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  Politics and Elections in the Netherlands: coalition agreement presented
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Author Topic: Politics and Elections in the Netherlands: coalition agreement presented  (Read 188791 times)
Grand Wizard Lizard of the Klan
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« Reply #75 on: September 10, 2015, 12:07:46 pm »

SGP's position is that helping refugees "is a part of Christian culture that has left its mark on our continent", but is against "opening all doors for asylum seekers". Party leader Kees van der Staaij said that we should help anyone who genuinely needs help. However, the government should continue to stay critical and reluctant: "Whoever doesn't really need to be here, needs to be discouraged." He thinks it's problematic to select refugees who are already in our country on the basis of religion, but if we are inviting people who aren't in our country yet, we should prioritize Christians.


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DavidB.
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« Reply #76 on: September 10, 2015, 12:50:27 pm »
« Edited: September 10, 2015, 01:16:03 pm by DavidB. »

I think the moment our countries politics took different paths in this respect was when Fortuyn increased the use of sensationalism and media to get his point across rather than traditional electoral means. Even in death, he managed to attract publicity to the overall political scene, which allowed people like Wilders, Pechtold and to a certain extent Roemer to thrive on image rather than substance. Even someone like Samson was parachuted in based on image and how well he did in debates (reinventing the lightbulb, etc...).

Here in Belgium, we are still very rigid across party lines, everybody has their own little electorate that they are satisfied with, and the only sensationalism comes from the cross community debate. The N-VA were more of a success due to the eclectic nature of their political philosophy (nationalism can be bent so many ways) and De Wever comes across as more credible than the three characters above, hence why he has the keys to power and a certain degree of influence. Wilders is an isolated populist who reacts to news items. He is box office for media but he will never be trusted with power again, and will probably fade. Conversely, I don't think we will see the N-VA under 20% for the next 20 years unless something major happens.

I wonder what you think of it.
Pim Fortuyn undoubtedly changed Dutch politics forever, and politics has become much more polarized ever since. I disagree that his popularity was mainly based on sensationalism, for movements like his were popular in many European countries: this was a time when FPÖ was in government, DF started to be a government partner, etc. Not because of sensationalism, but because there were many issues voters considered "unaddressed", which led to the emergence of new parties. Fortuyn used a different style than the other Dutch parties, a style one could call populist (even though the meaning of this word is often unclear), but the issues he addressed were real in the eyes of many voters. The degree of shock in the "establishment" was enormous, because Pim Fortuyn's popularity was considered unthinkable in a country that saw itself as the moral leader of the world (people really thought this), the most tolerant place on earth - it was a rude wake-up call for so many people who thought this was only possible in Belgium and in Austria.

Then Fortuyn got killed and the idea that left-wing "demonization" had been the cause of Fortuyn's murder led to a movement in which "the people's will" suddenly started to matter (or at least politicians tried to make it look like that), as opposed to the Purple period, when parties ruled more technocratically. This is also why the Netherlands has become one of the countries with the most "politically incorrect" culture, for better or for worse (both, I think). While the Flemish cordon sanitaire against VB worked quite effectively and VB did little to make itself more acceptable to other parties, leading to a situation in which other parties didn't feel the necessity to rethink/shift their positions and in which parties have their own stable electorate, the Netherlands saw the rejection of the European Constitution (which fuelled polarization) and the popularity of the newly formed PVV (which fulled polatization as well), which led to the current polarization.

I don't agree with the statement that Roemer, Pechtold, Wilders, and other "populist" politicians win votes more on image than on substance. The political debate in the Netherlands has simply become more polarized than in Belgium since Fortuyn entered the stage (I agree that this is the moment everything changed), and Dutch voters have many more options in terms of parties than Flemish voters, leading to an incentive for parties to make their positions extra clear and to voice them in a more pronounced/extreme way. This led to the greatest electoral volatility in Western Europe, but I would argue that this isn't necessarily bad for the functioning of our democracy.

