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Source: (consider it) Thread: Dutch Election
stonespring
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The Dutch are going to the polls on March 15, before the French and German elections later this year. Here's a description of the political parties that won seats at the last election:

http://www.dutchnews.nl/features/2017/01/the-main-dutch-political-parties/

This does not include the new pro-immigrant DENK party formed by Labour MPs angry with their party's wooing of anti-immigrant voters.

Geert Wilders' (that other right-wing populist with the crazy hair) anti-Islam, anti-EU PVV party is first or tied for first in the polls, but since none of the other major parties are willing to work with them this time around they are unlikely to be in government. The seat predictions for the other parties, though, are so widely spread that coalition negotiations will be very, very difficult. Plus, PVV's popularity has forced many major parties, like the liberal conservative VVD and even Labour to toughen their stances on immigration.

Here is a look at seat predictions based on polls. Note that 76 seats are needed for a majority.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_Dutch_general_election,_2017#Seats

Is anyone here Dutch or a follower of Dutch politics? Do you think a super-grand coalition (or minority government with confidence and supply agreements) of some alphabet soup of VVD, CDA (Christian Democrats), Labour, D66 (center-left liberals), Green Left, and/or Christian Union (socially conservative but center-left otherwise) is possible? Will it be necessary (and possible) to include newer parties like 50PLUS (pensioners' concerns) and PvdD (animal rights) in any agreement to form a working government? Or will it be necessary (and workable) to enlist the support of the populist-left Socialist Party? Or will all of the headaches of corralling so many different parties force the more conservative parties (VVD and CDA) to go back on their promises and come to the negotiating table with Wilders' PVV?

Also, does anyone know how an outsider like me who in most cases would, if Dutch, vote for Labour decide how to vote in an election where Labour will almost certainly cease to be the banner-carrier for the center-left? (Labour might perform so poorly that they are third or fourth among left-wing parties and sixth or seventh overall.) I would assume that I would support Green Left or D66 but I'm not sure in a pinch which of those parties I would go for. D66 has more experience in government and is more willing to compromise to get things done (although their social liberal stances make it very hard for them to work with social conservatives like CDA and CU) - but as the party of progressive middle-class professionals, are they perhaps too economically centrist for me? Green Left, meanwhile, is being hailed by some as perhaps the new main center-left party, but with no experience in government, are they perhaps a bit too idealistic and fad-ish to be willing to make pragmatic compromises? My same doubts concerning lack of government experience and unwillingness to be pragmatic makes me unlikely to vote for the Socialist Party, if I were Dutch.

If Geert Wilders sneaks his way into holding up a government (as in 2010) or manages to prevent any workable government from forming, the Dutch election could not bode well for the coming French and German polls, so I think it is well worth discussing.

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Leorning Cniht
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As I understand it, the Dutch don't do constituencies: they do nationwide party-list PR. Which makes it a fairly "clean" election: what you vote is what you get.
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Ian Climacus

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quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
Geert Wilders' (that other right-wing populist with the crazy hair) anti-Islam, anti-EU PVV party is first or tied for first in the polls, but since none of the other major parties are willing to work with them this time around they are unlikely to be in government.

Does that mean if he came first, and could not form a coalition, it then passes to the party that came second to have a go?

And thank you Leorning Cniht for answering a question I had - how is voting conducted [seats, popular vote]?

Do the Dutch have preferential voting or is it vote for one and one alone? And if preferential, how does the system work?

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:

Do the Dutch have preferential voting or is it vote for one and one alone? And if preferential, how does the system work?

I think you vote for one candidate, and once a candidate has amassed enough voted to be elected, the rest migrate to the next candidate on his party's list. But given that my qualification for answering this question is "I once shared a house with a Dutchman", you might want to seek a more authoritative source.
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opaWim
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We, the Dutch, vote for a candidate on the list of a particular party.
In practice many vote for the number one on a list.
The total number of votes all members of a party get determines the number of seats that party gets in the "2e kamer" of the Dutch Parliament.
If a particular candidate gets at least the total number of votes divided by 150 in preferential votes, that candidate gets a seat.
The rest of the seats a party gets is given out in the order of the list of candidates of that party.
The party that gets the most votes, gets the first chance to form a cabinet. If that fails, the next party etc. It is also possible that an "informateur" is appointed who does preliminary work.
Purpose of all this is to form a cabinet that has a chance to get any work done by having enough support in the "2e kamer" and the "1e kamer".

