European Politics General (Canada welcome too, I suppose)

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Sonmi:
You guys think the recent Turk-Dutch debacle will end up influencing these upcoming elections?

Personally, I fear the PVV will be able to profit from that. Not enough to have them at the numbers they polled at a year ago, but still more than expected.

That's generally my view on the matter. Those not quite sure about voting PVV might be swayed after seeing the failings of integration so clearly. On the other hand the prime minister might also end up getting some votes if enough people think he handled the situation well enough.

I wonder what Erdogan's endgame is in this matter. He wants to rally support for the referendum to make him dictator but he knows Dutch elections are in a few days, he even said he knew. Perhaps he purposely steered towards a situation that would benefit the PVV to destabilize Europe.

Hades:

I wonder what Erdogan's endgame is in this matter. He wants to rally support for the referendum to make him dictator but he knows Dutch elections are in a few days, he even said he knew. Perhaps he purposely steered towards a situation that would benefit the PVV to destabilize Europe.

Since we are talking about the clown from Bosporus, I highly doubt that he thinks this far, at least on his own. He tried the same thing with Germany and our elections are a bit further away.

But since it is popular to blame Russia I'll go down the route and say: He is obviously acting on Putin's demand. Have you not seen how Putin and Erdowahn have gotten closer and closer in the last months? And everybody knows that Putins 1337hAx0Rs are already hard at work undermining the European elections.

In a slight change of topic, I am delighting at the fury of the Polish government over Donald Tusk being reinstalled as EU council president.

For those not aware of Poland's current leading party, they are authoritarian right wingers run by a guy seething with vast grudge against Lech Walesa, busy trying to do things like re-write recent Polish history and indict their political opponents (Tusk included) on almost certainly nonsense criminal charges.

Agema:
In a slight change of topic, I am delighting at the fury of the Polish government over Donald Tusk being reinstalled as EU council president.

I find it funny that this is, once again, Germany's fault.
Even their friend in authoritarianism Orb?n voted for Tusk.
But NOPE it was all a German plot to ,I don't know keep Poland down or something.

Agema:
In a slight change of topic, I am delighting at the fury of the Polish government over Donald Tusk being reinstalled as EU council president.

For those not aware of Poland's current leading party, they are authoritarian right wingers run by a guy seething with vast grudge against Lech Walesa, busy trying to do things like re-write recent Polish history and indict their political opponents (Tusk included) on almost certainly nonsense criminal charges.

As someone who doesn't like the EU all that much, I'm also delighted to see Br?ssels doing all that it can to make itself more unpopular with yet another member. Another baby step toward dissolution. If they keep up the current pace we might see it happen before 2030.

Dornedas:

Agema:
In a slight change of topic, I am delighting at the fury of the Polish government over Donald Tusk being reinstalled as EU council president.

I find it funny that this is, once again, Germany's fault.
Even their friend in authoritarianism Orb?n voted for Tusk.
But NOPE it was all a German plot to ,I don't know keep Poland down or something.

In all fairness I don't think Germany can complain about that. We Germans are all to happy to present ourselves as the posterboy of the EU and take credit when things go well. We're always willing to do that, so its only fair that everyone blames us when something goes wrong.

RiseOfTheWhiteWolf:
As someone who doesn't like the EU all that much, I'm also delighted to see Br?ssels doing all that it can to make itself more unpopular with yet another member.

Who are you kidding?

It's not Poland as a whole complaining - just a Polish party with childish, bitter and vindictive leaders, that will eventually meet its electoral end and those leaders replaced. They're all bark and no bite here. Do you think Poland is going to leave the EU, as it eyes Russia with something verging between apprehension and terror, and whilst it's propped up by a ton of EU funding?

Another baby step toward dissolution.

Have you fully considered the political, economic and social instability that EU dissolution would entail? Or the risk that a newly nationalist Europe might end up full of countries aggressively undercutting each other, bearing in mind your country has a particularly large export market?

RiseOfTheWhiteWolf:
I'm also delighted to see Br?ssels doing all that it can to make itself more unpopular with yet another member.

Except this time Brussels had to do nothing. This entire attempt to die a on a molehill, so stupid not even Orban-sempai could be convinced to support it, was an idea of current polish cabinet.

Agema:
In a slight change of topic, I am delighting at the fury of the Polish government over Donald Tusk being reinstalled as EU council president.

For those not aware of Poland's current leading party, they are authoritarian right wingers run by a guy seething with vast grudge against Lech Walesa, busy trying to do things like re-write recent Polish history and indict their political opponents (Tusk included) on almost certainly nonsense criminal charges.

Setting aside the context of the individual government, because I have to confess to being ignorant about Polish current affairs, it is a bit of an odd scenario to be in. It's like (Brexit aside) if the UK had Tony Blair (feel free to substitute with a less controversial character) elected EU council president, but with the current Tory majority UK parliament. It seems antagonistic, and it feels wrong from a moral perspective, but on the other hand it appears he has no real power other than to be a meeting chair, so I dunno...

Catnip1024:

Setting aside the context of the individual government, because I have to confess to being ignorant about Polish current affairs, it is a bit of an odd scenario to be in. It's like (Brexit aside) if the UK had Tony Blair (feel free to substitute with a less controversial character) elected EU council president, but with the current Tory majority UK parliament. It seems antagonistic, and it feels wrong from a moral perspective, but on the other hand it appears he has no real power other than to be a meeting chair, so I dunno...