The place of the new-right in our political system is fundamentally different than in Belgium, where VB has its own (quickly declining) base and the N-VA attracts people who want a VB-light-but-not-really with a slight populist tone. The fact that Pim Fortuyn got killed implied, for many people, that politicians from other parties would have to take seriously the ideas he addressed. When parties didn't really succeed in doing so, Wilders' popularity eventually forced the VVD tot the right and led the VVD to take the PVV on board of the Rutte-I cabinet. Now, the PVV has shifted too far to the "right" to be a serious party for cooperation: the "fewer Moroccans" speech will forever enable other parties to ignore the PVV.

It remains to be seen what happens next, because there is still space to the electoral right of the VVD. Maybe a new movement will be successful (a Dutch N-VA to the right of the VVD?), maybe the PVV will slowly decline VB-style (which is inevitable if they stay "untouchable" for other parties for a longer time), maybe the PVV will eventually get a new leader and become more of a "moderate" party, like the Finns Party or the Danish People's Party. Time will tell, but the VVD will undoubtedly be pushed to the right even more.

Regarding the new-right's position I have to add that the countries' history with nationalism is very different, which has as well rendered different the way people look at this phenomenon. Flemish nationalism is considered somewhat "brown". It doesn't take a rocket scientist (or a political scientist Wink) to see that the Flemish independence movement, at least in VB/fraternity circles, is filled with racists and anti-Semites, who do little to hide these positions (look, for instance, at the people who go to the IJzerwake). In the Netherlands, the image of "being Dutch" is much more rooted in resisting occupation and being independent (even though it's sort of "double", because Dutch nationalism is still considered wrong and something of the past in which people shouldn't engage). The positions of quite "mainstream" people within the Flemish independence movement are really, really to the neo-nazi fringe in the Netherlands. Dutch right-wing nationalism is more subtle, not openly racist or anti-Semitic, which also makes it more acceptable for others - and which makes it more popular in general (of course I'm not saying there is no racism among Dutch new-right supporters, but if it's there, it isn't as inherent to the movement's history as in Flanders, and it's somewhat more hidden than in Flanders). I would argue that these historical differences and their consequences made it less problematic for the Rutte-I government to work with the PVV than for Flemish parties to work with VB.
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DavidB.
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« Reply #77 on: September 13, 2015, 08:35:00 am »
« Edited: September 13, 2015, 08:42:52 am by DavidB. »

3,100 migrants have come to the Netherlands last week, so I think it's safe to say that the crisis is starting to directly affect the country.

In the latest Peil.nl poll, the PVV won two seats. SP lost two. GroenLinks won one and CDA lost one. Interesting indicators. Probably working-class SP/PVV swing voters valued Wilders' approach to the migrant crisis in the parliamentary debate more than the SP's open borders approach. Pechtold's attacks on Wilders might have helped the PVV and indirectly hurt the SP: Pechtold, who is seen as elitist, is extremely unpopular among this type of voters.

24% of the voters think the PVV has the best plan regarding refugees, 14% say VVD, 7% say CDA. SP 6%, D66 5%, GL 5%, PvdA 5%, other party 4%, no party 8%, dunno 22%.

44% of the voters think the government should not have accepted the European quota to take in 9000 refugees. 51% agree with the government.
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« Reply #78 on: September 14, 2015, 11:49:01 am »

I have a hard time seeing how any plausible, let alone remotely stable, coalition could be formed if an election would result in anything resembling the current polls. The closest I can come up with is a VVD-CDA-D66 minority government. For that reason alone, any reasonable person should hope the next election is still far away.
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DavidB.
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« Reply #79 on: September 14, 2015, 12:24:53 pm »

I might be dead wrong, but I highly doubt that the field will be as fragmented in terms of seat distribution as it is now one week before the next general election. This was what we thought last time as well, but the television debates etc. changed the dynamics and the polls dramatically. But yes, the fact that the Dutch party system has come to consist of six middle-sized parties and then some small ones doesn't do wonders for political stability and I don't think that will change anytime soon.

I don't think there will be a minority government. We don't have such a tradition. Both the Rutte-I coalition (minority in parliament and senate; led to instability) and this coalition (minority only in senate; leads to instability) are seen as "mistakes". It is widely acknowlegded that the next government will need a senatorial majority, so it will probably have to consist of 3+ parties - and in all likelihood it will not be really stable, indeed. Fun, fun, fun.
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DavidB.
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« Reply #80 on: September 17, 2015, 07:52:38 pm »
« Edited: September 17, 2015, 08:45:50 pm by DavidB. »

On the third Tuesday of September the government - as always - presented the budget for next year. There is an entire ceremony in which the King makes a speech. Afterwards, the plans are officially published (MPs get to know it some days before, much of the content is always leaked to the press before the actual third Tuesday of September) and there are some days of parliamentary debate about it - historically, these have been the most important debates of the year.