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It's the Thirties all over again, possibly even worse.

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opaWim
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The result of the coming elections in The Netherlands is totally unpredictable.
After the British people voted for Brexit and the U.S. people voted for Trump, anything foolish has become a possibility.

See below [Frown]

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It's the Thirties all over again, possibly even worse.

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Ian Climacus

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Thanks opaWim and Leorning Cniht.

How are people elected to the "1e kamer" (Senate, if I understand)? Are they usually called 1st and 2nd chamber in Dutch?

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opaWim
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quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
Thanks opaWim and Leorning Cniht.

How are people elected to the "1e kamer" (Senate, if I understand)? Are they usually called 1st and 2nd chamber in Dutch?

1. The voters in a province vote for the "Provinciale Staten".

2. The members of the "Provinciale Staten" vote for the "Gedeputeerde Staten".

3. The members of the "Gedeputeerde Staten" choose the "1e kamer" (="de Senaat").

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It's the Thirties all over again, possibly even worse.

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opaWim
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For those who want to know it all in excruciating detail:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_the_Netherlands#Government

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/States_General_of_the_Netherlands

[ 26. February 2017, 14:36: Message edited by: opaWim ]

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It's the Thirties all over again, possibly even worse.

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Enoch
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And I thought our constitution was complicated.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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Ian Climacus

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Thanks, opaWim: I like excruciating detail.
[Biased]

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stonespring
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quote:
Originally posted by opaWim:
The result of the coming elections in The Netherlands is totally unpredictable.
After the British people voted for Brexit and the U.S. people voted for Trump, anything foolish has become a possibility.

See below [Frown]

opaWim,

Do you think that a working anti-Wilders coalition is feasible given the number of disparate parties it would probably have to comprise?

Also, what do you make of the sharp decline in support for Labour? Are they no longer the leading party of the center-left and might Green Links replace them in this role? Do you think Green Links has what it takes to ever produce a prime minister or at least be an effective #2 party in a coalition that might be led by a conservative party? Or do you think this is just a normal punishment of the junior coalition partner that will reverse itself in future elections?

Dutch politics is unusual in that coalitions of Labour with the Christian Democrat CDA have been common for quite some time and since the 90s it has also become normal for Labour to form coalitions with the conservative liberal VVD (these three parties being the "big three" that tend to produce prime ministers). Has this changed so that no party of the left or right is now able to be a junior partner in coalition with a party on the other side of the left-right divide without risking severe losses in the next election? Will this make forming an anti-Wilders coalition even more difficult?

Finally, what do you think of the centrist D66 (which, as its name indicates, has been around since the political realignments of the 60's)? Are they just political opportunists (a criticism one also hears of the British Liberal Democrats and, now, of Emmanuel Macron in France)? Or are they merely a party of the pro-European secular professional class that will always have their electoral niche but will always be out of touch with the working class and not really committed to economic justice?

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opaWim
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First of all, I am somewhat of a cynic politically, so please take anything I write here with several grains of salt [Smile]

Contrary to statements (from a.o. mr. Rutte) that the chances they will ever form a coalition with Wilders' PVV are nil, I expect that if the PVV gets enough votes, they will flock to do exactly that.
However I don't think mr. Wilders even wants to be prime minister. So even if he gets enough votes, he will let himself fail and will keep on whining that he is being sabotaged by the elite/establishment/islamist terrorists.

So there will be a cabinet without Wilders' PVV.
We are quite happy to be governed by coalitions of several parties. That way we prevent the often silly and disastrous yoyo-effects you see in the U.S.A. and U.K. at every change of the party in power.

