Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dutch elections, victory for freedom

The elections in the Netherlands have produced two substantial winners and two losers. However, I will let you count the number of times in the media YOU see how one of the winners is portrayed.

The first winner is the new leading party, the VVD (People's Party for Freedom and Democracy) which is a party of economic and social liberalism. It is similar in mould to how ACT (NZ) presents itself. It believes in free markets, welfare only for Dutch citizens, and reductions in taxes. It appears to have gained nine seats, increasing vote from 14.7% to 20.4%.

The second winner, is the new third party, the one that will get the most publicity, the PVV (Party for Freedom). It is led by Geert Wilders, a man who the British government sought to ban because he opposes Islam. The PVV believes in substantial tax cuts and reductions in the welfare state, the abolition of the minimum wage, is sceptical about the European Union, and believes only immigrants who embrace Dutch humanist and Judeo-Christian values should be admitted. Wilders is radically opposed to Islam, which means he is portrayed in much media as being "far right nationalist". However, like the late Pim Fortuyn, Wilders is no fascist. He simply vehemently defends the social liberalism and tolerance for individual diversity that the Netherlands hold dear AGAINST those who wish to destroy it. On top of that, he would implement a radical programme to cut the role of the state. It has gained 15 seats, rising from 5.9% to 15.5% of the vote.

So between those two, 36% of Dutch voters supported scaling back the size of government.

The losers were:

The CDA (Christian Democrat Appeal), a centrist conservative party. It believes in reducing state spending, but also tougher controls on drugs, prostitution, abortion and euthanasia. It supports decentralised control of schools and hospitals, and wider European integration. It is the party of the outgoing Prime Minister, Jan Balkenende. It lost 20 seats, to drop from 26.5% to 13.7% of the vote.

The SP (Socialist Party), which believes in the welfare state, state health and education, and opposes privatisation and globalisation. It was originally a Maoist Party during the height of the Cultural Revolution. It lost 10 seats, dropping from 16.6% to 9.9% of the vote.

It would seem Dutch voters rejected conservatism in favour of small government, and the financial crisis has also seen them turning from Marxism.

Other results were modest losses for the centre-left Labour Party (from 21.2% to 19.6% of the vote), and the centrist (conservative socially, economically leftwing) Christian Union (from 4% to 3.3%).

There were also gains for the Democratic 66 Party (an unusual blend of liberalising labour markets, supporting tax cuts and market reforms to healthcare and education, combined with environmentalism, radical social liberalism and a federal Europe) which soared from 2% to 6.9% (arguably another party that believes in less government) and the Greenleft party (which is an unsurprising mix of environmentalism, former communists and believers in big government socialism) which went from 4.6% to 6.6%.

So capitalism is hardly under attack in the Netherlands when the main parties that gained support believe in more free market policies, with the only leftwing party making any gains hardly making up for the losses from other leftwing parties.

1 comment:

Redbaiter said...

"It would seem Dutch voters rejected conservatism in favour of small government, and the financial crisis has also seen them turning from Marxism."

What utter rubbish. There are a dozen points in your analysis that challenge this conclusion. Leaving aside the obvious contradiction in "the rejection of conservatism in favour of small government". If the party concerned wasn't for small government they're not Conservatives.

Pffft.. You Libertarians are so determined to twist reality into a shape that suits your silly cultist viewpoints. No wonder you're struggling for traction.