Big shocker: the government parties support the plans, the opposition parties are sceptical. Debating experts have analyzed the debates and, as every year, gave the "most clear debater" an award. This time, Geert Wilders has been considered the most clear debater. Last year, Alexander Pechtold won the contest.

The debates have been pretty unfriendly, even for modern Dutch standards. Maybe I'll post some soundbites tomorrow, if people find that interesting. Pechtold Godwinned Wilders. Wilders said that not only the government, but also parliament doesn't represent the Dutch people anymore and talked about "the dumbo's of D66". He said that the Dutch people are being replaced by "islamic invasions" and says that the country is slowly transforming into one big asylum center.

Without personally judging the content of his speech (which is highly subjective anyway, this is not Individual Politics/Political Debate), I think this was both one of Wilders' strongest performances in terms of debating and also one of his most controversial speeches - and his bar in doing so was already pretty high.
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DavidB.
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« Reply #81 on: September 20, 2015, 09:50:24 am »
« Edited: September 20, 2015, 09:54:12 am by DavidB. »

New peil.nl/Maurice de Hond poll after the debates on next year's budget:
PVV +3, GroenLinks +1
VVD -1, SP -1, CDA -1, D66 -1.

I expect the PVV to overtake the VVD as largest party in the next "Peilingwijzer". In the peil.nl/MdH poll, the PVV is already the largest party (PVV 29, CDA 21, VVD 20), but they tend to underpoll VVD.

What is your opinion of the government's budget for next year?
Positive - 26%
Neutral - 32%
Negative - 35%

VVD (37%) and D66 voters (34%) most positive.

Which of the two government parties' stance is most visible in the budget for 2016?
VVD - 50%
PvdA - 13%
Both equally visible - 22%
Dunno - 15%

56% of PvdA-2012 voters think that the VVD's stance is most visible. This is worrisome for the PvdA.

Should Wilders be allowed to state in a parliamentary debate that Parliament is a "fake parliament"?
Yes - 68%
No - 30%

Most "No" among D66 voters (54-44) and CDA voters (48-44). PVV voters (98-2), VVD voters (79-19), 50+ voters (74-21), and SP voters (71-26) are most "yes".

Do you agree with Wilders that Parliament is a "fake parliament"?
Yes - 39%
No - 57%

I am worried by this high percentage. 94% of PVV voters, 51% of SP voters, and 40% (!) of VVD voters say yes.

Breakdown by education level:
High: Yes 25%, No 72%
Average: Yes 42%, No 53%
Low: Yes 55%, No 41%

The mainstream parties (non-PVV/SP) are increasingly having a hard time representing the lower classes.
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DC Al Fine
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« Reply #82 on: September 20, 2015, 10:54:21 am »

What's "fake parliament" mean?
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politicus
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« Reply #83 on: September 20, 2015, 11:06:31 am »


Not representing the will of the people.
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DavidB.
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« Reply #84 on: September 20, 2015, 06:43:10 pm »

Yes. Forgot to say that this became an issue because D66 leader Alexander Pechtold complained about the fact that Speaker Anouchka van Miltenburg (VVD) allowed Wilders to say this. Pechtold's reasoning was that parliament is democratically legitimized and therefore one cannot say parliament is not legitimate or "fake".

