Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
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Easily Understanding Complicated Election Results in the Netherlands

The Dutch went to the polls yesterday and could choose between 24 different parties. Commentators love to speculate about the whys but let us for now first concentrate on the very surprising results. A big voter turnout (77% of 13 million) after manual-counting gave 13 parties entry into the 150-seat parliament.

The Outgoing Government Lost Big-Time

The only two parties in the outgoing government together lost no less than 45% of their seats in parliament: The Socialists lost 75% (no typo) and the so-called Liberals (VVD) but actually plain Conservatives lost 20% of their seats. The voters have punished these two parties unprecedentedly.

This administration changed in four years ‘the economy’ from crisis into stability, but in a Right-wing scenario of course at the expense of the population.

In the campaign they promised that the now strong economy would be used for supporting the people who lost so much money and quality of life. Yet, the voters have not believed them or at least wanted to hurt them back. A loss of 45% of your seats cannot be misunderstood as approval — or can it?

Wilders Lost Race for Leading Party

There is a different story with the same election results. After Trump and Brexit, the danger was that Wilders’ populist political party would become the largest in the Low Countries. After these elections, France and Germany will go to the polls and there too we see growing xenophobic movements. Wilder’s party as the biggest would be a scandal and embarrassment for the Liberal Nation, and the falling of yet one more domino too many.

Campaign polls were not reassuring. Populist Wilders (PVV) and outgoing Prime Minister Rutte (VVD) seemed in a neck and neck race. Also a few other parties seemed capable of becoming the largest. No one knew what should happen on election day.

Well, Wilders did win 25% more seats than four years ago but … stayed with 20 seats way behind Rutte who lost 20% but still kept 33 seats – neatly outpacing the tree runner-up parties with their 20, 19 and 19 seats.

Three implications. 1. Never ever trust campaign polls. 2. The Dutch saved their name and reputation as a people that values diversity and hates racism and extremism. 3. Rutte (VVD) could then still claim victory, which he does – while his coalition lost utterly.

The Next Dutch Government

There is a long-standing tradition in The Netherlands that the largest party supplies the prime minister who then tries to form a multiparty majority administration. However, the VVD is the only really Right-wing party of stature and has no more than 31 seats out of 150. For a parliamentary majority, he’s missing no less than 45 seats. He would need at least three more parties, at least one of them a Left-wing one.

Would it not be a chutzpah if a prime minister rejected by the voters would lead the new government? Yes, it would be, but shamelessness is not unknown at the Right or in politics in general.

However, why would the Left, that with Centre parties easily could form a majority administration, settle for sitting with the Right-wing Prime Minister that lost the elections? (In the preliminary results the Left has: 19 + 14 + 14 + 9 + 5 = 62, Christians: 19 + 8, Together a whopping 89.) Compromising with the VVD has now cost the Labor party 75% of its seats. Is it possible that some other party at the Left would make such a mistake again?


  • The outgoing government got the voters’ disapproval.
  • Populist Wilders lost the race for the largest party by far.
  • Leader of the largest party, Rutte, will first try to form a Centre-Right-Left government.
  • The Left, if it would not betray its voters, should rebuff Rutte’s avances, leaving only one alternative: a Left-wing-Centre administration – the first one in The Netherlands in 40 years.
  • If the other larger parties would learn from the leading Right-wing party, they would unite. That would change the political landscape completely! Look: the Left 62, the Right 33, the Christians 27 seats.
  • Wilders will not sit in any government — no one wants or needs him.
About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, previously a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. He's proud that his analytical short comments are removed both from left-wing and right-wing news sites. None of his content is generated by the new bore on the block, AI. * As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. Or not at all because he doesn't claim G^d talks to him. He gives him good ideas—that's all. MM doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and educations contribute to his visions. * This year, he will prioritize getting his unpublished books published rather than just blog posts. Next year, he hopes to focus on activism against human extinction. To find less-recent posts on a subject XXX among his over 2000 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe too, here: or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. However, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people when don't deserve that. (Yet, we all make honest mistakes, which is just fine and does not justify losing support.) He admits that he sometimes exaggerates to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight reality), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA+, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. * Chronologically, his most influential teachers are his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. This short list doesn't mean to disrespect others who taught him a lot or a little. One of his rabbis calls him Mr. Innovation [Ish haChidushim]. Yet, his originalities seem to root deeply in traditional Judaism, though they may grow in unexpected directions. In fact, he claims he's modernizing nothing. Rather, mainly basing himself on the basic Hebrew Torah text, he tries to rediscover classical Jewish thought almost lost in thousands of years of stifling Gentile domination and Jewish assimilation. (He pleads for a close reading of the Torah instead of going by rough assumptions of what it would probably mean and before fleeing to Commentaries.) This, in all aspects of life, but prominently in the areas of Free Will, Activism, Homosexuality for men, and Redemption. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. When he can, he loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. Read his blog on how he attempts to bridge any tensions between those ideas or fields. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to his parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too, and decades more to admit to being a genius. But his humility was his to keep. And so was his honesty. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. He hopes to bring new things and not just preach to the choir. * He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, powerful therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having an original peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. * His newest books you may find here: