First test for the EU against challenge of far right populism

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First test for the EU against challenge of far right populism

Postby mr friendly guy » 2017-03-15 10:59pm

I have heard commentators describe the elections in the Netherlands, France and Germany this year as a test for the EU against the populism that has not just been found in the EU, but across the Atlantic. The populism of Brexit and Trump. Well the Netherlands appear to have staved off the challenge of the far right populism for now.

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/03/15/europ ... elections/

Dutch elections: Wilders' far-right party beaten, early results show
Lauren Said-MoorhouseBryony Jones is a journalist at CNN International in London.
By Lauren Said-Moorhouse and Bryony Jones, CNN
Updated 0246 GMT (1046 HKT) March 16, 2017

The Hague, Netherlands (CNN)Conservative Dutch Prime Minster Mark Rutte has staved off a challenge from his far-right rival in an election widely seen as an indicator of populist sentiment in Europe, preliminary results indicated Wednesday.

The anti-immigrant firebrand Geert Wilders, who had promised to "de-Islamise" the Netherlands, was on course for a poorer than expected performance.
With more than half the votes counted, preliminary results showed Wilders tied for second place with two other parties, the mainstream Christian Democratic Appeal and D66. Rutte's VVD party is projected to win 32 seats out of a total of 150.
The left-wing environmentalist GroenLinks (Green Left) party also appears likely to make big gains, while the PVDA (Labour) party, Rutte's outgoing partners in a coalition, were on course for a historic defeat.
Turnout was 81%, a NOS exit poll said, the highest for three decades.
Wilders tweeted: "PVV voters thanks. We won seats, first victory is in. Rutte hasn't got rid of me yet."
PVV-stemmers bedankt!

We hebben zetels gewonnen!
Eerste winst is binnen!

En Rutte is nog lang niet van mij af!!

— Geert Wilders (@geertwilderspvv) March 15, 2017
"This is a night for the Netherlands," Rutte told crowds of supporters after the exit polls were released. "After Brexit, after the US election, we said 'stop it, stop it' to the wrong kind of populism."
Relief in Europe
The vote was the first of three elections this year in Europe in which populist, right-wing candidates were hoping for mainstream electoral breakthroughs. In April's French presidential election, National Front leader Marine le Pen is expected to make it to the runoff vote. In German elections in September the euroskeptic, anti-immigrant Alternative für Deutschland party is expected win its first seats in the federal parliament.
There was relief in mainstream European governments at the Dutch result. "Large majority of Dutch voters have rejected anti-European populists. That's good news," the German Foreign Ministry tweeted.
Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentilioni tweeted his approval: "The anti-EU right has lost the election in the Netherlands. All together for change and revive the (European) Union."

"Congratulations to the Dutch for preventing the rise of the far right," French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said on Twitter.
The Dutch Labour party leader, Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher, acknowledged its poor performance. "Today we share sadness," he said, addressing a large crowd. "Sadness about a disappointing dramatic result, but please never forget our ideals are worthwhile," he said. "Social democracy will come back. We will start building today."
Coalition talks will begin once the results are confirmed. Due to the Netherlands' fractured political system, it could take weeks for a new government to emerge.
Test of populism
The vote was widely seen as a test of populism in the wake of US President Donald Trump's victory and the Brexit referendum vote in the UK.
#tk2017 pic.twitter.com/Vo6oVKjBI1

— GroenLinks (@groenlinks) March 15, 2017
Controversial anti-immigrant, anti-European Union figure Wilders had run on a "de-Islamification" platform, calling for Islamic schools to be closed and the Quran and burqa to be banned.
That message struck a chord with many ordinary Dutch voters who have been hard hit by the government's austerity measures, and who feel the country has taken in too many refugees and migrants.
"The Netherlands is full," Wilders supporter Jack told CNN outside a polling station in Volendam on Wednesday. "If it were up to me I would have stopped all [Turkish people] at the border."

Others were disturbed by the tone of the campaign, and said they had voted tactically, to keep the far right out of power, or for parties they trusted to fight for causes they cared about, irrespective of the current political climate.
"I thought it was important and so I voted strategically," said Amsterdam resident Kathie Somerwil. "I usually vote a little more left of center but at least now with this Wilders, I think this is not the Dutch way ... so I voted VVD for Mr. Rutte."