Van Miltenburg replied that it is a constitutional right for MPs to be allowed to voice every opinion they want in parliament. She also said there was space for everyone to discuss or rebut Wilders' remark. Prime Minister Rutte stated that Wilders' comment was inappropriate and nonsensical, but he has the right to say it, and we shouldn't give the comment too much attention.
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DavidB.
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« Reply #85 on: September 21, 2015, 11:30:48 am »
« Edited: September 21, 2015, 11:32:40 am by DavidB. »

Meanwhile, the petition for a referendum on the EU Association Agreement with Ukraine has been signed 220,000 times. The organizers have until September 28 to reach 300,000 and then the referendum will be organized. I don't think they will manage to get to that number, but it's going to be close. The tempo in which they are collecting them has gone up again, after some weeks of almost no progress. Maybe it's gone up because it was mentioned by Geert Wilders in the parliamentary debate on the budget.
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DavidB.
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« Reply #86 on: September 23, 2015, 07:03:24 pm »
« Edited: September 25, 2015, 08:39:47 am by DavidB. »

Referendum proposal at 273k. Contrary to my previous posts, it's probably going to happen, because there is suddenly much attention for it. They only need 27k more, in four days. At this rate they will get there, especially since the "offline" signed petitions aren't even included in the count. I'm impressed. This is going to be interesting.

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DavidB.
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« Reply #87 on: September 24, 2015, 04:53:12 pm »

286k now.
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DavidB.
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« Reply #88 on: September 25, 2015, 07:31:04 am »

The proposal was at 289k this morning.

The biggest Dutch tabloid, De Telegraaf, revealed that the government isn't happy with this. A referendum would likely be organized in the first months of 2016 - the Association Agreement will already have come into force by then... - and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte will then be the President of the Council of Europe on behalf of the Netherlands, which will lead to an awkward situation if Dutch voters say "no" to the Association Agreement.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wants the government to endorse the Association Agreement, but the cabinet is not sure about that, considering the fact that the government enthusiastically endorsed the European Constitution in 2005, which led to an extreme backlash and the rejection of the Constitution. A high Dutch EU diplomat has called the potential referendum "a fishbone in the throat" of the government.
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politicus
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« Reply #89 on: September 25, 2015, 08:20:04 am »
« Edited: September 25, 2015, 08:36:18 am by politicus »

maybe the PVV will eventually get a new leader and become more of a "moderate" party, like the Finns Party or the Danish People's Party. Time will tell

Given that PVV only has two members: Geert Wilders and the Geert Wilders foundation, how is that gong to happen? It seems unlikely he would anoint a moderate heir.

For all their top-down management and leadership intolerance of critics both DPP and the Finns Party do have an actual membership.
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DavidB.
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« Reply #90 on: September 25, 2015, 08:35:38 am »
« Edited: September 25, 2015, 08:37:39 am by DavidB. »

Given that PVV only has two members: Geert Wilders and the Geert Wilders foundation, how is that gong to happen?

For all their top-down management and leadership intolerance of critics both DPP and the Finns Party do have an actual membership.
Yeah, the only possibility for this to happen would be if Wilders steps down voluntarily and allows this to happen - he could then make this person a party member as well. To be sure, I don't really see this happening in the near future. I'm thinking about the long-term future for the PVV.
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« Reply #91 on: September 25, 2015, 12:44:49 pm »
« Edited: September 25, 2015, 12:46:27 pm by JosepBroz »

Unlike the N-VA and Vlaams Belang, as well as other 'new right' forces in Europe, Wilders has no base whatsoever in local and regional governments. People forget that Wilders' party was born out of a parliamentary defection that attracted a lot of attention. He then started a complete path of political stunts to attract various types of electorates that I went into detail at the start of the thread. He still has no local party organisms, and his strong regional results probably coincide with the same election of a national chamber on the same day.

At best the typical structures he can rely on are the scared elderly, the people who still believe in Fortuyn's core anti-Islam message and the intellectual baggage around it (which is far from a flawed political philosophy given current events, but not enough to constitute a genuine reliable electorate in the long run), and anti-globalists who are also anti-leftist. There's no way the Netherlands hasn't benefited from globalisation.

I know it is clichéd to say the 'new right' movement is a flash in the pan in Europe, but in the Dutch case the PVV will probably not exist in ten years time. Another party will take its place, that is either currently standing or will be born out of another round of VVD defection and crucially, the growing number of local parties that adopt a few 'New Right' ideas. This started with the Leefbaar movement.  
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« Reply #92 on: September 25, 2015, 01:52:19 pm »

Possibly heading off-topic, but why is it that Flanders has a heavy amount of populist-rightism, but Wallonia doesn't?
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politicus
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« Reply #93 on: September 25, 2015, 02:49:29 pm »

Possibly heading off-topic, but why is it that Flanders has a heavy amount of populist-rightism, but Wallonia doesn't?