The decline of the PvdA has the same cause as the decline of labour in a lot of countries. They are not socialist anymore and here in the Netherlands hardly distinguishable from their christian and conservative counterparts.
The only socialists worthy of the name are the SP.
Groen Links is more of a greenish center party that is not as socialist as it appears to be in contrast to the PvdA.
If enough working class voters still believe that the PvdA works for them, then they could still re-emerge as the leading left party. If not it depends on who gets the most votes, Groen Links or the SP.

D66 has always been a wild card. They introduced the word "pragmatic" in Dutch politics, which often turns out to be a euphemism for "opportunistic".

Abominations like the PVV, "number 45", Farage, can only strive on protest votes of people who are disillusioned by politicians who make promises to get elected and appear to have forgotten these promises afterwards.

And again, see below:

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It's the Thirties all over again, possibly even worse.

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opaWim
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And of course the "strive" in the above post should have been "thrive" [Hot and Hormonal]
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stonespring
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quote:
Originally posted by opaWim:

The only socialists worthy of the name are the SP.

Groen Links is more of a greenish center party that is not as socialist as it appears to be in contrast to the PvdA.

If I were Dutch, what would worry my about voting for the Socialist Party would be that they would not be willing to make the compromises necessary to enter into coalition with center-right parties in an alliance against the PVV, whereas even when Labour was more of a traditional social democratic party it was perfectly willing to enter into coalition with the Christian Democrats (who were themselves more centrist economically back then). In fact, I would be concerned that the SP would not even be able to make the compromises necessary to enter into a working coalition with even the parties of the center and center-left. Like the PVV (and like Die Linke in Germany), it has thrived on being a protest party - although Die Linke has now begun to take part in coalitions in German state parliaments.

Is the SP more conciliatory - or perhaps even friendly - towards Putin's Russia than the more traditional parties? I know that SP has Trotskyist rather than pro-USSR roots, but Putin is eager to support not only the European populist right of the likes of Le Pen and Wilders but also any party likely to make governing difficult in Western democracies and there are relatively warm relations between Russia and Germany's Die Linke, for example. See also Putin's wooing of Greece's Syriza with financial and trade offers when Greece has had difficulty negotiating the terms of its bailouts with the EU, IMF, etc.

Would you say the Green Left is more to the center of your average European Green Party (of which Germany's is the most famous)? Is it still at least a little to the left, economically, of PvdA? I know that Green voters tend to include students, activists, and also not a few suburban not-in-my-backyard preservationists who care more about environmental issues, gender/sexual equality, and multiculturalism than economic justice (although they might not admit it) - but would you say that this is even more true in the Netherlands than in other European countries?

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opaWim
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A few years back the SP seemed to pass up the chance to be in a cabinet.
I am not sure about their willingness to govern today.
The SP was founded as a Maoist party, but has renounced that -rather late in the day if you ask me- some years back.
The SP indeed draws a lot of protest votes, but not in the quantities the PVV does.

Groen Links is an amalgamate of the remnants of several failed parties, the (marxist) communists and pacifists, mixed with environmentalists etc.
To me it's far from clear what they really stand for.

I am rather a fan of the SP. Not because I'd want them to be in power, but because I am convinced that you need an undiluted socialist voice in the opposition.
But even if they came into power, I would prefer that over Wilders or a third term for "Wilders light" (our current PM).

One of the complications of the political system in the Netherlands is that if you take your worldview seriously you are drawn to smaller parties. To the SP or (in a lesser degree) Groen Links if you are socialist. To the Christen Unie or SGP if you are Christian. It's complicated [Smile]

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It's the Thirties all over again, possibly even worse.

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stonespring
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quote:
Originally posted by opaWim:

The SP was founded as a Maoist party, but has renounced that -rather late in the day if you ask me- some years back.

Oops! I remembered that the SP was founded as a not-pro-USSR Communist party, but I forgot it was originally Maoist, not Trotskyite. Sorry about that. I am an ignorant non-Dutchperson, anyway. [Smile]
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stonespring
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quote:
Originally posted by opaWim:
The result of the coming elections in The Netherlands is totally unpredictable.
After the British people voted for Brexit and the U.S. people voted for Trump, anything foolish has become a possibility.

opaWim,

I am nervous about characterizing anyone based on his/her ethnicity, but how well known is it in the Netherlands that Wilders is of part-Indonesian heritage? Do his supporters tend to know that or care? I know that Wilders was raised Catholic in the southeastern Netherlands and that he is more anti-Islam than he is anti-all immigrants, but it is still interesting given his political stances. I am also aware that his mother was part of a mixed Indo community that was more Eurasian than strictly Indonesian in culture and mindset.