It has to be viewed within the context of this Polish party. The power behind the throne is Jaroslaw Kaczynski (brother of the ex-president Lech, killed in a plane crash in Russia ~2010). The brothers were associated with Walesa who secured the fall of Communism. However, at some point in the 90s Walesa had to sack one of the brothers, and they've nursed a massively toxic and bitter grievance against him ever since.

The Kaczinskis have spent ~20 years trying to usurp the legacy of Walesa as their own; Tusk's party are the other main party that derive from old Solidarity political group. Some of their methods have been dubious, to say the least. Authoritarian, anti-democratic, abuse of power, conspiracy theories... They have tried to foster a line that Tusk (and others in his party) actually connived in the plane crash that killed Lech (which everyone else accepts was just bad weather conditions and potentially poor piloting), and attempting to rig criminal charges against large swathes of the opposition. They've attempted to use their power to take over museums and re-write history in a way that makes them the heroes of breaking Communism, rather than the real people who did it. They support conspiracy theories against Germany, Russia (the traditional countries the Polish have antagonism against). Once they tried to argue at the EU that Poland should have more better representation in the EU than it's demographics warranted because Germany killed so many Poles in WW2.

What the hell do you do with people like that? Europe has to just get on with business and can hardly let outlier crazies dictate the agenda. Tusk evidently has the massed support of everyone but Poland and is respected for the job he's been doing. So keep him at it.

Did this thread get rolled back or something? I swear a few posts have disappeared, including my response to one which I can no longer find.

Then again I spent the last 48 hours suffering in bed while my immune system battles what feels like 13 strains of the flu at once, so it might have been a fever dream. Weird.

RiseOfTheWhiteWolf:
Did this thread get rolled back or something? I swear a few posts have disappeared, including my response to one which I can no longer find.

Then again I spent the last 48 hours suffering in bed while my immune system battles what feels like 13 strains of the flu at once, so it might have been a fever dream. Weird.

Yeah, a few posts were deleted here and there around the forums.

Hope you get well soon, mate.

Also, we're supposed to get the results of the Dutch elections next week, kinda disappointed, I'd have liked to read about it while the work day neared its end.

Sonmi:

RiseOfTheWhiteWolf:
Did this thread get rolled back or something? I swear a few posts have disappeared, including my response to one which I can no longer find.

Then again I spent the last 48 hours suffering in bed while my immune system battles what feels like 13 strains of the flu at once, so it might have been a fever dream. Weird.

Yeah, a few posts were deleted here and there around the forums.

Hope you get well soon, mate.

Also, we're supposed to get the results of the Dutch elections next week, kinda disappointed, I'd have liked to read about it while the work day neared its end.

Ah, that explains it.

Why are the results only getting released next week? Thats weird. And thanks. Feeling a little better already, hopefully it doesn't get worse again.

Agema:

RiseOfTheWhiteWolf:
As someone who doesn't like the EU all that much, I'm also delighted to see Br?ssels doing all that it can to make itself more unpopular with yet another member.

Who are you kidding?

It's not Poland as a whole complaining - just a Polish party with childish, bitter and vindictive leaders, that will eventually meet its electoral end and those leaders replaced. They're all bark and no bite here. Do you think Poland is going to leave the EU, as it eyes Russia with something verging between apprehension and terror, and whilst it's propped up by a ton of EU funding?

I think I replied to this before and it was one of the posts that disappeared but I'm not sure you saw it so I'll do so again briefly.

In short, of course I don't believe Poland will leave the EU within the next month just because of Tusk. I do believe its pissed them off and Br?ssels should be looking to piss of less people right now. The European Union is very unpopular with a sizable number of its members already. Greece, Portugal, France, Austria - these are just a few of the countries which already have Eurosceptic parties with lots of voters, tendency up rather than down. Britain on the other hand has already decided to leave. There is a very real chance more could follow and you will not stop that trend by talking down to them. If you can't stop them by calling them bitter, vindictive and childish, and ignoring them outside of name calling isn't working, perhaps you should change tactics before your Union crumbles? But no, of course not. Better to throw another ton of "funding" at everyone and continue to blow your own trumpet.

Honestly, who are you kidding, to take that stance even after Brexit?

Agema:
Have you fully considered the political, economic and social instability that EU dissolution would entail? Or the risk that a newly nationalist Europe might end up full of countries aggressively undercutting each other, bearing in mind your country has a particularly large export market?

I believe there are more important things than money and I'm a bit of a nationalist myself (gasp) so it doesn't necessarily bother me. Instability is coming anyway - the EU has shown no ambition in taking steps to be ready for the challenges facing us in the coming decades. In fact, its actively stifled countries that want to be.

RiseOfTheWhiteWolf:

In short, of course I don't believe Poland will leave the EU within the next month just because of Tusk. I do believe its pissed them off

Again, who is "them"? The Polish people, or the current government? The latter is far less important than the former. And who has insulted the Polish people?

There is a very real chance more could follow and you will not stop that trend by talking down to them. If you can't stop them by calling them bitter, vindictive and childish, and ignoring them outside of name calling isn't working, perhaps you should change tactics before your Union crumbles?

You are evidently confused. I'm any old random citizen of a country shortly to leave the EU; the current ruling clique of Poland doesn't give a damn what I think about them, not least because they'll never read it.

It's whether the EU talks down to Poland, which I don't see them doing.

Honestly, who are you kidding, to take that stance even after Brexit?

I didn't particularly see the EU talking down the UK. I certainly saw an order of magnitude more of the British press relentless talking down the EU for about three decades (often with lies), or Nigel Farage abusing EU Parliamentarians with glee abandon.