They are the rich partner in an unpopular union with "southern poors" (see Northern Italy).
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DavidB.
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« Reply #94 on: September 25, 2015, 04:40:01 pm »
« Edited: September 25, 2015, 07:30:10 pm by DavidB. »

A lot of interesting statements. I'm going to try to reply to most of them.

I know it is clichéd to say the 'new right' movement is a flash in the pan in Europe, but in the Dutch case the PVV will probably not exist in ten years time. Another party will take its place, that is either currently standing or will be born out of another round of VVD defection and crucially, the growing number of local parties that adopt a few 'New Right' ideas. This started with the Leefbaar movement.  
Let's start with the main point of your post. I always find it hard to "predict"; I don't have a crystal ball. Ten years is a very long time. I truly don't know what will happen to the PVV (or to this PVV). It might be replaced by another new-right party, or it might continue under the name "PVV" in a direction that seems electorally fruitful - with or without Wilders. I suppose the PVV won't exist as it exists now in ten years, with Wilders as leader and the same "direction" in terms of policy/harsh statements, but even that I don't know for sure.

Ten years ago, the VVD was also a very different party. So even if I doubt the viability of the current course of the PVV in the long term, I also doubt if that conclusion about this specific party is necessarily relevant. What seems a sure thing to me is that the Dutch new-right will be an important political force in ten years time, as important as now or possibly stronger.

Unlike the N-VA and Vlaams Belang, as well as other 'new right' forces in Europe, Wilders has no base whatsoever in local and regional governments. People forget that Wilders' party was born out of a parliamentary defection that attracted a lot of attention. He then started a complete path of political stunts to attract various types of electorates that I went into detail at the start of the thread. He still has no local party organisms, and his strong regional results probably coincide with the same election of a national chamber on the same day.
I think you are overestimating the importance of local party organizations to be a successful new-right party in terms of vote seeking, office seeking, or policy seeking. The PVV was perfectly able to have influence when it entered Rutte-I.

I think not establishing local party organizations has strengthened the PVV rather than weakened. It is hard to say this in an objective, neutral way, but there don't seem to be so many capable PVV politicians. The PVV can truly miss the loonies, the loudmouths, the racists, and the gaffe-prone people who will embarrass the party and hurt its chances on the national level.

At best the typical structures he can rely on are the scared elderly, the people who still believe in Fortuyn's core anti-Islam message and the intellectual baggage around it (which is far from a flawed political philosophy given current events, but not enough to constitute a genuine reliable electorate in the long run), and anti-globalists who are also anti-leftist.
I think this part of your post is pretty POV, as they call it on Wikipedia. First of all, the PVV's core electorate of disappointed voters or voters who want "change" seems substantial and, indeed, sustainable. I do think that the Dutch new right will have a genuinely reliable electorate in the future. Of course, "reliable" is subjective and the new right will continue to struggle with problems regarding turnout and disillusionment with all political parties, including new-right ones. Secondly, as the "culture wars" and value-oriented issues (immigration, refugees, EU, "globalization" in general) might have become the most politically "salient" ones, there will always be a party to fill the gap on the end of the political spectrum. Islam is simply quite important to Dutch politics and to Dutch political discourse, and it plays an important part in people's conception of the current state of affairs in the Netherlands. I am confused by your use of the word "still", because the influence of these issues doesn't seem to diminish (even if it temporarily seemed so after the collapse of the Rutte-I cabinet in 2012): the refugee crisis and the amount of talk about IS - and their effect on the PVV's popularity - prove that.

There's no way the Netherlands hasn't benefited from globalisation.
I think it is hard to reply to such statements. What is "globalization"? I don't know. I think I may agree with you, but it is too generalizing a term. More importantly, it is irrelevant. What matters if voters think the Netherlands has benefited from the developments that have also affected the Netherlands. If 30% think the Netherlands hasn't become a better country to live in, and that might very well be the case - for conceivable and less conceivable reasons to us - then this can become politically relevant, even if "globalization" has been "all positive, all the time".