Author Bert Nap said he had voted for the progressive PVDA party because it had had the guts to go into government with Rutte's party, despite that making it "very unpopular" with many supporters.
"I want to sustain a party in our political system that has acted very strongly ... They will be decimated in this election but they have to be able to come upright for the next election and so you have to sustain it," he said.

Complex political system
The splintered political landscape in the Netherlands -- there were 28 parties on the ballot -- and the country's system of proportional representation mean coalition government is the norm.
But it can also lead to lengthy periods of political instability and uncertainty. The average time taken to form a coalition cabinet in the post-war era has been 89.5 days, according to the House of Representatives website. In 1977, it took 208 days for Dries Van Agt's Christian Democrats to reach a power-sharing deal.
Voters say they are expecting a protracted period of talks before the make-up of the next government becomes clear.
"I think there will be a lot of negotiations," said research analyst Robin Vanstraalen. "Given the whole fragmentation and the polls showing it will be a long process. And eventually it will end up in the middle -- which is where we have been for the last few years already."
Factors that boosted support for leader
At one stage, Wilders and Rutte were neck-and-neck in the Peilingwijzer poll of polls by Leiden University, but in recent days Rutte had taken the lead. He had moved to the right in response to Wilders' popularity.

Andre Krouwel, political scientist at the Free University Amsterdam, and owner of election website Kieskompas, said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ongoing war of words with the Dutch government appeared to have boosted support for Rutte.
Tensions between the Netherlands and Turkey have been high since the Dutch government refused to allow Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to visit Rotterdam for a political rally last weekend; Erdogan retaliated by blaming the Netherlands for the Srebrenica massacre in 995.
Voter turnout in the Netherlands is traditionally high. A CNN reporter in The Hague State saw long queues forming at polling booths in the city's central station as commuters returned home from work.

Amsterdam polling station volunteer Hanneke Spijker told CNN large numbers of people had been coming out to vote since early Wednesday morning. "It's incredible," she said. "I wouldn't be surprised if it will be a record turnout ... there were lines, and we never have lines."
CNN's Rosalyn Saab and Hilary McGann contributed to this report.
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Re: First test for the EU against challenge of far right populism

Postby Dragon Angel » 2017-03-16 01:45am

Oh, good. For a moment there I thought we were in trouble.
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Re: First test for the EU against challenge of far right populism

Postby mr friendly guy » 2017-03-16 02:19am

Come on, admit it. My title sounds better than results of Netherlands election which will be decided in an average of 3 months as the Dutch take that long to form coalition governments. :D

Given the rise of far right populism and arguments of EU decline, I thought this is an important facet in regards to one of the important geopolitical events happening in recent times.
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Re: First test for the EU against challenge of far right populism

Postby Dragon Angel » 2017-03-16 03:52am

Yeah, for sure. I'm just being cautiously optimistic. ;)

These last few months have been such a freaking rollercoaster, so at least one country not falling to the rise of amygdala-dominated fools will be such a relief.
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Re: First test for the EU against challenge of far right populism

Postby mr friendly guy » 2017-03-17 04:10am

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-16/g ... is/8361506

Geert Wilders' populism rejected in Dutch election as Freedom Party falls well short
ANALYSIS
By Europe correspondent Steve Cannane
Posted yesterday at 5:22pm

In the end Geert Wilders did not come close.

With more than 95 per cent of the votes counted, the anti-Islam, anti-EU candidate claimed just 20 seats in the Dutch lower house, well short of centre-right candidate and prime minister Mark Rutte who won 33 seats.

The result will shock many who felt a sweeping tide of populism across Europe could see the Freedom Party's candidate go close to winning the popular vote. But when it comes to populist politics in Europe, each candidate, each country, each political system is different.

The Brexit result, the election of President Donald Trump and the rise of Marine Le Pen in France somehow did not make Mr Wilders' success inevitable. He faced challenges (some self-imposed, others not) that were unique to his situation.

Lead in the polls fails to translate to victory

From November onwards Mr Wilders led in most of the polls. Dutch voters who considered his policies to be too extreme were in no doubt that he posed a serious threat.

In the US election there were Hillary-haters on the left who stayed at home and did not vote because they thought Donald Trump could not win.

In the UK younger voters who were in favour of remaining in the EU were more likely to stay at home than older Brexiters who came out in force.

In the Dutch election about 80 per cent of citizens cast a vote. Some polling stations stayed open after normal closing times to deal with the queues.