Is there any chance that he has such striking blonde-dyed hair because he is trying to emphasize the European parts of his ancestry?

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opaWim
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Anyone who bothers to read Wikipedia can know that there is some Indonesian blood in mr. Wilders.
I doubt anyone -supporter or opponent- cares.

Whether mr. Wilders' hair is just bad taste or a gimmick to make him stand out is anyone guess.

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It's the Thirties all over again, possibly even worse.

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stonespring
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quote:
Originally posted by opaWim:
Anyone who bothers to read Wikipedia can know that there is some Indonesian blood in mr. Wilders.
I doubt anyone -supporter or opponent- cares.

Whether mr. Wilders' hair is just bad taste or a gimmick to make him stand out is anyone guess.

Looks I may have been wrong again. The New York Times article I read just said he had part Indonesian heritage, but it seems I may have misunderstood it, if this other article is to be trusted:

http://religionnews.com/2017/03/01/the-hardening-of-geert-wilders-anti-islam-crusader-and-top-dutch-pol/

"His mother, a soldier’s daughter, was born in Indonesia when that mainly Muslim country was a Dutch colony. He says her parents were Dutch but he had mixed-race Indonesian cousins and that international background influenced his upbringing."

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opaWim
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It's not clear to me anymore whether mr. Wilders himself is of mixed heritage or that he only has such family.
But like I said, nobody cares.

What a lot of Dutch do care about, is that we don't want our neighbors of Moroccan, Turkish etc. descent deported because mr. Wilders has consistently, and successfully, provoked aggression against his person from extremist circles.
It is costing the Dutch taxpayers a small fortune to prevent mr. Wilders from becoming a victim to hate-crime he has himself wittingly provoked.
That costly protection is considered a necessary price to pay to protect a democratically elected official. But at the same time many realize that, were mr. Wilders ever to come into real power, we run the risk of him trying to do an Erdogan and in effect abolish the very same democracy he used to to come into power.

--------------------
It's the Thirties all over again, possibly even worse.

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stonespring
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quote:
Originally posted by opaWim:

What a lot of Dutch do care about, is that we don't want our neighbors of Moroccan, Turkish etc. descent deported because mr. Wilders has consistently, and successfully, provoked aggression against his person from extremist circles.
It is costing the Dutch taxpayers a small fortune to prevent mr. Wilders from becoming a victim to hate-crime he has himself wittingly provoked.
That costly protection is considered a necessary price to pay to protect a democratically elected official. But at the same time many realize that, were mr. Wilders ever to come into real power, we run the risk of him trying to do an Erdogan and in effect abolish the very same democracy he used to to come into power.

I totally agree that what matters are his dangerous policies, not his heritage.
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stonespring
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I went to two different Dutch election quizzes (I had Google Chrome translate them into English) and this one told me I was closest to GreenLeft in terms of my opinions:

https://tweedekamer2017.stemwijzer.nl/#intro

Whereas this one said Labour was closest to my opinions (although I am a bit scared by how far to the right Labour has moved on some non-economic issues, like immigration):

https://kieskompas.nl/nl/#/

I also learned from these quizzes that some parties (including ones that I would otherwise support if I were Dutch like GreenLeft, Labour, etc.) are proposing allowing elderly people who are not gravely ill to have assistance in ending their lives. I am uncomfortable enough with euthanasia and assisted suicide for the gravely sick and suffering, but to allow it for those who are merely elderly terrifies me and seems rife for abuse by a society where the elderly are perceived as a burden. Not sure if euthanasia is a Dead Horse. If so, I won't discuss it here. But this aspect of Dutch, Belgian, and Swiss politics really would make it hard for me to know who to vote for if I were a citizen of one of those countries.