For me, even if I agree that "globalization" as a whole has had a positive impact on the country, that answer will not be an unequivocal "yes" or "no", and I think this will be the case for most people. There are inherently some developments that have hurt people in the Netherlands. The country might have benefited greatly from Schengen and the free movement of goods and persons (I think it did), but it has, for instance, caused rampant problems with drug trafficking in Limburg, affecting people's lives negatively as they experience an increase in crime and a decrease in the feeling to be secure in their own neighborhoods. People's jobs are on the line because it is cheaper to produce cars in Poland than in the Netherlands. Do you see where I'm going? Personally, I find it too easy to "look down upon" these people. To be clear, I am not saying you are doing so, but many people do, and many people in The Hague do. As strange as it sounds for someone who is "privileged" in many respects, I feel for these people, who don't seem to be taken seriously by the parties that were created in order to represent them.

By the way, add to the potential "PVV voter coalition" the young, married, double-income, middle-class couples who live in the new "Vinex" neighborhoods (built in the 1990s and the 2000s) in suburbs or satellite towns. In 2012, these people swung heavily toward the VVD, because they are right-wing (they feel economically insecure) when it comes to the economy. However, they are very critical of developments regarding Islam, even if Wilders sometimes takes it too far for these people, and even if the VVD sometimes satisfies these people with populist statements regarding "law and order", it is not enough. If the election will be primarily about the economy, these people will swing to the VVD, as was the case in 2012 (and less so in 2010). But if the election will be more about immaterial issues, and these issues are the issues which make the PVV skyrocket in the polls (such as now), then the PVV or any other future new-right party which plays its cards the smart way is going to win.

Possibly heading off-topic, but why is it that Flanders has a heavy amount of populist-rightism, but Wallonia doesn't?
I don't want to ignore you, because it is a good question. I just don't think I'm qualified to answer this question because I don't really know so much about politics in Wallonia. Maybe Belgian posters could help.

I am not entirely convinced by politicus' answer. It is logical that most Wallonians want Belgium to remain one country, but a Wallonian far-right or new-right party doesn't necessarily have to be secessionist (or extremely pro-Belgian) - it could also simply ignore the "polity" issues and focus on things like "Islamization", law and order, and distrust of the existing political parties. Still, it doesn't really exist (only some insignificant marginal groups do), whereas Wallonia seems to have an extremely fertile soil for the new-right.

The referendum proposal, by the way, was at 298k a few hours ago. More elections = more fun Tongue
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« Reply #95 on: September 26, 2015, 10:53:25 am »
« Edited: September 26, 2015, 12:13:56 pm by DavidB. »

300k has been reached, but mistakes will have been made: people inadvertently giving wrong addresses, signing multiple times etc, but also trolls. The Electoral Council will take a sample of 4,000 of which more than 90% has to be valid in order for the referendum to be organized. Therefore, GeenPeil is still urging people to sign, in order to increase the percentage of valid signatures.

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« Reply #96 on: September 26, 2015, 01:39:27 pm »

Possibly heading off-topic, but why is it that Flanders has a heavy amount of populist-rightism, but Wallonia doesn't?

A few factors i can think of :

1/ No Walloon identity. You will find it hard to find anyone who responds ''Walloon'' when you ask them where you are from here. Completely different to Flanders, which is a homogeous nation. Very little ethnic nationalism, Walloons seem to me to be adherents to the moderate Castillan ''poquito nacion'' concept of only caring about your close environment rather than grandiose forms of nationalism.

2/ Previous "Front National" was a total shambles and dissolved before it could ride on the "Bleu Marine" wave (which is popular here in Belgium, more than you think). Its successors were ''La Droite'' (mainstream new right but claims to be the equivalent of the French centre-right, which is essentially political suicide in Wallonia), Parti Populaire (Wilders-esque rank and file populism with Modrikamen as their cult leader, anti-Islam), Debout Les Belges (Laurent Louis leading the anti-Zionist charge). Basically they are too busy arguing who to hate more (muslims or jews) to form a united ''New Right'' party with at least a degree of sane rhetoric a la Wilders, Le Pen.

3/ In many ways, Walloons who lost out due to globalisation realise that the problem wasn't European integration (that if anything preserved their coal and steel industries), but global capitalism as whole. The conservative right-wing parties like Partie Populaire are openly free market liberals.