A number of voters I spoke to were adamant they were motivated by a desire to make sure the Freedom Party's candidate did not win.

Dutch show they value tolerance

The Freedom Party candidate campaigned on an anti-EU, anti-Islam platform and said he was in favour of restoring Dutch values.

This resonated with about 13 per cent of voters, but it also offended many others who consider tolerance to be a key Dutch value.

The Netherlands has long been known as one of the most liberal nations in Europe. It has a long tradition of free trade, immigration and social liberalism.

While Geert Wilders' message would likely garner more votes in a country like Hungary, that was closed off to immigration in the communist years, and is not as socially liberal, it was a much harder task to push this message in the Netherlands.

Grievances not strong enough to sway voters

Populism feeds off a sense of grievance, and the Dutch simply don't have too much to complain about.

They haven't had to deal with the series of Islamist terrorist attacks that France, Germany and Belgium have faced in recent years.

They have not had long-term double-digit unemployment like Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and France.

Their political class has not been emerged in the kind of culture of corruption and crony capitalism that has spawned the Five Star Movement in Italy.

In Mr Wilders' election manifesto he did not once mention jobs.

His platform was virtually all about national identity. If voters can feed their families, see their children have solid job prospects and not have to worry about the diminishing value of their pensions, they are less likely to vote for radical options.
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Re: First test for the EU against challenge of far right populism

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-17 04:15am

Let that drive the point home: Turnout. Matters.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: First test for the EU against challenge of far right populism

Postby Starglider » 2017-03-18 12:28pm

Obviously the mainstream media are fully bought into the EU status quo and are desperate to portray this as a victory for orthodoxy, but the fact is that the far-right party increased its representation by 27% from the previous election (15 seats to 19 seats). If that came from a party the media liked, they'd be spinning it as 'major progress', 'inevitable advance' etc etc.
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Re: First test for the EU against challenge of far right populism

Postby madd0ct0r » 2017-03-18 01:09pm

Agreed - The labour Party lost a load of seats, mostly to the LeftGreen party, but also to the anti-islamists.

Coalition talks on forming a new government have begun in the Hague but could take months to finalise. Rutte’s party looks likely to take 33 seats (a loss of eight MPs) and will need the support of at least three other parties to secure the 76 seats needed to govern. The Christian Democrats (centre to centre-right) and Democrats 66 (economic: centre-right, social: centre-left), each with an expected 19 MPs, are two of the obvious candidates.
Wilders, despite a projected second-place finish overall with around 20 seats, is not likely to be part of those negotiations, with all major parties unwilling to work with his populist, anti-Islam MPs. Wilders said he was proud that his PVV had gained seats to come second in the poll only 12 years after it was founded.
The Labour party or PvdA, slumped from 38 seats to a projected nine. Labour leader Lodewijk Asscher admitted the result was “unbelievably disappointing” and that voters had put their trust in another party – an apparent reference to GreenLeft.
The unexpected victor of the night was GreenLeft, led by 30-year-old Jesse Klaver, which boosted its four seats to a projected 14. It could now play kingmaker in coalition talks.
The official tally of results will be published on 21 March.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/ ... lands-live

Steady advance against the mainstream seems a fair summary of the situation.
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Re: First test for the EU against challenge of far right populism

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-18 01:33pm

Starglider wrote:Obviously the mainstream media are fully bought into the EU status quo and are desperate to portray this as a victory for orthodoxy, but the fact is that the far-right party increased its representation by 27% from the previous election (15 seats to 19 seats). If that came from a party the media liked, they'd be spinning it as 'major progress', 'inevitable advance' etc etc.


Yeah, the evil mainstream media establishment and their fake news, oppressing those poor Alt.-Rightists Nazis. :roll:
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: First test for the EU against challenge of far right populism

Postby Starglider » 2017-03-18 01:36pm

Complacency and dismissing the threat already lost you the US 2016 elections, how many more do you want to lose?
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Re: First test for the EU against challenge of far right populism

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-18 01:44pm

Starglider wrote:Complacency and dismissing the threat already lost you the US 2016 elections, how many more do you want to lose?


I don't think anyone is still complacent about the threat represented by far Right ideologues. But precisely these kinds of attacks on the press are a key part of the Trumpian strategy.