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stonespring
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quote:
Originally posted by opaWim:
One of the complications of the political system in the Netherlands is that if you take your worldview seriously you are drawn to smaller parties. To the SP or (in a lesser degree) Groen Links if you are socialist. To the Christen Unie or SGP if you are Christian. It's complicated [Smile]

Going back to the bigger parties, conservative in this case, what would you say are the main differences between VVD supporters and CDA supporters, aside from VVD supporters being more secular and free market? I would think that this would mean that VVD voters are younger, wealthier, and more liberal on personal morality, but the VVD seems to have a right-wing (not just economically) streak going back decades that to me would seem to be unattractive to such voters, so is that what VVD voters really are like? Despite the parties' relative policies, which of those two parties do you think has voters that are more upset about immigration or Euroskeptic?

DId you catch any of the recent television debates? What do you think about the candidates' performance in them?

Lastly, how on earth would Geert Wilders' proposal to "ban the Koran" work, even if it were not overturned in court (as I am sure it would be? Does he want to prevent the book from being sold? To prevent people from owning it? To prevent people from quoting from it in public? Are there any other books currently banned in the Netherlands?

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opaWim
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As I see it, apart from VVD supporters being a bit more secular and free market, there are hardly any differences between CDA and VVD.
On the issue of immigration CDA is a bit more humane than the VVD.
For the majority of thinking voters Euroskepticism is not really an option. We are a relatively small country largely depending on foreign trade. The notion that -as a whole- we would be better off outside the EU and Euro, is a silly fairy-tale for irresponsible populists.
The election promises of mr. Wilders, such as they are, (they fit on a single page of A4) are indeed all either un-constitutional or economically impossible. So, in the (hopefully) unlikely case that he would win, the only way he could fulfill his promises is by doing an Erdogan, and I think that neither the Dutch as a whole nor our neighbors would let him succeed in that.

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It's the Thirties all over again, possibly even worse.

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Stetson
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So, was there any established legal rationale for banning those two Turkish ministers from entering the Netherlands, or was it just an arbitrary we-don't-like-what-these-guys-are-gonna-say sort of a thing?

In one of the articles I saw, PM Rutte said that the problem was that the Turks were going to talk to Dutch citizens who might have the right to vote in the Turkish referendum. Is there a precedent that the Dutch government forbids that sort of cross-territorial campaigning on its soil?

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opaWim
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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
So, was there any established legal rationale for banning those two Turkish ministers from entering the Netherlands, or was it just an arbitrary we-don't-like-what-these-guys-are-gonna-say sort of a thing?

In one of the articles I saw, PM Rutte said that the problem was that the Turks were going to talk to Dutch citizens who might have the right to vote in the Turkish referendum. Is there a precedent that the Dutch government forbids that sort of cross-territorial campaigning on its soil?

Neither and -as far as I am aware- No.

Maybe you are not aware of the history we have -for decades- of the Turkish government interfering, manipulating, bullying Dutch Citizens of Turkish descent. How much deliberate provocation, by a bully who tries to change his nominally democratically governed country into a dictatorship, does a sovereign nation have to swallow before it has the right to re-act?

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It's the Thirties all over again, possibly even worse.

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Martin60
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It's win-win for Erdogan as for Trump. Authoritarianism, patriarchy are default institutions when there's sufficient fear about and when they're on a roll they can do nothing wrong. I expect support for Wilders to increase now.

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Love wins

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stonespring
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
It's win-win for Erdogan as for Trump. Authoritarianism, patriarchy are default institutions when there's sufficient fear about and when they're on a roll they can do nothing wrong. I expect support for Wilders to increase now.

I don't know if this will increase Wilders' support, but it does worry me that Erdogan's ability to portray himself as a victim does only help his ability to seize more power and become more of a dictator. Since the cancellations are happening with Turkish politicians giving speeches in Germany too, it might deserve its own thread. Even if the people stopping the Turkish politicians from speaking think they are standing up for democracy, they might actually just be helping the destruction of democracy in Turkey by giving Erdogan an easy scapegoat in terms of Western governments "interfering" in their election or "discriminating" against Turks living in their countries, whether or not that is what the Western governments are actually doing. Coming from the US where we are more used to letting Neo-Nazis and all kinds of terrible people speak freely in public, I tend to be more pro-free speech, but I understand the desire to not be complicit in a march to dictatorship. It's complicated.