4/ Masterful politicking by the de facto party of government, PS, who play any Walloon inferiority complex to a tee on the federal level.
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Hydera
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« Reply #97 on: September 26, 2015, 03:34:29 pm »
« Edited: September 26, 2015, 03:41:34 pm by Hydera »

Possibly heading off-topic, but why is it that Flanders has a heavy amount of populist-rightism, but Wallonia doesn't?

1. Flanders is wealthier but thats a more recent thing, Wallonia used to be the industrial heart of Belgium and was more wealthy, However post 1970s when deindustrialization in most of the west became a long-term trend. It was flipped, the flemish who weren't dependent on industry and developed a better Services economy to compensate, flourished in the aftermath.  More wealthier = more right of centre leaning.

2. Because of #1,  Flemish tax revenues has been forced to be used to subsidize welfare for wallonians, since their unemployment is higher when they didn't diversify from industry when globalization became a thing.  Rightful anger at this means more support for right of centre parties in general.

3.  History of flemish culture being hold down by the Culturally french-Wallonians.  Resulting in distrust of government in general more-so in flanders.

1+2+3 = Unpopularity of the left(70% of Flemish voted for right of centre parties in the last General and Regional elections) and Flanders being right of centre dominated.

Mind you Wallonia is very left leaning so as it goes in many many countries, popularity of X in one region can cause a reaction in support for the opposite of X, in another region.

The left might of been more popular in Flanders had they not kept sucking Wallonia's....  uh... and had more of a flemish nationalist flavor. And less willing to sign away tax revenues to Wallonia whichgiven the history of Wallonia having the majority of investment poured in from both foreign and domestic spending.  From the Industrial Revolution times, up to WW2.


Possibly heading off-topic, but why is it that Flanders has a heavy amount of populist-rightism, but Wallonia doesn't?

3/ In many ways, Walloons who lost out due to globalisation realise that the problem wasn't European integration (that if anything preserved their coal and steel industries), but global capitalism as whole. The conservative right-wing parties like Partie Populaire are openly free market liberals.


Capitalism giveth, Capitalism taketh away.

If you think switching to Communism/Socialism would of preserved wallonian industry. I want to cry of laughter.
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DavidB.
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« Reply #98 on: September 26, 2015, 03:37:50 pm »

1. Flanders is wealthier but thats a more recent thing, Wallonia used to be the industrial heart of Belgium and was more wealthy, However post 1970s when deindustrialization in most of the west became a long-term trend. It was flipped, the flemish who weren't dependent on industry and developed a better Services economy to compensate, flourished in the aftermath.  More wealthier = more right of centre leaning.

2. Because of #1,  Flemish tax revenues has been forced to be used to subsidize welfare for wallonians, since their unemployment is higher when they didn't diversify from industry when globalization became a thing.  Rightful anger at this means more support for right of centre parties in general.

3.  History of flemish culture being hold down by the Culturally french-Wallonians.  Resulting in distrust of government in general more-so in flanders.

1+2+3 = Unpopularity of the left(70% of Flemish voted for right of centre parties in the last General and Regional elections) and Flanders being right of centre dominated.
All of this might explain the popularity of the new-right/far-right in Flanders (even though I wouldn't even call the N-VA truly new-right), but it doesn't explain the absence of a new-right/far-right party in Wallonia, which is what Crab asked about.
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« Reply #99 on: September 26, 2015, 04:10:14 pm »
« Edited: September 26, 2015, 04:15:48 pm by DavidB. »

Have you read about the Vlaams-Belang?

[picture]

There was a true far-right party in Belgium and a lot of their supporters over the years. Fled to the N-VA because unlike VB, it was clean and had independence goals, but none of the negative aspects obviously. So a lot of VB voters felt they would have more influence in the political stage by switching to N-Va.

Of course I know about VB and of course I know that N-VA (which I still do not consider new-right, even if it has some tendencies that could be qualified as "populist", a term I, however, normally like to avoid because of its vagueness) has absorbed much of VB's former support in recent years. I speak Dutch, you know. I actually know a guy who is active in VB. The point is that Crab's question didn't relate to Flanders or to Belgium as a whole, but specifically to Wallonia, where the far-right/new-right doesn't really get support.
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