I believe there are more important things than money and I'm a bit of a nationalist myself (gasp) so it doesn't necessarily bother me. Instability is coming anyway - the EU has shown no ambition in taking steps to be ready for the challenges facing us in the coming decades. In fact, its actively stifled countries that want to be.

Well, that's vague to the point of meaningless.

What challenges are they? How is the EU failing to meet them? How are individual countries outside the EU going to do better?

As for more important things than money... it's not that it's not necessarily true. But I think this is something often casually said by people who don't have experience with or aren't faced with major money problems. Not least because it turns out money has quite a large impact on a lot of those things they value more.

Since we are ball awaiting the results of the Dutch election with held breaths I thought I would give you all something to laugh at to tide yourselves over.

It seems that Germany is going to have a constitutional crisis. You see our king has been arrested.
I know what you are thinking right now:
"King? But I thought Germany was governed by the triangle queen!" See that is were you are wrong.
Angie I The Great's reign may be without any alternative but she is still democratically elected.

Germany actually has had a King all these years.
You see there are pockets of crazy absolutely sane and deluded reasonable groups in Germany calling themselves "Reichsbuerger".
These Reichsbuerger believe that the constitution of the Weimar Republic has never been abolished and that Germany should still use the 1914 borders, or 1937 depending on who you ask.
And the leader of one of these Reichsbuerger groups is obviously a king. Because as we all know Germany had a king pre-WW I and not an emperor.
And this king has now been sent to prison for 3 years.

Why am I writing all this?
One reason is so that you all can have a good old laugh while reading the wikipedia page about them.
I would link it but the page contains an Umlaut. Just search for Reichsbuerger on wikipedia if you want to have a good laugh.

Second so that we can discuss the implications that this will have on the Brexit negotiations since Germany's position is significantly weakened now.

And third my main reason: To post some good old 80's punk.

Dornedas:
Since we are ball awaiting the results of the Dutch election with held breaths I thought I would give you all something to laugh at to tide yourselves over.

It seems that Germany is going to have a constitutional crisis. You see our king has been arrested.
I know what you are thinking right now:
"King? But I thought Germany was governed by the triangle queen!" See that is were you are wrong.
Angie I The Great's reign may be without any alternative but she is still democratically elected.

Germany actually has had a King all these years.
You see there are pockets of crazy absolutely sane and deluded reasonable groups in Germany calling themselves "Reichsbuerger".
These Reichsbuerger believe that the constitution of the Weimar Republic has never been abolished and that Germany should still use the 1914 borders, or 1937 depending on who you ask.
And the leader of one of these Reichsbuerger groups is obviously a king. Because as we all know Germany had a king pre-WW I and not an emperor.
And this king has now been sent to prison for 3 years.

Why am I writing all this?
One reason is so that you all can have a good old laugh while reading the wikipedia page about them.
I would link it but the page contains an Umlaut. Just search for Reichsbuerger on wikipedia if you want to have a good laugh.

Second so that we can discuss the implications that this will have on the Brexit negotiations since Germany's position is significantly weakened now.

And third my main reason: To post some good old 80's punk.

You gotta love the Reichsb?rger. Or... well, you would, if they didn't have a habit of causing trouble. I think at some point last year one of them shot a cop, didn't he? What was their king even arrested for? Attempting to overthrow the government?

PsychedelicDiamond:
Snip.

The Germans better tread lightly then, last time they tried arresting someone for overthrowing the government, he spent his short jail term dictating his manifesto and got elected Chancellor within a decade. The king might just be in charge next once Merkel kicks the bucket :P.

Agema:
It has to be viewed within the context of this Polish party. The power behind the throne is Jaroslaw Kaczynski (brother of the ex-president Lech, killed in a plane crash in Russia ~2010). The brothers were associated with Walesa who secured the fall of Communism. However, at some point in the 90s Walesa had to sack one of the brothers, and they've nursed a massively toxic and bitter grievance against him ever since.

The Kaczinskis have spent ~20 years trying to usurp the legacy of Walesa as their own; Tusk's party are the other main party that derive from old Solidarity political group. Some of their methods have been dubious, to say the least. Authoritarian, anti-democratic, abuse of power, conspiracy theories... They have tried to foster a line that Tusk (and others in his party) actually connived in the plane crash that killed Lech (which everyone else accepts was just bad weather conditions and potentially poor piloting), and attempting to rig criminal charges against large swathes of the opposition. They've attempted to use their power to take over museums and re-write history in a way that makes them the heroes of breaking Communism, rather than the real people who did it. They support conspiracy theories against Germany, Russia (the traditional countries the Polish have antagonism against). Once they tried to argue at the EU that Poland should have more better representation in the EU than it's demographics warranted because Germany killed so many Poles in WW2.

What the hell do you do with people like that? Europe has to just get on with business and can hardly let outlier crazies dictate the agenda. Tusk evidently has the massed support of everyone but Poland and is respected for the job he's been doing. So keep him at it.

On the one hand, that does sound pretty shitty, as a party. Question, out of curiousity - on a left-right scale, where do they rank? (Labour-Tory left-right, not Bolshevik-Nazi) It is one of those countries you rarely hear about unless the entire government dies in a plane accident.

On the other hand, it's not a very good idea to start saying "Yes, we're having a former prime minister from an opposing party as EU Council President against the wishes of that country, but it's okay because we don't really like that country" when you are supposed to be part of a harmonious union fostering peace in Europe. It's a slippery slope.