OpaWim, what are the specific events of bullying of Dutch Turks that you are referring to? I know that Erdogan is engaging in all kinds of bullying, of course, but I was just wondering what you specifically meant.

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opaWim
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
It's win-win for Erdogan as for Trump. Authoritarianism, patriarchy are default institutions when there's sufficient fear about and when they're on a roll they can do nothing wrong. I expect support for Wilders to increase now.

Maybe.
But bear in mind that mr. Wilders isn't as likable by far as mr. Rutte, and with the latter seen to be showing some muscle, it could easily go the other way.

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It's the Thirties all over again, possibly even worse.

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Stetson
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OpaWim wrote:

quote:
Maybe you are not aware of the history we have -for decades- of the Turkish government interfering, manipulating, bullying Dutch Citizens of Turkish descent. How much deliberate provocation, by a bully who tries to change his nominally democratically governed country into a dictatorship, does a sovereign nation have to swallow before it has the right to re-act?
No, I confess I am not aware of the full history, and might have placed too much stock in media reports which described the fracas with words like "an unusual disagreement between Turkey and the Netherlands."

That being said, assuming that the Netherlands does have free-speech, and that this is extended to foreigners(not always a sure bet; my own visa prevents me from political activity in the ROK), it would seem a trifle illiberal for the Dutch to block the entrance to Turks wishing to enter for the purpose of election campaigning. Sort of like the US blocking Communists and supposed Communist sympathizers from entering under whatever law that was.

Now, with THAT being said, I suppose it might make a difference if the foreigners in question are government ministers, with powers beyond those of the average citizen to cajole and coerce. I would assume that ordinary Turks living in the Netherlands ARE free to lobby their fellow emigres over the Turkish election?

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opaWim
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quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Martin60:
[qb]OpaWim, what are the specific events of bullying of Dutch Turks that you are referring to? I know that Erdogan is engaging in all kinds of bullying, of course, but I was just wondering what you specifically meant.

I don't have a dossier on this, so I can only give examples.

There have always been The Grey Wolves, a nasty extremist organization with ties to the government, active everywhere where people of Turkish descent live. These people do a lot more than just talk.

Mosques for Turkish people in the Netherlands are mostly owned by the Turkish government. Imams can be relied upon to preach the views of the Turkish government. Hardly an implementation of the separation of church and state.
In contrast, Maroccan mosques and clergy, certainly the one in my town, are usually funded by the congregation.

There have been calls by the Turkish government to inform on Dutch-Turkish people who are critical of mr. Erdogan.

There have been many incidents where Dutch-Turkish people who visited a Turkish consulate had there passport confiscated and replaced by a temporary passport (for one day) to be able to travel to Turkey where they are to await their trial for unspecified crimes, with an expected wait-period of several months. They are of course free to rely on their Dutch passport, but there are obvious sanctions if they do not comply.
These are Dutch nationals who, as a consequence of these bullying tactics, stand to lose their jobs in The Netherlands.

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It's the Thirties all over again, possibly even worse.

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by opaWim:

These are Dutch nationals who, as a consequence of these bullying tactics, stand to lose their jobs in The Netherlands.

They are, as you say, free to stand on their Dutch citizenship and cut ties with Turkey. But if you have left what for the sake of argument I'll stipulate to be a repressive statist thugocracy for a new life somewhere else, perhaps you shouldn't be surprised if the statist thugs in question aren't happy for you to play business as usual whenever you visit their country.
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Martin60
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Ah well, he's centre-right, Cameron-Clegg in one. Like Theresa May, better than further right. 'strewth, what a world.

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Love wins

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Golden Key
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Martin--

Did someone just pour a bucket of mop water over you? You just quoted the Wicked Witch, from "The Wizard Of Oz".

"What a world, what a world! All my lovely wickedness!"

