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Tag Archives: extreme right; populism; Wilders; Dutch politics; US politics

Or so I heard: a guest on a Dutch talk show said something in that vein yesterday…
If anyone out there still has the courage and perseverance to follow Dutch politics: Wow! Impressive.
For those who haven’t (I personally don’t blame you): due to a weird construction, Dutch neo-Nazis now have the power to decide the fate of the current government, a coalition of Conservatives/Republicans (the American type) and Christian Democrats (definitely no liberals in the American sense).
Of course, every decent person in this country was worried, and still is. But some incidents over the past few weeks have turned the horror show at least into a horror comedy. The PVV (Wilders’ party) won a horrifying 24 seats in the last elections, which took place in June.
Being a populist extreme right-wing party, the PVV of course constantly beats the “law and order” drum… Usually with anti-immigrant overtones.
Of those twenty-four, at least seven MPs (a whopping 34% of their party in parliament) have criminal records: abuse, fraud, illegal firearms, you name it. The facts about three of them only became public knowledge over the past few weeks.
Because the PVV provides the 76th vote the government coalition needs, Mr Wilders has been twisting himself in knots to justify that he hasn’t kicked out any of these criminals.
Not to poop on the party, but: this isn’t just comedy, is it? It also is horror: is this our future? Will we be governed – if the current political trends in Europe and the US continue – by crooks?
Our situation is not all that different from the one in the US: the Tea Party is the American equivalent of the PVV. It’s a little scary that in the US these people can operate inside one of the two big political parties. But even that is – considering the different political systems – a lot more like the Dutch situation than it would seem at first sight.
Given the fact that America has in fact a two party system and the Dutch have ten parties (this time) in Parliament, it’s not too far-fetched to say that the two parties in the current Dutch government have the same kind of relationship with Wilders’ party as the Republicans have with the Tea Party. They simply need the votes.
Maybe I don’t need to mention that the Dutch government coalition, led by Conservative PM
Rutte, has ignored the matter of the criminal records that keep popping up like daffodils in spring.

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