PsychedelicDiamond:

You gotta love the Reichsb?rger. Or... well, you would, if they didn't have a habit of causing trouble. I think at some point last year one of them shot a cop, didn't he?

Yeah during a raid on his house.

What was their king even arrested for? Attempting to overthrow the government?

How can you overthrow the government if YOU are the true government.
Nah he was doing banking operations without permission. As in he was acting as the bank.

Agema:
Again, who is "them"? The Polish people, or the current government? The latter is far less important than the former. And who has insulted the Polish people?

Who said anything about insulted? Who elected the current government?

Agema:
You are evidently confused. I'm any old random citizen of a country shortly to leave the EU; the current ruling clique of Poland doesn't give a damn what I think about them, not least because they'll never read it.

It's whether the EU talks down to Poland, which I don't see them doing.

I assumed you weren't an official representative of the EU, no confusion there. Speaking in broad terms and all.

Agema:
I didn't particularly see the EU talking down the UK. I certainly saw an order of magnitude more of the British press relentless talking down the EU for about three decades (often with lies), or Nigel Farage abusing EU Parliamentarians with glee abandon.

Then you must be blind.

The British press is admittedly notorious for being exceptionally vile, but if we expect the Premier League to deal with it I think its fair to demand the same thing of the EU.

And sorry, but occasionally Farage had a point. During his frequent rants, did we once see a high ranking EU official stand up and say: "Alright mate, theres at least some truth to what you're saying this time, lets take a closer look at this"? Because I didn't. Evidentally a lot of others didn't either, which I believe is part of the reason Britain voted "out" instead of "in".

Agema:
What challenges are they?

Digitilisation, automatisation, China slowly adding quality to their quantity, demographic change, the growing impossibility of an achievement oriented society... Etc

Agema:
How is the EU failing to meet them?

How is it not? Consider for a moment what impact technological advancements have had over the last 20 years alone. Consider what impact they will have over the next 20. I believe it is not crazy to say this "technological" revolution we are already in is going to be as big of a deal as the industrial revolution. It will have a very profound impact not only on the economy but also on how we as a society function, what realistic goals we can achieve, what we consider to be valuable traits and activites or jobs. Very important question: how do we make this revolution less brutal than the last? I'll leave you to figure that one out, but I will give you one good piece of advise: don't bother asking anyone in Br?ssels about it. They really don't have a clue, nor does anyone there give the impression they even care.

And lets not even talk about immigration. Because that one... Phew.

Agema:
How are individual countries outside the EU going to do better?

Individual countries outside of the EU would at least have the possibility to move freely. More freedom, more room for innovation and change, more autonomy through decentralization. I'm not necessarily opposed to cooperating when it comes to the economy, nor even to open borders, its everything beyond that which gives me a headache. The EU however is intent on increasing its authority rather than decreasing it - when has that ever been an admirable trait in a ruler or ruling body?

Agema:
As for more important things than money... it's not that it's not necessarily true. But I think this is something often casually said by people who don't have experience with or aren't faced with major money problems. Not least because it turns out money has quite a large impact on a lot of those things they value more.

Well, I mean, define "major money problems". I've never lived outside of Western Europe so poverty seen in global terms is unknown to me. On the other hand I did grow up in poor families. As in, "don't own a TV or car, going hungry for the last 5 days of the month" poor. And really, I'd gladly trade in my TV and car for other things, and this pack of chips I'm munching on right now too. The only thing which always worries me greatly about being poor is that it could soon mean losing access to proper healthcare.

According to dutch exit polls VVD (the party of Rutte, the current prime minister, rightwing) won (estimated 31/150 seats). Second place might be any three of CDA (moderate christians), PVV (Wilders, our most prominent far right populist) or D66 (libdems, progressives). (all estimated 19/150 seats) Any coalition will need at least 4 parties. VVD will be in it, D66 and CDA most likely too. The greens or labour might tag along as well. Labour has been crushed though, their amount of seats have been cut in 4. Apparently the VVD are popular as rulers but the people who are with them in coalitions not so much. Same thing happened to CDA four years ago.

The results of the exit poll for all parties (untranslated but you should manage):

VVD: 31 zetels
PVV: 19 zetels
CDA: 19 zetels
D66: 19 zetels
GroenLinks: 16 zetels
SP: 14 zetels
PvdA: 9 zetels
ChristenUnie: 6 zetels
Partij voor de Dieren: 5 zetels
50Plus: 4 zetels
Denk: 3 zetels
SGP: 3 zetels
Forum voor Democratie: 2 zetels

We'll know the definite results tomorrow but ussually these exit polls are pretty accurate.

Pseudonym:
snip

Well since Widlers underperformed I guess that means OBVIOUSLY that the voters were lied to and we need recount and possibly have new elections.

Also I needed 10 minutes to realise that Partij voor de Dieren has nothing to do with doors.

Dornedas:

Pseudonym:
snip

Well since Widlers underperformed I guess that means OBVIOUSLY that the voters were lied to and we need recount and possibly have new elections.

Also I needed 10 minutes to realise that Partij voor de Dieren has nothing to do with doors.

'Dieren' are animals. They are the 'party for the animals'. As you might expect, they are left wing, enviromentalist and trying to do various things related to animal rights and animal suffering. They are known for throwing around a lot of motions.

