The 2017 Dutch General Election Results
On the day of the Dutch general election, the Shallow Man awoke with a sinking feeling. Would the PVV, a party that threatened to close all Mosques in the Netherlands and ban the Koran, win the largest number of seats in the Dutch Parliament? They were ahead in the polls for months before the election. The VVD, the party of Prime Minister Mark Rutte began catching up and was even ahead in some polls during election week, but following Brexit and the US election I’d learned not to trust the predictions of political pollsters.
Which brings me to the subject of today’s post, what expats need to know about the 2017 Dutch general election.
The 2017 Dutch general election was global news
In the week of the election, the world’s media descended on the Netherlands like a plague of biblical locusts. CNN, the BBC, Al Jazeera, The Daily Telegraph, The New York times and many others were full of news reports about the 2017 Dutch election. This was incredibly different from previous elections which went by without much interest from foreign media at all. Globally, Dutch elections were a good cure for insomnia and barely worth mentioning. The prospect of Geert Wilders being the winner of the elections changed all that, especially with his obsequious public kissing of Donald Trump’s orange tanned buttocks. He even stole one of comrade Trump’s slogans and claimed that he would make the Netherlands great again. (Pass the sick bucket).
He’s not dead he’s only sleeping
Things were looking bad for the incumbent Prime Minister Mark Rutte. A man often compared with a jellyfish (by me) shocked the country by proving that shockingly he had a backbone after all. Firstly by publishing a ridiculous letter aimed at bigoted potential Geert Wilders voters. The premise of the letter was to tell people that didn’t behave normally (doe normaal) according to fictional Dutch norms and values to bugger off back to where they came from, which went down very well with ‘tolerant’ Dutch folk all over the country. Just like Monty Python’s parrot, he wasn’t dead, only sleeping.
The Roar of the Jellyfish
Things improved for Mark Rutte when he refused to allow two Turkish government ministers to give a speech to Turkish expatriates in the Netherlands. The Dutch media was full of excited headlines such as ‘wij zijn hier de baas’. (We’re the boss here). Photos of Turkish-Nederlanders waving Turkish flags and rioting as a result of Rutte’s decision to ban the Turkish ministers from the Netherlands benefitted his party at the expense of Geert Wilders PVV.
Winners of the 2017 Dutch general election
The prospect of a victory for Geert Wilders led to an increased turnout of voters up from 74, 6% in 2012 to 81,4% in 2017. An incredible 28 political parties took part in the election. If you’re not familiar with the Dutch voting system of proportional representation, here’s an article that explains it as well as providing some background info on some of the political parties standing for election.
In spite of losing some seats in the Dutch Parliament, Mark Rutte is likely to remain Prime Minister. No doubt he’ll be sending a Magnum of Champagne to Tayyip Erdoğan the Turkish Prime Minister to thank him for causing a situation that allowed him to profile himself as a no-nonsense tough guy. This went down better with Dutch voters than a ‘korting’ at Albert Heijn.
Onze Geert, the head of the “we’re not racist but…” party the PVV, is likely to have the second largest number of seats in the Dutch Parliament. It’s still quite an achievement for a party that only has a single policy, which is to discriminate against Muslims. There’s no cause for complacency or celebration about their results. I know a lot of people who like myself breathed a sigh of relief when the exit polls indicated that the PVV wouldn’t be the largest party. Nevertheless, it’s scary that so many people in the Netherlands in spite of being ‘tolerant’ are obviously Islamaphobic.
Batman has the Joker, Kim Kardashian has Beyonce, and the PVV have Denk as their nemesis and natural opposite. Denk was formed by a couple of Turkish-Nederlanders who felt that the Dutch Labor party (the PVDA) was taking the minority vote for granted. Just as the PVV has positioned itself as the voice of native Dutch people that have problems with Islam, Turks, and Moroccans. Denk claims to be the party of minorities so-called ‘Nieuwe Nederlanders.’
According to some elements of the Dutch media, Denk is a bunch of pro-Erdoğan (the Turkish Prime Minister) extremists looking to implement his policies in the Netherlands. Whatever the facts may be, Denk’s appealed to minority voters, especially Muslims angry with Geert Wilders regular anti-Islamic rants. Denk’s policies anger many. I mean how terrible, some of the things they campaigned for were so extreme:
- A tolerant society in which we accept each other.
- A caring society in which we look out for each other.
- A learning society in which we utilize everyone’s talents.
How extreme is that? It’s clear that their message resonated well with minorities in the Netherlands who felt that the mainstream parties weren’t addressing their concerns. In fact, in Rotterdam and the Hague Denk won more votes than the PVDA.
Groenlinks are now the largest party in Amsterdam. Nationally, they increased their number of seats by ten and are likely to end up being part of the next Government.
The party of the Chai Latte drinking and bakfiets owning classes saw substantial gains in the number of votes received.
Partij voor de Dieren
The Party for the Animals did incredibly well. This came as no surprise to the Shallow Man who has often observed that the Netherlands is a doggy paradise on earth. You’ve seen Planet Of The Apes, well if a time traveler were to land in the Netherlands in 2017 he’d think he was on an alien planet where dogs have seized control with humans as their slaves. Eventually, he’d utter the famous words, “Oh my god, I was on Earth the whole time, you maniacs, what have you done?”
Losers of the 2017 Dutch general election
Geen votes. 😀 Yet another wannabe Wilders nationalistic party, fortunately, they went down like a Dutch woman wearing a pair of high heel shoes and a dress to a Dutch wedding. In short, not very well at all.
The biggest loser of the 2017 Dutch general election is the Labor party. They are like the formerly popular Dutch social media platform ‘Hyves.’ Which died a death when the Dutch realized that Facebook was a much better platform for telling people that didn’t like Zwarte Piet to “rot op naar je eigen land.” Their vote collapsed quicker than a group of British stag party tourists in Amsterdam for the weekend. Zielig!
There were far too many parties taking part in the election to cover them all. However, it’s fair to say that with the relative success of the PVV and Denk, that there appears to be a fair amount of polarization in the Netherlands at the extreme ends of the spectrum. Thankfully, the majority of people are reasonable and voted for parties such as the VVD, D66, the CDA, and Groenlinks. Whether or not it will be possible to form a coalition to govern the country from those parties remains to be seen. Perhaps Dutch tolerance isn’t dead after all; it’s just seriously wounded.
No animals were hurt during the writing of this post.
Until next time, “rot op met je Baklava, geef mij maar ouderwetse vlaflip!”