The Netherlands gives Geert Wilders the thumbs down

by , under Enrique

Voters in the Netherlands did not back Geert Wilders’ calls for the country to ditch the European Union, reports the BBC. Wilders, who has dominated Dutch politics for years, is known for his tough anti-Islam and now anti-EU stance. Among many of his provocative statements, the Dutch politician has equated the Koran with Hitler’s Mein Kampf

The biggest victors of the Dutch elections were pro-EU parties like the center-right VVD (41 seats) and center-left Labor Party (39). Between them they could form a majority in the 150-member lower house.

Contrarily, Wilders’ Freedom Party saw its share of seats plummet from 24 to 13.

Geert Wilders getting grilled on BBC’s Hardtalk. 

Just like the Islamophobic Danish People’s Party that supported minority governments for a decade in exchange for tougher immigration laws, the election setback to the Freedom Party comes as a big blow to their influence in national politics.

The interesting question to ask is how the setback for the Freedom Party will impact the Perussuomalaiset (PS) of Finland and other likeminded parties in Europe.

This is a valid question. It’s pretty clear that the PS’ election victory in 2011 had a positive impact on similar anti-immigration parties in the Nordic region and elsewhere in Europe.

Despite Europe’s financial woes and issues with anti-immigration populist parties, it’s clear that a growing number of Europeans are not buying their xenophobic message.

As Migrant Tales has pointed out on a number of occasions, the worst enemies of parties like the PS, Freedom Party, Danish People’s Party, Sweden Democrats and others are none other than themselves.

 

  1. JM

    I don’t really see why you are advertising this guy, Wilders is one of the biggest hypocrites in Europe, he claims to be against immigration and Muslims and yet he is descended from both (his grandmother was Indonesian) he also runs a website that promotes hate against European (especially Eastern European) immigrants and blatantly anti-ziganist (though strongly Pro-Jewish and Pro-Israel). Wilders’ fail is much larger than that of the Danish People’s Party since they only lost 3 seats in their last election whereas Wilders now lost 9 seats. It’s not surprising since many people can smell hypocrisy from a distance.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Hi JM, you are absolutely right about Wilders. The election defeat of his party will certainly have an impact not only in the Netherlands but in other parts of Europe. No matter what these anti-immigration parties are called and where they are from, they come from the same place. They are anti-EU, anti-immigration and especially anti-Islam. All of them have these three things in common.

  2. Mark

    The interesting question to ask is how the setback for the Freedom Party will impact the Perussuomalaiset (PS) of Finland and other likeminded parties in Europe.

    I will be surprised if PS’s support drops below 15% in a general election for the time being. I think they will make significant gains compared to previous results in the local elections, though probably not as high as the 19% in the last election.

    I think that PS are here to stay for the foreseeable and that it’s only perhaps after PS getting into some kind of power-sharing role that their support will start to erode, as they will find it very hard to deliver anything tangibly beneficial to Finnish voters even if given the chance.

    The high unemployment rate among young Finnish men particularly in rural Finland coupled with the social conservatism of older Finnish men combine to provide PS with the majority of their support.

    Militancy usually appeals more to young men and bigoted conservatism to older men.

    The key issue is improving the employment prospects of this potentially ‘lost generation’. These young men are more and more marginalised themselves through prolonged unemployment, and ironically, they are more likely then to support a party that promises them improvements through pushing out other marginalised groups like immigrants.

    I don’t see this changing until better opportunities are made available to young people throughout Finland and they will be more likely to appreciate and support Finland’s existing values.

  3. Mark

    Oh yes, and the high unemployment also corresponds with lower educational attainment and leaving school early. So perhaps the benefits of higher education are found not just in improved job prospects, but also in a greater appreciation of the principles upon which Finnish society is founded.

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