As for Wilders. He will probably claim victory over 4 seats more than last time and he'll complain a whole lot when the other party leaders refuse to form a coalition with him like they said they would. It seems the kerfuffle with Turkey has worked in Ruttes favour. I would expect a coalition with VVD, D66, CDA and the greens to form a moderate, environment friendly, slightly rightwing coalition. We'll have to see though.

RiseOfTheWhiteWolf:
Then you must be blind.

N-o-o...

I think you need to explain precisely how the EU and its constituent members belittled the UK in some abnormal way (there are after all the occasional spats, especially with the French). Because just saying they did doesn't wash.

And sorry, but occasionally Farage had a point. During his frequent rants, did we once see a high ranking EU official stand up and say...

What a fascinating assessment from someone who's just argued that you don't get much good out of people by insulting them. So insulting Eurosceptics is a terrible idea for being so disrespectful, but when a Eurosceptic insults the EU, everyone should put on their nice face and soberly assess their grievances.

Digitilisation, automatisation, China slowly adding quality to their quantity, demographic change, the growing impossibility of an achievement oriented society... Etc.

O-k-a-y...

How is it not? Consider for a moment what impact technological advancements have had over the last 20 years alone. Consider what impact they will have over the next 20. I believe it is not crazy to say this "technological" revolution we are already in is going to be as big of a deal as the industrial revolution. It will have a very profound impact not only on the economy but also on how we as a society function, what realistic goals we can achieve, what we consider to be valuable traits and activites or jobs. Very important question: how do we make this revolution less brutal than the last? I'll leave you to figure that one out, but I will give you one good piece of advise: don't bother asking anyone in Br?ssels about it. They really don't have a clue, nor does anyone there give the impression they even care.

This is a whole paragraph of nothing. A load of words that string together and make sense, but contain zero useful content. What is the EU supposed to predict? How does it create the law for something that may or may not happen 20 years hence? What it is supposed to do and how it is supposed to do it?

Most of all, how much of is this even the EU's responsibility? Isn't it the job of national governments to do things like plan their digital infrastructure and strategy? I certainly know my government does. And when was it ever the job the EU to plan shifts from manufacturing to services, because I know my national government oversaw that too. And so on.

Individual countries outside of the EU would at least have the possibility to move freely. More freedom, more room for innovation and change, more autonomy through decentralization. I'm not necessarily opposed to cooperating when it comes to the economy, nor even to open borders, its everything beyond that which gives me a headache. The EU however is intent on increasing its authority rather than decreasing it - when has that ever been an admirable trait in a ruler or ruling body?

And what way is the EU stopping them "moving freely"?

The theory that decentralisation can equal freedom and autonomy is at least comprehensible. On the other hand, a certain degree of centralisation is also required for organising cooperation etc. Although without some sort of concrete idea of what way the EU restrains innovation, it's quite hard to know how to assess this.

Well, I mean, define "major money problems".

What I mean is that few things are more depressing and miserable for a country and its people than significant economic problems. Often, it results in a lot of other things going wrong; and that's why for instance some very objectionable parties gain support and objectionable governments get elected when the economy goes stagnant or declines.

The stupid thing about this whole Dutch election is the response to it.

1) Treating a seat gain of only 7 seats for the PVV as a victory, despite the fact that if the people are willing to vote for a complete nutter like Wilders, there are some serious fricking issues to be addressed.

2) Talking about "stemming the tide of populism". Brexit is different from Trump is different from the Netherlands. Talking about "stemming the tide" suggests that politicians can now go back to ignoring peoples' concerns for another 4 years which, while accurate, probably isn't the best strategy for resolving the issues.

Catnip1024:

1) Treating a seat gain of only 7 seats for the PVV as a victory, despite the fact that if the people are willing to vote for a complete nutter like Wilders, there are some serious fricking issues to be addressed.

The PVV took a lower proportion of the vote than UKIP in the UK recently, or than the FN under the le Pens (Snr & Jnr) has regularly managed in France for decades.

There's a problem, but it's a lot less serious than many have been making out.

Agema:

Catnip1024:

1) Treating a seat gain of only 7 seats for the PVV as a victory, despite the fact that if the people are willing to vote for a complete nutter like Wilders, there are some serious fricking issues to be addressed.

The PVV took a lower proportion of the vote than UKIP in the UK recently, or than the FN under the le Pens (Snr & Jnr) has regularly managed in France for decades.

There's a problem, but it's a lot less serious than many have been making out.

I don't know, for a time last year, Wilders was projected to win above 40 seats, that's considerably more support than Farage or UKIP has ever managed to obtain. That's pretty close to what Le Pen (Jr) obtains regularly though, and that's only the PVV at his highest, you're right.

I wonder if Wilders now realizes how much of a bad strategy it was to miss so many debates, that was frankly quite poorly planed of him.

RiseOfTheWhiteWolf:

Why are the results only getting released next week? Thats weird.

I suppose it's because the Dutch resorted to hand-counting this time, in fear of hacker involvement.

Catnip1024:
It's like (Brexit aside) if the UK had Tony Blair (feel free to substitute with a less controversial character) elected EU council president, but with the current Tory majority UK parliament. It seems antagonistic, and it feels wrong from a moral perspective, but on the other hand it appears he has no real power other than to be a meeting chair, so I dunno...

This was a re-election for Tusk, the first time he was nominated was when he still was a PM and his party was still in power. I'm not even that big fan of Tusk as EC President, but PiS(current party in charge in Poland) picked, as far as i can imagine, the worst approach to this election.
You can, i don't know, abstain from voting. Or you can propose a different candidate if that's possible(iirc Danish PM was considered as an opponent to Tusk). You don't pull your candidate from arse, week before the election starts and expect your allies to side with you, and then grumble about them being under german pression when they're not convinced.