[Two face]

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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Jack the Lass

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Exit polling suggests Rutte will remain as PM, huge losses for Labour, a big gain for the Greens, small gain only for Wilders. And a fantastic turnout of over 80%.

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"My body is a temple - it's big and doesn't move." (Jo Brand)
wiblog blipfoto blog

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opaWim
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The predicted landslide to populism hasn't happened. And I'm thankful for that.

There is however a significant shift to the right, to unrestrained capitalism.
The restraining influence (such as it was) of the PvdA in government is going to be sorely missed by the less affluent.
All this will result in a further dismantling of social security, less concern for climate change, a further widening of the gap between the perversely rich and the rest of the populace, a return to irresponsible freedom for the financial world, etc.

Here in The Netherlands people in general are blissfully unaware of Ayn Rand and the admiration mr. Rutte has expressed for her philosophy.
I fear the populist time-bomb is far from diffused.

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It's the Thirties all over again, possibly even worse.

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Enoch
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Thank goodness.

However, do not forget. It's still the case that it's electorates that speak English that are the big political disaster of the Western World at the moment.

Sorry shipmates, so far it's our fellow English speakers who are the stupid ones. We are still the ones to be ashamed.

The next worry is whether the French voters are going to join us in this cesspit.

[ 16. March 2017, 08:32: Message edited by: Enoch ]

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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Martin60
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As in thank goodness we got Theresa May instead of Michael Gove instead of Boris Johnson instead of Nigel Garage?

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Love wins

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stonespring
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quote:
Originally posted by opaWim:
The predicted landslide to populism hasn't happened. And I'm thankful for that.

There is however a significant shift to the right, to unrestrained capitalism.
The restraining influence (such as it was) of the PvdA in government is going to be sorely missed by the less affluent.
All this will result in a further dismantling of social security, less concern for climate change, a further widening of the gap between the perversely rich and the rest of the populace, a return to irresponsible freedom for the financial world, etc.

Here in The Netherlands people in general are blissfully unaware of Ayn Rand and the admiration mr. Rutte has expressed for her philosophy.
I fear the populist time-bomb is far from diffused.

Here is the current seat count, with almost all votes counted, if Wikipedia is to be trusted:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_general_election,_2017

It looks like a very slim majority can be achieved by a coalition of VVD, CDA, D66, and Christian Union. This would avoid the often-discussed-before-the-election necessity of adding GreenLeft to this mix to achieve a majority. Although D66 has been pro-welfare state, pro-EU and pro-immigrant and minority rights - and CU is also more compassionate on these issues than CDA, despite being more conservative on sexual issues - this 4-party coalition would likely be considerably more right-wing in terms of economic policy than any coalition that included GreenLeft or than the outgoing one that included Labour.

I had been curious to see whether or not a coalition that included GreenLeft (the party's first time in government) would have resulted in a devastating loss for GreenLeft in the next elections, just like what happened in this election to Labour.

D66, which is very liberal on sexuality and euthanasia, has been in coalition with the Christian CDA before, but never with CU, which is much more conservative on those issues and has much more religious voters. Might that make coalition talks difficult? D66 would also have to reconcile its strong defense of immigrants, Muslims, and the EU with the strong rightward shift on those groups that VVD and CDA have recently done in order to fend off Wilders. I know coalition talks often take a long time in the Netherlands but the tensions between the likely parties this time around given the issues Wilders has exploited are interesting, although not as interesting as they might have been if GreenLeft had been as necessary to a working coalition as people thought it would be.

One last question. Is it normal for the Netherlands to hold an election on a Wednesday, or can it be any day of the week? If it is always Wednesday, why?

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stonespring
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Rutte probably would not have done as well if the diplomatic crisis with Turkey had not rallied popular support for him in the closing days of the campaign. Wilders' support had been slipping in polls before the Turkey row erupted but the VVD and Rutte surged in support after the brouhaha began. I wonder whether a similar last minute diplomatic spat would have helped the incumbent Democratic Party in the US 2016 election or whether it would have helped Trump. Do you think such a diplomatic row would help the ruling party anywhere, or that the Dutch have qualities that made them more likely to support their prime minister and perhaps value stability and continuity rather than radical change in such a situation?
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