1
   

The American Tea Party congratulates the Dutch Tea Party on its Victory

 
 
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2010 08:03 am
Quote:
A campaign that many thought would focus on immigration and Afghanistan instead seemed to turn on economic issues, with voters apparently embracing the Liberal Party's message of austerity and spending cuts "" but no tax increases "" to reduce the expanding budget deficit.
http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/.a/6a00d83451c45669e20133f08d7d9b970b-550wi

But reaction to immigration was never far below the surface, with even the Liberals taking pages out of Mr. Wilders' policies and vowing to keep immigrants from getting social benefits for 10 years.

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/06/a-dutch-teaparty.html

I'm a Tea Party activist in the US, don't know much about Dutch politics, but understood that the new Dutch governement supports a rollback of socialist policies and imposition of fiscal austerity.

So do we. We wish you luck and we hope to learn from you.



 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2010 03:56 pm
now you got a 1, how long it lasts one cannot say



hmm, or maybe not
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2010 03:58 pm
nice hairdo (insert snide sarcastic smiley here)
0 Replies
 
electronicmail
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2010 04:05 pm
@djjd62,
Well thank you. Do you follow Dutch politics?
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2010 04:06 pm
@electronicmail,
i'd follow that guys hair, it's mesmerizing, if he fails at politics he could become a tele-evangalist
0 Replies
 
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2010 04:08 pm
@djjd62,
you were not enough, deej... Wink

zeroes been a-poppin' of late.

Oral Roberts had nice hair...
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2010 04:10 pm
@Rockhead,
what can i say, i'm a defender of the underdog, even more so if i don't agree
electronicmail
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2010 04:18 pm
@djjd62,
Well thank you both of you, it seems the thread is still visible to posters no matter if rated 0 or 1.
kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2010 04:20 pm
@electronicmail,
Yes, we can still see how stupid your post is no matter how the votes go.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2010 04:23 pm
@electronicmail,
it's only invisible to the person, or persons who voted it down
electronicmail
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2010 05:57 pm
@djjd62,
Thanks.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  3  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 03:21 pm
@electronicmail,
Well, you didn't get much in the way of constructive response here, did you? Pity really.

It's an interesting take, of Sullivan's, to call the combination of the two big election winners in Holland, the Liberals and the far right Freedom Party, "a Dutch Tea Party". I dunno if that really fits.

Let's take Geert Wilders' Freedom Party first. It shares many of the US Tea Partiers' temperamental sensibilities, for sure. The party's voters are angry at the government, angry at how the country has changed, they are fiercely anti-establishment, and they have little up with the traditional, sedate conventions of political discourse. They are loud, raucous and deeply polarizing.

But the all-overriding attraction of Wilders' party lies in its relentless agitation against immigration and Islam. Now I don't expect Tea Partiers to be particularly friendly disposed towards immigration either, but I don't think it's their primary attraction. Meanwhile, when it comes to economic policy, Wilders' Freedom Party moved significantly left this time around.

Four years ago Wilders was still advocating the virtues of small government and cutting budgets and subsidies. But not so much this time - he's smart and knows that most of the anti-immigrant/muslim voters he's courting are working class and, while they hate the government in the abstract, do enjoy their subsidies and benefits. So this time he actually campaigned against many of the economic reforms that the other rightwing parties were proposing.

Wilders is still all for cutting politicians' salaries and cutting the number of civil servants, and for cutting taxes. But he's now against making it easier for employers to fire people, against increasing the retirement age, against decreasing the scholarships which every Dutch student receives from the state. He's against reducing the rent subsidies that many Dutch people receive, and against letting real estate owners freely set rent prices (there's still government-regulated caps on rent hikes in Holland). He's against reducing the scope of the government-guaranteed and -regulated private health insurance which all the Dutch have to carry. (We have something like ObamaCare, basically, and Wilders want to keep it as it is.) He's against cutting the length of unemployment benefits. He's against more "market-based competition" between health care insitutions. Et cetera.

On the other hand, the Liberals (we refer to them by the party's acronym, VVD) are all about small government, it's true. They are, and always have been, in favour of curtailing government, cutting taxes, slashing subsidies, cutting benefits. But they have little of the US Tea Partiers' raucous, anti-establishment insurgent fervour. While they will sometimes pretend to have it, it's kind of like those establishment GOPers that suddenly discover that they hate "the political elites", even though they've been in DC themselves for decades and were in power for most of the last decade. The Dutch Liberals were in government from 1994 through to 2006, first with Labour, then with the Christian-Democrats. They were a government party for 23 of the last 33 years.