Catnip1024:
Question, out of curiousity - on a left-right scale, where do they rank? (Labour-Tory left-right, not Bolshevik-Nazi) It is one of those countries you rarely hear about unless the entire government dies in a plane accident.

Right. Dead center right, on current polish political landscape. I suppose they could be chalked up under social/national conservatism. Declaring very strong attachment to Traditional Values(family, patriotism etc.), but on the other hand having an economic policy that can be pretty left-leaning when it suits the party; they tend to call that approach 'solidarist', as opposed to 'socialist' - a word you'd never find in their dictionary because it sounds too left-wing, to give you an idea how "deep" they're into their alligment. They like too consider themselves the only "real" right-wing option on the political scene.[1] They also tend to oppose anything "liberal" by definition.
Basicly, they're very similar to hungarian Fides as far as i'm concerned. I could easily see this recent adress from Orban about "unholy alliance of Brussels bureaucrats, the liberal world media and insatiable international capitalists" being delivered by Kaczyński as well. [2]

Mind you, "the left" on that landscape, doesn't quite align with the political compass either: the biggest liberal party, now in opposition tended to be rather centrist. Meanwhile the post-communist left-wing that governed before them was rather lenient on questioning conservative values, the Church's influence on politics etc. and at the same time leaned towards the Third Way when it came to economic policies - i guess comparisons to Blair would be apt here.
Oh, and going by political alligments that parties themselves declare, there are currently zero left-wing parties in polish parliament.

[1] Their policy for last parliamentary elections was taking almost whole conservative right-wing scene(barring the most fringe, nationalist parties) under one umbrella of a coalition.
[2] One exception to that would be Kaczyński voicing a potential possibility of legalizing medical cannabis, but planned law encountered opposition from the Minister of Health, and landed in the trash anyway, as far as i know.

Agema:

Catnip1024:

1) Treating a seat gain of only 7 seats for the PVV as a victory, despite the fact that if the people are willing to vote for a complete nutter like Wilders, there are some serious fricking issues to be addressed.

The PVV took a lower proportion of the vote than UKIP in the UK recently, or than the FN under the le Pens (Snr & Jnr) has regularly managed in France for decades.

There's a problem, but it's a lot less serious than many have been making out.

Wilders was a full on nutter. Say what you like about Farage, he managed to keep the party more or less acceptable when he was in the job (especially compared to UKIP now). Even Le Pen is making the FN more acceptable than they used to be. Wilders is about as far off the extreme end of the board as you get.

The fact that more people are voting that way shows that some action is needed. Saying "we've beaten populism, we can go back to being elitist pricks now" is not going to fix anything.

Just to brag: 80% of eligeble voters showed up. Take that America.

Catnip1024:
The stupid thing about this whole Dutch election is the response to it.

1) Treating a seat gain of only 7 seats for the PVV as a victory, despite the fact that if the people are willing to vote for a complete nutter like Wilders, there are some serious fricking issues to be addressed.

2) Talking about "stemming the tide of populism". Brexit is different from Trump is different from the Netherlands. Talking about "stemming the tide" suggests that politicians can now go back to ignoring peoples' concerns for another 4 years which, while accurate, probably isn't the best strategy for resolving the issues.

1) Small correction. The PVV has risen from 15 to 20 seats which is a gain of 5. You might get to seven if you count those losers from Forum voor democratie who have gone from non-existance to 2 seats who can also be seen as populist. Though less bigoted and more just anti-EU.

2) Ugh. 'people's concerns', 'the issues'. Could you be a bit less obtuse, please. What concerns and issues? While growth in the elections matters I see absolutely no reason to go allong with banning the kuran, muslim schools and mosques or getting rid of windmills, inovation and public broadcasts (all of these are directly from the single sheet election programme of the PVV) because of a minority of at most 15% of people who everyone else hates.

Seeing as how the vast majority of people would rather vote for parties who have said in advance that they won't work with the PVV, I'd say that people are more concerned about Wilders than about Muslims, Maroccans, 'the establishment' and whatever else Wilders complains about. It's might be ignoring people's concerns. However, it's ignoring 2/15 peoples concerns because 2/3 people have made it clear that they don't want what those others wanted.

And if Wilders voters don't want those things and merely take Wilders 'seriously but not literally' or voted for him as an obtuse protest vote, then they are idiots. There are plenty of parties to choose from. Those who chose PVV did so presumably because they like Wilders insane plans.

I'll also point out that Wilders is less ignored than the socialist party who have 10% of the vote, had so for years and have not been in any coalitions since forever, unlike Wilders. The reason Wilders is further isolated is because he has been utterly unreasonable, has sabotaged any goodwill of Rutte by walking out of his coalition with him either and has further sabotaged goodwill of the rest of Dutch politicians by calling for 'less maroccons' and saying 'we'll take care of that'.

Sonmi:
I wonder if Wilders now realizes how much of a bad strategy it was to miss so many debates, that was frankly quite poorly planed of him.

Yes, his cunning media strategy of barely being in the media seems not to have worked. And it didn't work for the VVD either. They just seem to have gotten lucky with the turkey diplomatic incident and even then they still lost votes when compared to last time.

Pseudonym:
1) Small correction. The PVV has risen from 15 to 20 seats which is a gain of 5. You might get to seven if you count those losers from Forum voor democratie who have gone from non-existance to 2 seats who can also be seen as populist. Though less bigoted and more just anti-EU.

