states," Mr Altafaj added.

If the EU wants to make it European election - pick one day all parties agree upon, and don't weaken yourself by allowing it to spread on several days. I mean, this is exactly what happened during the referendum - have they learned nothing?

And of course politician will have to play these elections largely as national events - because PR of the EU (paging Wallstrom!) hasn't been off the charts to make clear what the EU actually means to the ordinary person. Sorry, but part of the blame also goes to the ineffectualities in the offices in Brussels. And one sometimes wonders if the Commission actually cares much about the EP.

Honestly, the campaign here (as far as it was visible!) was schizophrenic - the MEP candidates who already had experience in Brussels had to entirely re-invent themselves to make themselves understandable. This was done by completing ignoring how the EU and the EP factually operate, and instead embracing the (erroneous) projections of the majority view how it operates!

by Nomad on Sat Jun 6th, 2009 at 04:54:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If the EU wants to make it European election - pick one day all parties agree upon, and don't weaken yourself by allowing it to spread on several days. I mean, this is exactly what happened during the referendum - have they learned nothing?

This is the result of leaving election organisation to the member state. In the US you have similar dislocations.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 6th, 2009 at 05:16:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the MEP candidates who already had experience in Brussels had to entirely re-invent themselves to make themselves understandable. This was done by completing ignoring how the EU and the EP factually operate, and instead embracing the (erroneous) projections of the majority view how it operates!

Do you have quotes from MEPs to that effect? It would make a good diary.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 6th, 2009 at 05:17:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So far it's my own observation, and hence rather subjective.
by Nomad on Sat Jun 6th, 2009 at 05:37:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I very much disagree with the Commission's and Parliament's bland ideas of their corporate identities and representation. But the Commission is not all-powerful. Most of the power is in the hands of the Council.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Jun 6th, 2009 at 07:29:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
.
Never mind, the Dutch voted NO to new EU 'constitution' in 2005. The discontented voter always moves to parties in opposition of Dutch government. Of course, the Dutch dislike Turkey ... they just want to enjoy their vacation outside the EU.

"But I will not let myself be reduced to silence."

by Oui on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 03:09:55 PM EST
From Sargasso:

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Jun 6th, 2009 at 07:26:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Could you translate the second line, and the text on the other spoof (I assume it's spoof) posters?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jun 6th, 2009 at 03:42:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Drenthe is beautiful.

I think.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sat Jun 6th, 2009 at 05:48:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bullseye.

The others:

Nuclear plant in Venlo & Vlaardingen
Home Renewal - Without Poles!
Dutch Greenhouse - Dutch Workers
3 Strikes - In for Life

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Jun 7th, 2009 at 05:15:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL...

What's up with the first?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Jun 7th, 2009 at 06:04:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is it about the significant electricity imports from France and the Czech Republic?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jun 7th, 2009 at 06:04:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Venlo and Vlaardingen are two strongly PVV towns in the Netherlands (one in Limburg, the other near Rotterdam). The PVV is in favour of nuclear power, so...
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Jun 7th, 2009 at 06:45:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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