And that's just politics. The Liberal electorate, to a large extent, rules the economy: CEOs, financial managers, captains of industry, stockbrokers - they're all very likely to have always been voting Liberal. While the party enjoys healthy support from small business owners and shopkeepers too, the basic rule of the Liberal electorate is that the higher the income group, the greater the share of the Liberal vote. E.g. in the previous elections (2006), the Liberals got 9% of low-income votes, 13% of middle-income votes and 24% of high-income votes.

All of this doesn't touch yet on what is perhaps the main gulf between American Tea Partiers and the Dutch rightwingers. And that's culture. Both the Liberals and, surprisingly, the Freedom Party are fairly stridently secular and liberal when it comes to 'moral' politics. Both are pro-choice. Both are pro-gay marriage. The Liberals stand for legalized euthanasia, and the Freedom Party, too, believes that "professional aid in euthanasia should under certain circumstances be possible". Both believe that religious schools should not be allowed the right to refuse to hire gay teachers.

The Freedom Party makes a big deal of how those pesky, conservative Muslim immigrants are threatening the freedoms of our gays, Jews and emancipated women. While the Freedom Party is as concened about protecting our traditional, national culture as the Tea Partiers' are about "keeping America American", Wilders' party wants to do that by "enshrining the Judeo-Christian and Humanist roots of the Netherlands in the Constitution." The Freedom Party is for a ban on industrial-scale "mega-farms" (of the kind which, I'm guessing, are very commonplace in the American MidWest).

In short, yes, I can superficially see the parallels between the Tea Partiers and the Freedom Party in insurgent temperament, and between the Tea Partiers and the Liberals in economic policy preferences, but there's arguably a lot more that separates them than that unites them - and the two parties themselves are very different and have different electorates.
electronicmail
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 03:47 pm
@nimh,
Quote:
But the all-overriding attraction of Wilders' party lies in its relentless agitation against immigration .........to economic policy, Wilders' Freedom Party moved significantly left this time around.

Thank you for reading up on my formerly orphan (well, quasi-orphan) thread and looking up the link. I already said I'm not up-to-date on Dutch politics so I appreciate your obviously informed opinion. As far as I could tell the agitation against immigration is limited to blocking uncontrolled / unwelcome immigrants from receiving government subsidies for 10 years after their arrival.

I don't know how many illegal or unwelcome aliens Holland has but here we have about 10% of the total population. Ours aren't mostly from Islam but why does religion matter? Is national default due to social payments to illegals a consideration in Holland? Here we have bigger problems than the illegals and you're right on "economic policy" being out-of-control printing money hand-over-fist with the US at any rate.

As I don't know what Wilders' prior position on economic policy was I can't address that but it makes sense you want to govern you sometimes have to shift pure principle towards expediency. Old story of politics being the art of the possible. I hope you'll post again.
nimh
 
  3  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 04:57 pm
@electronicmail,
electronicmail wrote:
As far as I could tell the agitation against immigration is limited to blocking uncontrolled / unwelcome immigrants from receiving government subsidies for 10 years after their arrival.

I don't know how many illegal or unwelcome aliens Holland has but here we have about 10% of the total population. Ours aren't mostly from Islam but why does religion matter? Is national default due to social payments to illegals a consideration in Holland?

Wilders' resistance to immigration extends far beyond only illegal immigration. And according to him, religion matters very much indeed when it comes to determining which immigrants to let in. He is proposing a ban on immigration from any Muslim countries, legal or illegal, full stop.

I don't want to cherry pick quotes or points, so instead let me just quote what the two main "vote test" websites have about the Freedom Party's views on immigrations.

---sorry, digression!---

A note about these sites, the Stemwijzer ("vote pointer" or "vote wiser", it's a pun of sorts) and the Kieskompas ("voting compass"): they are extremely popular - perhaps not a surprise if you consider that Dutch voters have a choice of ten parties that are represented in parliament alone, plus usually another ten new parties that want to get in. The Stemwijzer alone got 4.2 million individual hits - and Holland only has 12.5 million eligible voters.

How they work is, they ask you 30 questions, where you have to indicate whether you agree, disagree or are neutral on a specific, topical issue. Those answers are matched up with the positions of the parties. (The political parties co-operate with the test makers.) At the end, you get to indicate which subjects you find especially important. The result tells you what party you are closest to and how far your views are removed from each party's, and you can compare each of your answers with the position of each of the parties.

It's really cool, in a way - though most people just use these tests as one piece of info, and often just to confirm what they were thinking anyway. But it helps floating voters, and by making voters consider each issue specifically and look at the parties' actual positions instead of just their leaders' personalities, arguably improve democracy. Anyway, that's just a big digression, sorry.


