Searchlight - March 2011
In the fourth successive time the rightwing populist and xenophobe Freedom Party (PVV) of Geert Wilders won an election. At 2 March the Dutch could vote for their provincial candidates, normally elections that raise little eyebrows, but now bombarded as a test for the minority government of the Christian Democrats (CDA) and the right liberal VVD that governs since October 2010 with support on some issues by the Freedom Party. ;P: In 2006 Geert Wilders won 9 seats in parliamentary elections, in 2009 5 seats in Europe, in 2010 9 seats in the town of Almere and 8 seats in The Hague and in June 2010 the Freedom Party grew from 9 to 24 seats in Parliament. The Provincial elections of 2 March were very important for the coalition government, because they lack a majority in the Senate, where the Freedom Party has no seats, simply because the party is too young to have participated in elections before. The provincial candidates choose at the end of May the Senators, so it was imminent that the Freedom Party had to win a significant amount of seats in the provinces. They won 69 seats in 12 provinces, the biggest party became the VVD with 114 seats. Though 10% more people went to vote, the Freedom Party won less votes then in the June 2010 elections, dropping from 15,5% to 12,4% In the province of Limburg the Freedom Party became the biggest party with 10 seats and will probably become the first Freedom Party outfit to take governing responsibility. In no other body where the Freedom Party is elected they bear responsibility. Even in the support construction in the government the Freedom Party has no Ministers or Secretaries of State, though every week the leaders meet to check on the support construction. At the end of May it will become clear how much seats the Freedom Party and the minority coalition will get in the Senate. Rough estimates say the Freedom Party gets 10 seats, which will, with the seats of VVD (16) and CDA (11) not be enough to get a majority in the 75 seats strong Senate. Majorities will have to be negotiated with the little parties, but who that will be will depend on the May-elections. For example, votes from provincial candidates from more populated provinces count heavier than from other provinces and there is the question of local provincial parties who are not represented on the level of the Senate. But it is expected that in the Senate, who examine and controls proposals of the government and parliament, will not be a majority for the harsh measures on immigration, integration and asylum, core business of the Freedom Party and key element in their support construction. Another potential problem is that Geert Wilders and his sergeants will now have to control 17 outfits in 17 different parliamentary bodies, where the lack of democracy in the party will cause conflicts in due time.
Jeroen Bosch for Alert! and Antifa-Net in Amsterdam