I was going by the initial stories, which I believe was based on exit polls.

2) Ugh. 'people's concerns', 'the issues'. Could you be a bit less obtuse, please. What concerns and issues? While growth in the elections matters I see absolutely no reason to go allong with banning the kuran, muslim schools and mosques or getting rid of windmills, inovation and public broadcasts (all of these are directly from the single sheet election programme of the PVV) because of a minority of at most 15% of people

Those are the nutty policies. The fact that 15% of people are willing to vote for the nutty policies, that 15% consider them better than the alternatives, is a wake up call.

who everyone else hates.

Or perhaps, others agree with some of the concerns but don't like the extreme aspects of the party? You are writing your opinion onto the majority of the population there, which is a bit presumptuous.

Seeing as how the vast majority of people would rather vote for parties who have said in advance that they won't work with the PVV, I'd say that people are more concerned about Wilders than about Muslims, Maroccans, 'the establishment' and whatever else Wilders complains about. It's might be ignoring people's concerns. However, it's ignoring 2/15 peoples concerns because 2/3 people have made it clear that they don't want what those others wanted.

Again, see above regarding Wilders being a nutter.

And if Wilders voters don't want those things and merely take Wilders 'seriously but not literally' or voted for him as an obtuse protest vote, then they are idiots. There are plenty of parties to choose from. Those who chose PVV did so presumably because they like Wilders insane plans.

Or because the other options were seen as being equally shit, offering no change. My understanding is that Wilders, despite the other shite, ran against the EU. I didn't hear about any other anti-EU parties.

I'll also point out that Wilders is less ignored than the socialist party who have 10% of the vote, had so for years and have not been in any coalitions since forever, unlike Wilders. The reason Wilders is further isolated is because he has been utterly unreasonable, has sabotaged any goodwill of Rutte by walking out of his coalition with him either and has further sabotaged goodwill of the rest of Dutch politicians by calling for 'less maroccons' and saying 'we'll take care of that'.

Again, Wilders is a prick. But if you ignore the issue, in a few years time a less divisive guy will crop up on that side and will get taken seriously. Arrogantly assuming that the problem will go away because it hasn't broken things yet is never a good plan.

Catnip1024:

Pseudonym:
1) Small correction. The PVV has risen from 15 to 20 seats which is a gain of 5. You might get to seven if you count those losers from Forum voor democratie who have gone from non-existance to 2 seats who can also be seen as populist. Though less bigoted and more just anti-EU.

I was going by the initial stories, which I believe was based on exit polls.

The exit polls put Wilders gain at 4 seats. I posted them above.

Catnip1024:

2) Ugh. 'people's concerns', 'the issues'. Could you be a bit less obtuse, please. What concerns and issues? While growth in the elections matters I see absolutely no reason to go allong with banning the kuran, muslim schools and mosques or getting rid of windmills, inovation and public broadcasts (all of these are directly from the single sheet election programme of the PVV) because of a minority of at most 15% of people

Those are the nutty policies. The fact that 15% of people are willing to vote for the nutty policies, that 15% consider them better than the alternatives, is a wake up call.

Again, please stop being so obtuse. A wake up call for what? That lowering the budget deficit by 15 billion is the worst thing that could have happened the past 4 years? That people really don't like the 'eigen risico' rule where health ensurance now doesn't cover the first 385 euro's each year? That allowing very litle refugees instead of none at all, and bargaining with other EU members and Turkey to make that happen, is utterly unacceptable?

I think the likely conclusion from this is that 15% of people just like the nutty policies. They want 'less maroccons', they don't want windmills and they want to ban the kuran, freedom of speech and religion be damned. There weren't two choices here, there were plenty. Any party who gets 1/150 votes in this country will get one or more seats in the second chamber. If you voted for Wilders than I can only assume you liked Wilders above not just the establishment but also above the other parties that are more on the fringes.

Catnip1024:

who everyone else hates.

Or perhaps, others agree with some of the concerns but don't like the extreme aspects of the party? You are writing your opinion onto the majority of the population there, which is a bit presumptuous.

No, I'm assuming people vote for what they want. Most people voted for parties who said things like 'the odds of us working with PVV are not .1 but 0%' (Mark Rutte). So most dutch people either actively want the PVV ignored or don't care if they are. And I'm going to keep saying this: what concerns? What extreme aspects? It's far too easy to ignore the content of what this is about if you keep using empty phrases like that.

Catnip1024:

And if Wilders voters don't want those things and merely take Wilders 'seriously but not literally' or voted for him as an obtuse protest vote, then they are idiots. There are plenty of parties to choose from. Those who chose PVV did so presumably because they like Wilders insane plans.

Or because the other options were seen as being equally shit, offering no change. My understanding is that Wilders, despite the other shite, ran against the EU. I didn't hear about any other anti-EU parties.

Forum voor democratie, the socialist party, the animal party all to varying degrees strongly dislike the EU. FvD would like a referendum to leave the EU. The socialist party would like to get rid of the Euro. The animal party would like to strongly reform the EU. Besides d66 all the other parties are lukewarm about the EU. Like with the exit polls that I posted I already said to you that FvD exists and is strongly anti-EU so you did hear about that. At least I can appreciate this for being a bit concrete. It just isn't true.