---end/digression---

So, positions on immigration and integration. According to the Stemwijzer, the Freedom Party says:

  • No new mosques should be allowed to be built in the Netherlands. (The Liberals express no opinion. The Christian-Democrats disagree.)

  • All muslim schools in the Netherlands should be closed. (The Liberals disagree. So do the Christian-Democrats, who are afraid that the position of Christian schools would then also come in question.)

  • Women who work in a government job should not be allowed to wear a headscarf during working hours. (Both Liberals and Christian-Democrats disagree.)


According to the Kieskompas, the Freedom Party

  • Strongly believes that the Netherlands should no longer let in any low-educated immigrants (both the Liberals and the Christian-Democrats agree.)

  • Strongly believes that rejected asylum-seekers should be deported as soon as possible regardless of their circumstances (the Liberals agree, the Christian-Democrats disagree).

  • Strongly believes that Turkey should never be allowed into the EU (the Liberals disagree, the Christian-Dems are neutral).


To be continued..
electronicmail
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 05:18 pm
@nimh,
I'm wondering if you have any insight into this question: what is the maximum not-assimilatable (if there's such a word) percentage of the population before the vast remaining majority of the population will rebel? We're at 10% total illegals, maybe half of them can be assimilated but no more. Holland's situation is similar?

I've seen some empirical studies concluding that 5% is the maximum tolerable before opposition forms, especially if the 5% lives at the expense of the 95% as many of ours do, and more especially still if the country is facing debt difficulties.

My family and I have to drive off to the kids' summer camp hundreds of miles away so I'll get back to you some time from now but again I appreciate your information.



nimh
 
  3  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 06:12 pm
OK, that was pretty basic. More info. The makers of the Stemwijzer also created a site where you don't have to answer any questions, you can just compare the program points of the different parties, one on one. What additional points can we find there from the Freedom Party and the Liberals on issues related to immigration/integration?

Note: Since sometime in the 90s (IIRC), immigrants to the Netherlands are obliged to take an 'integration course' upon arrival. My American (then-)girlfriend had to take it too, though it consisted largely of Dutch language classes. Quite useful actually, though she didn't like them much. These obligatory courses were originally an idea of the rightwing parties, but by now the goalposts have shifted, as you will see.

Freedom Party

The big ones here, I think, are the proposed ban on the Quran and the ban on all immigration from Muslim countries.

  • Suspend immigration by people from islamic countries
  • Make aspiring immigrants complete their 'integration course' in their country of origin [before allowing them to come].
  • Ban the Quran, and the burqa.
  • Immigrants have no right to benefits the first ten years.
  • Ban on headscarves at government and government-funded institutions.
  • No double nationality for immigrants.
  • The battle against Islam should be the core point of Dutch foreign policy.
  • Ethnic registration of everybody.
  • No Romanians or Bulgarians on the Dutch labour market.
  • No right to child benefits if you live abroad.
  • Obligatory school classes teaching a set of standards of national history.


Liberal Party [VVD]

  • End the subsidized integration industry. Integrators have to buy their own course on the market place. At most they can get a loan for this.
  • Limit access to social benefits for foreigners. Base the unemployment benefits on how much someone has actually paid in premiums/taxes. [At the moment, everyone who becomes unemployed has a mnimum right to unemployment benefits for a set time.]
  • No right to welfare for immigrants the first ten years.
  • Immigrants have to have a command of the Dutch language or they won't have a right to welfare.
  • Keep immigrants with few chances out and attract highly-educated knowledge migrants.
  • No residence permit for partners [eg wifes, husbands, contractual life partners] from abroad if the partner is younger than 24 jaar, a cousin, or has an income lower than 120% of the minimum wage.
  • Municipalities have to end all and any form of shelter to rejected asylum seekers and/or illegal immigrants.
  • Every criminal offense by an immigrant within his first three years in the Netherlands can lead to deportation.
  • To encourage international companies to settle in the Netherlands, the procedures of the immigration service for foreign companies have to become more simple and there have to be good services for children of foreign employees. [The wording makes clear they're talking about expats, not your regular Turkish immigrant.]
  • Parents of children with a language deficit have to play a large and active role in education.


Lots of common ground there, for sure, although obviously the Freedom Party goes further.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

More info still from a sister site of the Stemwijzer, de Stemmentracker. That site asks you to indicate how you would vote on 30 actual votes that came up in parliament in the last few years, and then compares your answers with the way the political parties voted. There's a couple of relevant examples:

  • Should policewomen be stopped from wearing a headscarf? Yes, said Freedom Party, Liberals, Christian-Democrats and a parliamentary majority. Their pronouncements varied though.