And actually, we lost because of unprecedented, illegal interference by the FBI, as much as anything. Given how close it was, I fully believe Comey's last minute fuckery tipped the scales.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: First test for the EU against challenge of far right populism

Postby madd0ct0r » 2017-03-18 02:18pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
Starglider wrote:Complacency and dismissing the threat already lost you the US 2016 elections, how many more do you want to lose?


I don't think anyone is still complacent about the threat represented by far Right ideologues. But precisely these kinds of attacks on the press are a key part of the Trumpian strategy.

And actually, we lost because of unprecedented, illegal interference by the FBI, as much as anything. Given how close it was, I fully believe Comey's last minute fuckery tipped the scales.


wrong thread, wrong continent. and missing the point entirrely, unless you want to accuse the fbi of manipulating the netherlands result too. What the results here show is a more moderated swing to the right, in one of the world's most tolerant socieities. The left that I count myself among needs to fucking wake up and put some boots on.
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Re: First test for the EU against challenge of far right populism

Postby Tribble » 2017-03-18 02:28pm

madd0ct0r wrote:wrong thread, wrong continent. and missing the point entirely, unless you want to accuse the fbi of manipulating the Netherlands result too. What the results here show is a more moderated swing to the right, in one of the world's most tolerant societies. The left that I count myself among needs to fucking wake up and put some boots on.


Exactly. The fact that Wilders not just won seats but came in 2nd place in a country like the Netherlands should be yet another giant red-flag that far right populism is a serious threat worldwide, yet many people still have their heads stuck in the sand and are pretending that there is nothing to worry about, it'll all blow over soon.
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Re: First test for the EU against challenge of far right populism

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-18 02:31pm

madd0ct0r wrote:
The Romulan Republic wrote:
Starglider wrote:Complacency and dismissing the threat already lost you the US 2016 elections, how many more do you want to lose?


I don't think anyone is still complacent about the threat represented by far Right ideologues. But precisely these kinds of attacks on the press are a key part of the Trumpian strategy.

And actually, we lost because of unprecedented, illegal interference by the FBI, as much as anything. Given how close it was, I fully believe Comey's last minute fuckery tipped the scales.


wrong thread, wrong continent. and missing the point entirrely, unless you want to accuse the fbi of manipulating the netherlands result too.


Um... what the fuck?

I am aware that Trump is not President of the Netherlands, thank you. Starglider brought up the US election, claiming that it was complacency that caused the Left to loose. So I offered my own views on what actually caused the election of Trump.

With all due respect, did you actually read the posts in question? Or did you just assume that I must have said the most stupid and random thing I possibly could have, and respond accordingly?

What the results here show is a more moderated swing to the right, in one of the world's most tolerant socieities. The left that I count myself among needs to fucking wake up and put some boots on.


No disagreement that the Left needs to take the threat seriously, and seriously, I am pretty much the last person on this board who can be accused of not regarding the far Right as a threat. But let's just say that I don't think Starglider's argument is based on concern for the Left, but rather in an effort to portray us as the "out of touch elitist establishment", much as Trump is fond of doing.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: First test for the EU against challenge of far right populism

Postby Tribble » 2017-03-18 02:39pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:No disagreement that the Left needs to take the threat seriously, and seriously, I am pretty much the last person on this board who can be accused of not regarding the far Right as a threat. But let's just say that I don't think Starglider's argument is based on concern for the Left, but rather in an effort to portray us as the "out of touch elitist establishment", much as Trump is fond of doing.


I think what Starglider is trying to say is that when mainstream media and mainstream politicians ignore issues for too long... bad things can happen. When people feel that mainstream politics is no longer an answer for them, they start turning to more extreme parties. We've seen it in Greece, we've seen it in the UK, and now we're starting to see it in the Netherlands. As I've said many times before the EU status quo isn't working, but nothing substantial is being done to address it (and unfortunately even things like Brexit don't seem to be enough to warrant a call for serious reform). This is nothing new and the rise of far-right parties in the EU was predicted as far back as the late 1990s / early 2000s, when it became clear that there were major structural issues (such as the current design of the Eurozone) that would lead to big problems down the road if they weren't resolved.
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Re: First test for the EU against challenge of far right populism

Postby SolarpunkFan » 2017-03-18 02:41pm

Tribble wrote:Exactly. The fact that Wilders not just won seats but came in 2nd place in a country like the Netherlands should be yet another giant red-flag that far right populism is a serious threat worldwide, yet many people still have their heads stuck in the sand and are pretending that there is nothing to worry about, it'll all blow over soon.


