Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

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?

Conclusions

  • 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
The author is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (DES - Diethylstilbestrol), born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a vegan for 8 years now. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and lehavdiel bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQAI, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quit a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * 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. November 13, 2018, he published his 500st blog post with the ToI. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. To see other blog posts by him, a second blog - under construction - can be found by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture.
Comments