    Freedom Party: "It is absolutely unwanted for policewomen to walk around in headscarves. It does not enforce respect among Moroccan street terrorists." ["Street terrorists" is Wilders-speak for thugs and petty criminals, they're not talking about actual bombthrowers - nimh].

    Liberal Party: "The [Liberal Party] is not in favour of [policewomen] wearing clothing which involves an expression of religion."

  • At the moment, some municipalities allow men and women to attend separate classes to take their 'integration course'. Should this practice be banned? The Freedom Party and the Liberals thought so, the Christian-Democrats disagreed.

    Freedom Party: "The equality of man and woman is thrown overboard. You can't give a worse message. Especially during the integration course, foreigers have to be familiarized with our society and the equality of man and woman."

    Liberal Party: "We have principled objections against separate integration courses. We are against separate treatment of men and women. We also consider this a betrayal of women who are trying to wrestle free from inequality."

  • In 2008, the Dutch (and several other European countries) maintained a system of work permits for aspiring immigrants from the new EU Member States Romania and Bulgaria, whereas otherwise people can move freely within the EU. An interesting combo of far right, far left, and christian fundamentalists voted to demand the government to assure that the Netherlands would keep these restrictions on immigration from those countries. The mainstream parties rejected the vote - though you will see that the Liberals didn't actually disagree substantively, I guess they just didn't want to tie the hands of the government in advance.

    Freedom Party: "There are street nuisances, urban neighbourhoods are going down the drain, there are problems with education and integration. Think about the pushing out of Dutch people ["verdringing"] on the labour market. It is a dumb mistake to throw open the labour market for employees from Romania and Bulgaria. It's bad enough that those countries joined the EU, but if you'd open the labour market for Romanians and Bulgarians the misery would of course go completely out of hand."

    Liberal Party: " De [Liberal Party] is for free movement within the European Union, amongst other reasons because this yields economic benefits for the Netherlands. But the [party] thinks it's wholly logical that transitional stages are set, especially in a period in which differences in prosperity are very large. There are a million people sitting at home in the Netherlands even though they can work. We have to first put maximum pressure on those people [to accept jobs]. Accepting too many people from other countries quickly could work counterproductively there. The [party] therefore proposes to make preparations to extend the transitio9nal period. If you do open the borders, you should never do it earlier than the neighbouring countries, because then you become a magnet."

  • Also interesting: in the aftermath of that whole fracas about the Danish cartoon mocking the Prophet Mohammed, a debate was sparked in Holland about the Dutch law that prohibits blasphemy. It's not actually used much anymore, as you can imagine, and some parties proposed striking it from the books for good. In response, the Christian-Democrats and the Christian Union supported a vote to keep the law on the books; the Freedom Party and the Liberals, along with all the leftwing parties, opposed it.
nimh
 
  3  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 06:54 pm
@electronicmail,
electronicmail wrote:

I'm wondering if you have any insight into this question: what is the maximum not-assimilatable (if there's such a word) percentage of the population before the vast remaining majority of the population will rebel? We're at 10% total illegals, maybe half of them can be assimilated but no more. Holland's situation is similar?

I've seen some empirical studies concluding that 5% is the maximum tolerable before opposition forms

Holland has nowhere near 10% illegals, though how many there are is of course always hard to say. But nowhere near that many. It's still an issue, politically, of course, but our location means illegal immigrants are more likely to stay in Spain, Italy or such countries on the borders of the EU, or somewhere between there and the Netherlands.

Immigrants make up 10.3% of the population, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics (I presume they're only really able to count the legal ones, not sure). And, well, that's only "first generation" immigrants. But it includes immigrants from other EU countries, the US, etc. If you count "second generation" immigrants with two foreign-born parents, or one foreign-born and one Dutch-born parent (for how long do you remain an "immigrant"?), the numbers change. They also change quite a lot if you only look at non-Western immigrants, which is what people usually think of when they debate immigration:

Code:10.3% First-generation, all
14.5% Incl. second-generation, two foreign-born parents, all
20.3% Incl. second-generation, one foreign-born parent, all

6.4% First-generation, only non-Western
9.7% Incl. second-generation, two foreign-born parents, only non-Western
11.2% Incl. second-generation, one foreign-born parent, only non-Western


How much is too much? Or rather: how much will make the natives restless, so to say? I can't imagine one could ever put an exact number on that, really.. it all depends. High-income/education immigrants vs low-income/education immigrants. How big the cultural differences are. How much an immigrant community tends to turn inward, to mingle, or to challenge. How fast the number rises. The economic climate.

