Thursday, November 23, 2006

The State of Malcontent I

There's no ducking the Dutch election results, much as I'd like to. Although I'm preparing a broader in-depth analysis which goes further than the political issues involved, let's stick today to the narrow results.

It's all confused, which is symptomatic of the state the country as a whole. Since nobody is aware of the depth and seriousness of the predicament, the wrong interpretation is made. What stands out?

- The Christian-Democrats (CDA) lost a few seats, but are still the leading party despite austerity measures which have been a source of unprecedented malcontent in the last few years (about which later).
- Labour (PvdA), for years tipped as the winner, lost miserably. It's leader Wouter Bos (see elsewhere in this blog), upon entering the political scene a few years back, looked like the ideal son-in-law; friend and foe expected him to become the next Prime Minister. Wouter Bos, however, though nobody's realized it yet, has swiftly developed as cynical and bitter opportunist who isn't beyond power play and cheap political tricks. Although he's gotten away with it almost unnoticed to date, voters feel such things intuitively.
- His rival however, the former Maoist Socialist Party (SP) won resoundingly!. It's leader by contrast is a sympathetic, rough-labourer-with-a-brain type of man, who comes across as utterly reliable and authentic. He's won the day and he will from here on be hard to ignore. The issues however he has brought to the fore to date, have been more bordering the lunatic left, rather than mature and ready for government.
- Newcomer Geert Wilders' classical liberal party (PvdV) won 9 seats on a stop-islamization platform.
- As a consequence his former party (VVD, classical liberal as well) lost and is now at a all-time low.
- The other new kid on the block on an anti-Islam platform, Marco Pastors (EenNL), got nowhere.
- As did the late Pim Fortuyn's party (LPF).

The outgoing government was already a matter of small margins and had just a few seats majority in the Lower House of Parliament. To distill a workable government out of the present hung situation (about 50% leftist and 50% more or less right-wing) will present a hell of job for the Queen and her Mediator (informateur). There are almost no obvious majorities and the one there is (CDA/PvdA/SP), is unwanted by many.
To be continued.

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