Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Municipal Elections in the Netherlands

gemeenteraadsverkiezingen As expected by many, the three major parties the Christian Democrats (CDA) and the Labor Party (PvdA) and VVD remained in their position as the favorites among Dutch, yet, the loss of votes is a source of concern for them. Voters decided today to give their voters to other competing political parties, such as the PVV (Geert Wilders), which became the second largest party in the capital, the Hague, and the Groen Links (Green Party) where it became the largest party in Utrecht, in addition to small local parties in different cities in the Netherlands.

I don't know what is the secret but D66 did great and scored big time in many cities like Amsterdam, Leiden and Delft - the bond between this party with students is strong, I guess that is the reason.

The boost that the PVV (party of Geert Wilders), in particular, got from this elections is the center of focus, naturally because of its controversial personality of its leader and his hostile (and on many occasions reckless remarks). It is no surprise to me (this has been predicted in various news forecasts in the past weeks) that Den Haag (the Hague) and the city of Almere would be the golden chicken.

The Labor party, a party favorable by thousands of immigrants, is back based on tonight's result and according to the speech of its leader, Wouter Bos, but the challenge for the Labor party is immense, because from now on till the date of the general elections in June the Netherlands will witness a fierce that would change the face of the country's political system. The same goes with other major parties, of course, the neck to neck competition between left and right has been going for more than 4 years, many new faces and new political parties and entities want to prove themselves as the best for the country, in fact, a lot from those politicians learned big lessons from the past years and they don't want to disappoint the voter in 3 months time. For that reason there will be a lot to talk about, a lot to be heard and a lot to do by each party.

The emphasize, I think, will always be on Den Haag, this is where politician reside and where they should do the most work. Evidence is today’s results which is the most surprising.  

I see that in their debates, all major parties, exception is PVV, sit with each other, congratulate each other, and discuss everything; from the future of the country (who is ready to put differences aside and discuss coalitions), share responsibility (as one collective force to lift the country through the current economic crisis), and admit failure on some aspects (the fall of the government last week). Remember, this country made the impossible by having a government that consists of both right and left in one coalition.

Speaking of the fall of the government, it is natural, because it is almost impossible to have unity of two entirely separate ideologies and have them sail one ship towards the high seas, especially when the country is sinking in all problems plagued by global economic crisis.

The conclusion from all this is loud and clear: 4 years went by and still one thing dominates common Dutch citizen mind: emotions. It sounds awkward, taking into the consideration how Dutch mentality is known as being rational and not emotional, but it doesn't seem the case when it comes to vote for political entities.

There are emotions expressed by the immigrants from being harassed by extreme right parties, this is one of the reason they vote for the labor party. On the other hand, we see the popularity of Wilder's party take a boost up due to the fear of many Dutch from losing their own identity in addition to the fear from what they consider Islamic threat. In the middle of that, we see people who focus on detailed issues related to daily life and the requirement from the government to provide better support and services for the common citizen.

Will the picture becomes clearer in June when the general elections would take place? In other words, will the voter will go and make up his mind to select either right or left? this remains to be seen.

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