An underestimated factor, IMO (but then I'm a lefty): the sense of existential, economic security in general. People who already feel that their jobs and securities are slipping away with globalization, outsourcing, the dismantling of the welfare state, the dissappearance of the job-for-life, the increased scale of companies and employers, the impersonality of work, are, I believe, much more likely to regard immigration as a threat as well.

(It's interesting to see where, in these elections, the Freedom Party made most of its biggest gains: not any longer in or near the major cities in the West with all their immigrants, but in the south of the country, and also in the northeast and in Twente - largely working class regions, but often towns where immigrants are seen more often on the TV screen than on the street.)

The disappearance of industry and its market for manual labour, from steel to textile to the mines and the harbours, has resulted in a sense of uselessness/unwantedness for people without the office class skills or education. Long-term contracts anywhere have been exchanged for "flex-labour" and performance pay. Prosperity has increased over the last generation, though a hell of a lot more for upper-middle class families than working-class ones, but security seems to be forever dwindling. And if you then have all these scary stories about immigrants too, well....

That's sorta where I'm coming from, anyway.

electronicmail wrote:
My family and I have to drive off to the kids' summer camp hundreds of miles away so I'll get back to you some time from now but again I appreciate your information.

No problem, have fun, and a safe journey!
0 Replies
 
electronicmail
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 05:13 am
@nimh,
Thanks, that was all very interesting. Do you, in Holland (I guess that's where you are, maybe I'm wrong) have any measure of "trust" in your central government? Ours is under 20% right now http://people-press.org/trust/ and probably sinking ever lower with no end in sight of the Afghan war and most of all the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Even Obama supporters are up in arms today that he used that disaster to promote his agenda of pushing for "clean fuels" legislation. Do you think that Sullivan was wrong in naming the new government of Holland "A Dutch Tea Party"? Seems to me the same spirit of rebellion and distrust of government policies is a common thread in both.

And how representative are you of the rest of Europe, would you say?
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 06:38 am
@electronicmail,
electronicmail wrote:

Thanks, that was all very interesting. Do you, in Holland (I guess that's where you are, maybe I'm wrong) have any measure of "trust" in your central government?

Some, but it's certainly low, and seemingly ever sinking further.

Mind you, in my opinion, the voters can't have it all their way. They can't splinter and fragment their vote ever more, so that eclectic three- or four-party coalition governments become necessary, and vote increasingly for parties at the far ends of the right and leftwing spectrum (Freedom Party and Socialist Party respectively), and then complain that hey, the country's become ungovernable and those politicians just cant get their act together and work together!

Well, they can, of course, and that's exactly what they're doing. :-D

Oh, I'm Dutch and lived in the Netherlands most of my life, but I moved to Hungary five years ago for a job.

Quote:
Even Obama supporters are up in arms today that he used that disaster to promote his agenda of pushing for "clean fuels" legislation.

This is off-topic, so we shouldn't dig into this, but just very quickly, what Obama supporters are you referring to? (Just a link or something - it's OT so we shouldn't really discuss it here.)

Quote:
Do you think that Sullivan was wrong in naming the new government of Holland "A Dutch Tea Party"? Seems to me the same spirit of rebellion and distrust of government policies is a common thread in both.

Hmm yes that's the question I've been trying to address in the above posts. Basically, I think Sullivan was wrong to conflate the vote for the two parties he's talking about.

  • There is definitely a strong spirit of rebellion and distrust of government in the vote for the Freedom Party. But those voters aren't "small government" voters - or at least not with any consistency. They're strongly against government in the abstract and want the civil servants corps cut; but they want to keep the government continuing to fund and regulate a whole range of social services and subsidies which would be anathema to Tea Partiers, from rent caps to, in comparison to the US, generous welfare, to our version of ObamaCare.

  • Vice versa, the Liberal Party is all about small government and cutting all those government regulations and subsidies and benefits. But unlike the Tea Party they don't embody much of a "strong spirit of rebellion"; it's an establishment party.
So basically, I can see where he's coming from in sketching the broad atmosphere, but the characterisation kind of breaks down once you start taking a closer look.

Quote:
And how representative are you of the rest of Europe, would you say?

Me? Oh I'm not representative in the least. :-) But I've done my best to just focus on presenting objective information, like what the parties themselves are actually proposing - and when inserting some of my own opinion clearly labelling it. Hope I succeeded!
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 07:09 am
After a rocky start, this thread settled into an interesting topic. Thanks you two.
0 Replies
 
 

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