Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dutch elections

The Netherlands went to the polls today in the fifth election in ten years - and the result is a mess. The good news is that the racist "Freedom Party" was massacred, its support shrinking from 15% to 10%. Given the toxic influence this party has had on Dutch politics over the last five years, with its attacks on tolerance and attempts to victimise Dutch Muslims and other immigrants, that can only be a Good Thing. But the bad news is that there's no clear government. The old coalition is kaput, but most of the new possible governing arrangements require a "grand coalition", which is unlikely to produce policy change or work in practice. Which likely means another few years of austerity - exactly the opposite of what is needed.

There are full results here, and there's some commentary on European Tribune here.