I agree, but I just don't know what to do.

Just how did right-wing populism get so popular? I have no clue. [Next part is U.S.-centric, but it might have some facets applicable to other countries too] I used to think it was due to increases in poverty, but then I found out that middle to upper class voters were the ones voting Trump in and the impoverished voted Clinton.

Are media and sites doing it? I don't know what could be done about that.
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Re: First test for the EU against challenge of far right populism

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-18 02:47pm

SolarpunkFan wrote:
Tribble wrote:Exactly. The fact that Wilders not just won seats but came in 2nd place in a country like the Netherlands should be yet another giant red-flag that far right populism is a serious threat worldwide, yet many people still have their heads stuck in the sand and are pretending that there is nothing to worry about, it'll all blow over soon.


I agree, but I just don't know what to do.

Just how did right-wing populism get so popular? I have no clue. [Next part is U.S.-centric, but it might have some facets applicable to other countries too] I used to think it was due to increases in poverty, but then I found out that middle to upper class voters were the ones voting Trump in and the impoverished voted Clinton.

Are media and sites doing it? I don't know what could be done about that.


Their are a lot of factors, and they vary from country to country, but the common factors seem to go something like this:

Economic hard times combined with white/male insecurities about social justice, channeled into scapegoating minorities for our society's problems.

Edit: Of course, this movement has also been actively propagated and advanced by far Right media outlets, and in some cases by support, both covert and overt, from the Russian government, which seeks to use the far Right to destabilize western democracies.

As to how best to address it:

We can't compromise on equality, because that means compromising on the underlying foundations of democracy, and playing into the "us vs. them" world view of the far Right. So the Left needs to address economic injustice, to at least cut out some of the support for the Alt. Right.
Last edited by The Romulan Republic on 2017-03-18 02:52pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: First test for the EU against challenge of far right populism

Postby SolarpunkFan » 2017-03-18 02:51pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:Their are a lot of factors, and they vary from country to country, but the common factors seem to go something like this:

Economic hard times combined with white/male insecurities about social justice, channeled into scapegoating minorities for our society's problems.


But I just don't know if that's what really went on here in the U.S.

From this story it's stated from a New York Times study:

The New York Times has a series of clear graphs about Trump’s base, and aside from being overwhelmingly white, the income level of the majority of his voters compared to Clinton voters individually make over $50,000 a year. Within that is a majority earning well above the $99,000 mark. The national average is $51, 759 per household. Trump beat out Clinton with voters at every income level bracket except those citizens who make under $49,999. The working class did not vote against its interests. The middle and upper class sold them out.


Maybe it's unfounded anxieties over economic precarity in those brackets, but I have my doubts.
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Re: First test for the EU against challenge of far right populism

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-18 02:55pm

Yeah. I don't think the hard core Trumpian base is primarily concerned about economic hardship- they're white people who feel threatened by the idea of women and minorities actually having positions of influence in society, or rich assholes who want an oligarchy with tax cuts for the wealthy.

However, that frustration with the current political and economic status quo probably does account for a lot of third party votes and people staying home, at least in the US. I don't know to what extent that's true for the Netherlands.
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Re: First test for the EU against challenge of far right populism

Postby Tribble » 2017-03-18 03:06pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:Yeah. I don't think the hard core Trumpian base is primarily concerned about economic hardship- they're white people who feel threatened by the idea of women and minorities actually having positions of influence in society, or rich assholes who want an oligarchy with tax cuts for the wealthy.

However, that frustration with the current political and economic status quo probably does account for a lot of third party votes and people staying home, at least in the US. I don't know to what extent that's true for the Netherlands.


As I've said on other threads, the rise of far-right parties in the EU was pretty easy to predict.

The biggest red-flag was the creation of the Eurozone, which was practically guaranteed to cause massive problems. Combining the economies of countries like Greece with countries like Germany with no stability mechanisms like a fiscal transfer system was never going to work long term. While it might becomes an actual nation state that didn't happen (nor is it likely to happen for the foreseeable future) and the imbalances it generates is something extreme parties were going to exploit.

Then you have the EU Commission (which holds the bulk of the legislative/ executive powers) being appointed instead of elected by the population, which seriously undermines its democratic legitimacy. All the Far right has to do is say "Just who the hell do you think you are to be passing laws? Nobody voted for you!" - and their message is going to resonate with a lot of people.

