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has revolved around animals and wildlife, so I think the Animal Party's positions are things that we as a human race should eventually aspire to both in hunting and animal testing, and in most other areas.  Although their party platform does call for long phase in times as a matter of practicality.

I learned about Marianne a few years back after she started the party as she is someone who has made quite s splash in Green and Animal Welfare circles, and for at least a year, it was thought by many that she had a serious chance to break into Parliament. Many in Australia have been discussing a similar party, although our Greens are very animal welfare oriented.  So I am not sure if this would happen.

Although I have never met her or know anyone close to her, the general scoop is that she combines intelligence, charisma, charm and is eminently likable as a person and politician.

She will certainly now become the "darling of the cause" worldwide I suspect given her success and her character.

As for Geert Wilders, I have never seen a picture of him where he wasn't having a bad hair day.  He seems to think the look is somehow attractive???  I really do not know much about him, but the Wiki article says he was born Catholic but has left the church.  If religion is not the motivation for people like him and Fortuyn--what then is their motivation for their odd policies.  Fortuyn's combination of gay, fascist and anti-environmentalist never made any sense to me.

I like the silence of a church, before the service begins better than any preaching. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

by Norwegian Chef (hephaestion@surfbirder.com) on Fri Nov 24th, 2006 at 06:32:24 PM EST
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I think we disagree on the final aspirations for both hunting and animal testing, even given long time phasing out schemes. A debate on this one day would be useful. I'm of the opinion that a total ban on hunting will ultimately be more harmful to the diversity of the environment than well endorsed regulated hunting.

I'd appreciate it if you'd refrain from calling Fortuyn a fascist. It's a cheap shot - even if you strongly disagree with his views, they were not explicitly fascist, but largely based on the belief of cultural insurmountabilities. Quite a difference. Whatever the man was, he does not deserve that kind of label. He was murdered because of that stigma and it has brought the Netherlands only political instability.

by Nomad on Fri Nov 24th, 2006 at 07:10:31 PM EST
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more complicated than being able to justify any one label, depending on how you define fascism, some of his his policies  certainly had fascist elements (although he apparently was once a Communist).  But it largely comes down to a matter of semantics and definitions.  There is a great deal of good editorial out there on just what Fortuyn was (pro, con and neutral), and much of it is framed as to degree of fascism (or not) within his policies.  So to let him completely off the hook with some of his right wingnut ideas and somehwat brutal political style is also unfair. But I agree that it is all an arguable point.  

But to me the more interesting question is what motivates or drives right wing people like Fortuyn and Wilders in the absence of a driving religious obsession or major economic force. They seem to have odd combinations of policies and ideas that are rarely found in successful politicians anywhere else on the globe.  It really confounds me.

I like the silence of a church, before the service begins better than any preaching. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

by Norwegian Chef (hephaestion@surfbirder.com) on Fri Nov 24th, 2006 at 10:19:32 PM EST
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