Catnip1024:

I'll also point out that Wilders is less ignored than the socialist party who have 10% of the vote, had so for years and have not been in any coalitions since forever, unlike Wilders. The reason Wilders is further isolated is because he has been utterly unreasonable, has sabotaged any goodwill of Rutte by walking out of his coalition with him either and has further sabotaged goodwill of the rest of Dutch politicians by calling for 'less maroccons' and saying 'we'll take care of that'.

Again, Wilders is a prick. But if you ignore the issue, in a few years time a less divisive guy will crop up on that side and will get taken seriously. Arrogantly assuming that the problem will go away because it hasn't broken things yet is never a good plan.

Ignore what issue? It's extremely easy to claim that issues are being ignored if you don't specify what they are. The only issue you did specify was the EU and there are other options if you are against that.

Pseudonym:
I think the likely conclusion from this is that 15% of people just like the nutty policies. They want 'less maroccons', they don't want windmills and they want to ban the kuran, freedom of speech and religion be damned. There weren't two choices here, there were plenty. Any party who gets 1/150 votes in this country will get one or more seats in the second chamber. If you voted for Wilders than I can only assume you liked Wilders above not just the establishment but also above the other parties that are more on the fringes.

I'm not from the Netherlands. I don't have an intimate knowledge of what the local issues are. But I'm fairly certain that 15% of the population aren't raving nazi's, yah know.

The problem with fringe parties is they tend to be nutty in their own ways. Like the Green Party in the UK, which wants essentially complete disarmament. And even if they get a couple of seats, that's usually not enough to hold any real power. Tactical voting is a thing.

Catnip1024:
I'm not from the Netherlands. I don't have an intimate knowledge of what the local issues are. But I'm fairly certain that 15% of the population aren't raving nazi's, yah know.

The problem with fringe parties is they tend to be nutty in their own ways. Like the Green Party in the UK, which wants essentially complete disarmament. And even if they get a couple of seats, that's usually not enough to hold any real power. Tactical voting is a thing.

Wilders isn't a 'raving nazi' either. There are degrees of bigotry and you can dislike muslims without being a raving nazi about it. I find it very easy to believe that 10% of people here would want 'less marroccons'. (merely 10% of open bigots would be a pretty good score) The rest of PVV voters might dislike the EU, the elites or be climate change denialists or whatever. Throw in some other protest votes as well. At the very least you have to not care that Wilders wants the Kuran banned to vote for him. Why wouldn't you believe that 15% would support ideas like that. What makes the Netherlands so vastly different from Poland or Hungary or America.

As for tactical voting and holding real power. Wilders is about the least tactical vote you could cast. Most other parties have said in advance they wouldn't work with him regardless, and from the opposition his motions and amendments have an abysmal rate of being approved, worse than those of pretty much any other party. The only power they wield is the power to pull the political spectrum as a whole in their direction. Even then, VVD would probably be the better tactical vote to pull the country right.

I just don't get this idea that we should expect PVV voters to not support the stated PVV policy ideas. The ones that get the most attention from the party itself. The ideas that distinguish the PVV the sharpest from other parties. The policy ideas that get people riled up. To use an obscure example I borrowed from a green party member. When a local far right politician in Rotterdam had to tell his consituents about housing 12 Syrian refugees in the neighbourhood he got assaulted. When he told them about removing thousands of cheap houses a few months earlier, nobody cared. It wasn't the lack of houses people had a problem with, it was the foreigners.

Catnip1024:
Wilders was a full on nutter.

As far right candidates go, he's not that exceptional.

Marine le Pen has tried to moderate; but Wilders is probably milder than Marine le Pen's father, Jean-Marie, who contested the French presidential run off about 15-20 years ago and regularly pulled in ~15% of the vote. And he's still short of Nick Griffin back in his days of the BNP's brief bump. One can also look at the Austrian FPO and Jorg Haider after its rightward swing in 1990s as similar to Wilders.

Quite simply, in most countries there are a sizeable up to 20% of the population who are highly nationalist (sometimes xenophobic / racist) and open to those sort of parties - plus a varied mix of those not so ideological but highly discontented in other ways who can just fancy a change.

In many ways, the oddity is that most European countries don't have a populist, nationalist, (usually authoritarian) right party as strong as the French FN or Dutch PVV. It's not like the UK, Germany, Norway etc. don't have similar numbers people who think that way. It's more than the mainstream parties have managed to hold enough of them in historically. However, the right sort of charismatic leader or political problems allows these parties to step in and establish themselves. The thing is, those core 10-20% do not give a monkey's about what look like extreme statements to the likes of us, because to them it's the truth.

Frankly, you can see several people who would readily support those sorts of parties in this very forum. They just aren't that rare.

A news paper just posted what'd it be like if we used a different voting system in the netherlands, but still kept the 150 seats.

http://www.volkskrant.nl/kijkverder/2017/stemverdeler/

US system(by province).

VVD - 124 seats(enough to change the constitution, can do anything they want)
CDA - 16 seats
PVV - 10 seats.

UK system(by municipality),

VVD - 102 seats(Still enough to change the constitution).
CDA - 11 seats
PVV - 9 seats
Greens - 9 seats
D66 - 7 seats
SP - 2 seats

German/Belgium/Turkish etc.. system(Need % of the votes to get seats).

15%,

VVD - 150 seats.

That is eh... intresting.

10%(Turkey)
VVD - 55 seats
PVV - 33 seats
D66 & CDA - 31 seats

Would have had a VVD + D66 or CDA coalition in this case.

5%(Belgium/Germany),

VVD - 40 seats
PVV - 23 seats
D66 & CDA - 22 seats
SP & Greens - 16 seats
Labour - 12 seats.

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