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Wilders, Horse-trading — Rocky Times Getting The Numbers at The Hague, (And In Canberra) …

  • September 5th, 2010
  • Posted by 7thmin

wilders.jpgCOMMENTARY: At the time of the latest controversy over his stance against Islam, the Dutch anti-immigration campaigner,and politician, Geert Wilders (picture), has walked out of negotiations on forming a coalition government.

The stand-off has some parallels to the state of the state in Australia this weekend (4-5.9.10), where Independent tails have been wagging the parliamentary dog.


In both countries the determining lower house of parliament has 150 members; no party has a majority, and smaller groups have been carrying-on in public and humming-and-hahring about which side, left or right, they will support.

(In Australia the main conservative parties have stolen the clothes of anti-immigration groups, saying “stop the boats!” – arguing for brusque handling of asylum seekers through an off-shore processing centre on Nauru. The Labor Party has defended on the issue with its own plan for off-shore processing, in a country signed-up to United Nations refugee protocols, possibly East Timor. Immigration was much displaced in the recent election campaign by arguments over climate change issues and a proposed prosperity tax on mining).


dutch-parliament.jpgIn The Netherlands, Geert Wilders has had a double-splash of publicity, first of all with the demand for his head  by Sheik Feiz Muhammad, hailing from Australia, (see EUAustralia Online, 4.9.10), and then at the negotiations to form a government.

He has reportedly objected that the Christian Democrats are prone to resist what he wants on migration; they have been known to object to his anti-Islamic policies as a middle-term threat to freedom of faith.

The caretaker Prime Minister, Christian Democrat Jan Peter Balkenende (CDA party), lost office in February, his own political group reduced to only 21 after elections.

The larger right-of-centre liberal party (People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy – VVD), holding a plurality with 31 members, is hard pressed to get a majority without both the CDA and the 24 members of Wilders’ Freedom Party (PVV).

Most of the minor parties have left-of-centre tendencies on several issues, offering little chance there.

State of the parties:

VVD 31
Labour Party 30
PVV 24
CDA 21
Socialist 15
Democrats-66 (radical, social-liberal, “left” liberals) 10
Green Left 10
Christian Union (centre-left social platform) 5
Reformed Party (traditionalist Dutch Protestant grouping)  2
Party for the Animals 2


parliament-australia.jpgIn Australia horse-trading over coalitions is less of a tradition though common enough in State parliaments.

Following federal elections a fortnight ago (21.8.10), the  governing Labor Party emerged with 72 seats, the alliance of Liberal and National Parties got 73, and both a Green Party member and one independent have declared they will support Labor. The remaining members, three rural independents, have undertaken to decide how they will vote – and which major party will govern – this week. Neither of the major parties  – Labor or L-NP-  has been expected to take any outsiders into the Ministry.


Wikipedia, SF, “House of representatives of The Netherlands”., (5.9.10).


Beautiful parliament buildings at The Hague, wikipedia; Australia’s new (since 1980s) Parliament House in Canberra,