Concerning cartoonist Gregorius Nekschot’s upcoming hearing in the Dutch Parliament, our expatriate Dutch correspondent H. Numan had this to say:
Regrettably, this hearing won’t change anything. That is the benefit of having a solid position in parliament.
You are familiar with the political situation in Holland? Almost every cabinet is formed with the cooperation of the CDA. Without them almost no government can be formed.
The current coalition is CDA, PvdA and CU, in that order. The PvdA is polled at an absolute low right now: 18 seats. They simply cannot afford to blow up the cabinet. CU is there just to make up for the required majority. Not that they have a big problem with this heavy-handed action.
The CDA got two slaps in the face: Hirsh Balin, the Justice minister got his proposal to strengthen the blasphemy laws returned by parliament, and later also by the government itself.
Even if a motion of rejection would be accepted by the house, what then? Hirsh Balin would have to submit his resignation. Likely, so will his fellow CDA ministers, thus collapsing the government.
And then? We will have elections. Almost certainly the PvdA would be sent to the opposition, and not even as leader. The CDA would return to govern again. Also almost certain and inevitable.
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ToN is, as I see it, a fake party, set up to draw voters away from the evil PVV. However, if the government falls, they aren’t ready. They haven’t a program, and I assume they’re working desperately to get at least something going. But ToN has no position on immigrants (read Muslims and East Europeans) which is something that their constituents find highly important. ToN actually supports a Turkish EU membership, completely opposite to what their constituents want.
One can never forecast the outcome of elections, and least of all now. I expect a massive win for the PVV, but even if they go from 9 to 25 seats (which I doubt), will it be enough to break the cordon sanitaire?
There isn’t much choice, though. CDA will win at least 25 seats. PvdA looses massively (they’re out), but it all depends on the voters. Will they switch to the communist party, renamed the Socialist Party? D’66 is a bit of a misfit. Neither outright socialist nor liberal. But they are polled for a come back. The VVD is also loosing massively.
So, to cut a long story short, Hirsh Balin basically says: “Okay. Go ahead. Make my day. I dare you to blow up the government.” Knowing full well the last thing the PvdA wants is an election. The CDA will loose, certainly, but it won’t keep them out in the next round.
Thus, expect the usual waffle and nothing more. But if the government has to resign (stranger things have happened), we are in for a stormy election.
Our Amsterdam correspondent Sagunto weighed in with this:
There’s a special situation at work in the Netherlands that needs a reminder, contributing to the reason many people still voted for the Christian Democrats (our prime Dhimmister JPB) in the elections of 2007, and that is the shock and aftermath of the murder of Pim Fortuyn. People were accustomed to the complacent “post-politics” of the nineties; that situation was completely shattered by the analysis of Fortuyn and his success; then his violent death followed and people fled in fear and disgust to the party that seemed to promise “peace and quiet”.
Balkenende was the right man for the occasion: look at that face. Never not a dull moment with JPB. That, together with the growing support for Wilders and Verdonk, is also changing fast. The peace and quiet attraction is beginning to wear off and the stifling of free speech when Islam is concerned is only creating more resentment among the general populace. Just to get back to the Fortuyn murder: had it been a Muslim who killed him, civil war would have been an almost certain fact, even in 2002.
The difference with Theo Van Gogh in 2004 was of course that Fortuyn was a political focal point for people to rally around and act. Theo van Gogh was an individual filmmaker without a voting-base or organization of some sort. That’s where the simple problem lies: many people — especially in large cities — are not an active member of any (political) group whatsoever and the level of fragmentation is high.
I don’t want to call it “individualization”, because traditionally people in Holland have always had a distinct tendency to mind their own business to the extreme (as opposed to Swedes for instance, who — generally speaking — have a more genuine “egalitarian” sense of community. Which many of the Dutch wouldn’t like at all, myself included). What appears to outsiders as a manifestation of some egalitarian sentiments in Holland is actually quite the opposite: Dutch people on the whole are hyper-individualists in the old sense and “equality” means that no one should get the idea — including the government — that he can meddle into the affairs of his neighbour.
That’s why sometimes the Dutch can really work together, just to make sure their own individual interests are protected. That’s why I keep repeating that for many Dutch, the idea of “the grand Nation of the Netherlands” is still somewhat embarrassing and even laughable. And I know it may sound strange, but that’s the way it should be, because it’s part of Dutch tradition. Just look at the European Championships this summer: you’ll see an army of orange. Not because the Dutch are nationalists but precisely because they know how ridiculous that notion is and how silly they look (they even wore German war-helmets in orange when the World Championships were held in Germany).
That’s also why you’ll never hear too many people shout in a martial fashion at a threat, but make no mistake, the anger will build to a point that the simplest incident can suddenly become the focal point for massive retaliation. That’s also why I’m a bit reluctant to go along with the “conventional war” speech. That doesn’t even apply to the struggle of governments against global Islamic terror, and it sure as hell doesn’t describe what will become reality in a few years: civil war (mainly civilians + avant gardists versus the State, the police-force and the multicultists’ main clients, i.e. Muslims)
The “peace and quit” doctrine of Balkenende will backfire more and more; Wilders and Verdonk will gain support, which will itself lower the threshold for counterjihad initiatives by ordinary people; the elites of the political parties now in charge, will fight to hold on to power, presumably by invoking EU pressure; that will only breed more resentment, and one day an incident on one of our beaches (think of the Australian situation not so long ago) will be the spark that fully ignites the civil war.
All that’s needed are some political focal points, and we have them in place. Now we wait, and I know some will be confused by the relative silence, like the commenter who thought there must be little or no awareness among the people. I know that you know better, and that’s the great value of having international contacts.
So that’s the situation in the Netherlands from the Dutch perspective. If anyone else wants to add his or her two cents’ worth, feel free to include it in a comment.