And let's be honest - things like racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia do play a big role. Whether or not you agree that decisions like accepting Syrian refugees was the right move, it was bound to fuel the flames of far-right populism (though the fire had already been smoldering for a long time IMO).


There are other factors involved as well, but those are three of the biggest ones.
Last edited by Tribble on 2017-03-18 03:10pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First test for the EU against challenge of far right populism

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-18 03:10pm

It would be for the best if Europe were a single nation-state rather than to go back to the pre-EU Europe, which depending on how far back you go is either Cold War Europe with the Iron Curtain, or constantly warring hyper-nationalist Europe that gave us two world wars and the largest organized, systematic genocide in history.

Fuck nationalism, wherever it rears its filthy head.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: First test for the EU against challenge of far right populism

Postby Tribble » 2017-03-18 03:18pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:It would be for the best if Europe were a single nation-state rather than to go back to the pre-EU Europe, which depending on how far back you go is either Cold War Europe with the Iron Curtain, or constantly warring hyper-nationalist Europe that gave us two world wars and the largest organized, systematic genocide in history.

Fuck nationalism, wherever it rears its filthy head.


My main argument has always been that the current status quo of the EU is inherently unstable, you will eventually see either a move away from it or a move towards further integration, and the longer it takes for major reforms to move towards closer integration, the more likely the balance will tip towards a break up.

My second argument in essence is kind of a "Foundation" thing - if the EU has reached the point where a breakup is inevitable, it might be better to control that process to ensure the breakup as soft as possible (such as the EU becoming more of an EEA-type deal) rather than cling to the status quo no matter what and risk a hard breakup further down the road. Even with Brexit I am not sure the EU ahs reached that point yet, but I think it is getting close.
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Re: First test for the EU against challenge of far right populism

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-18 03:20pm

I admit that I am not familiar enough with the intricacies of European politics to say weather the following would be possible, but:

Would it be better to simply have a smaller EU that functioned as something approaching a single nation-state, and let those who didn't want to surrender their "sovereignty" go their own way? The diminished EU would still likely be the single biggest state in Europe, and once its viability was proved, more nations might be willing to rejoin it in time.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: First test for the EU against challenge of far right populism

Postby K. A. Pital » 2017-03-19 05:41am

The Romulan Republic wrote:It would be for the best if Europe were a single nation-state rather than to go back to the pre-EU Europe, which depending on how far back you go is either Cold War Europe with the Iron Curtain, or constantly warring hyper-nationalist Europe that gave us two world wars and the largest organized, systematic genocide in history.

Fuck nationalism, wherever it rears its filthy head.

It would not necessarily be "for the best" if Europe is a single state. People just do not identify with a single European state, even after many years of EU freedom of movement. You cannot keep ignoring the situation in many EU nations and just pressing for more integration. In the end, the cauldron will blow up. In the ugliest possible way - no matter your feelings.
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Re: First test for the EU against challenge of far right populism

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-19 12:49pm

K. A. Pital wrote:
The Romulan Republic wrote:It would be for the best if Europe were a single nation-state rather than to go back to the pre-EU Europe, which depending on how far back you go is either Cold War Europe with the Iron Curtain, or constantly warring hyper-nationalist Europe that gave us two world wars and the largest organized, systematic genocide in history.

Fuck nationalism, wherever it rears its filthy head.

It would not necessarily be "for the best" if Europe is a single state. People just do not identify with a single European state, even after many years of EU freedom of movement. You cannot keep ignoring the situation in many EU nations and just pressing for more integration. In the end, the cauldron will blow up. In the ugliest possible way - no matter your feelings.


And the alternative if we go back to a bunch of little nationalist states at odds with one another? We tried that in the first half of the 20th. Century, and it don't get much uglier than that. And as the recent surge of far Right xenophobia shows, we're not as removed culturally from those days as a lot of people would like to believe.

Now, that's not to say its necessarily one or the other, but united Europe sure seems preferable to the previous state of affairs. That's not to say that their are no problems that need to be addressed, no reforms that need to be made, that all concerns about the EU are invalid, either. But their has to be some solution beside "Try to integrate, and the xenophobic nationalists win", or "Give the xenophobic nationalists what they want, and they win."
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.


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