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A short history of Dutch politics and a few comments on its constitution.

Reader comment on item: Why I Stand with Geert Wilders
in response to reader comment: Thanks, Charles.

Submitted by Charles (Netherlands), Jan 26, 2010 at 13:49

Well Peter, here we go. The ARP was founded in 1879. In 1973 the party joined the newly formed 'Christen Democratisch Appel'. the CDA, comprising 3 existing Christian parties. The other 2 were the CHU (the Christian Historical Union = protestants) and the KVP (the 'Katholieke Volks Partij' = mainstream Catholics). These 3 were basically all conservative movements. The ARP became more progressive in the sixties however. In 1980 all 3 parties were officially abolished and continued under the name CDA. Ever sinds, the CDA has moved to the center and has been the politcal powerhouse of Dutch politics. A famous expression of one of the party-bosses of the CDA once was: "the CDA does not bend to the right, and does not bend to the left". That pretty much nailed the party in the center and ever since they 'rule this country', letting other parties fight over the remaining seats to join them in government. This situation has however twice succesfully been challenged: in 1994 for the first time and in 1998. In both cases the Labor party broke the spell in becoming the largest partu and decided to form a cabinet with....the liberals of the VVD (and another left-liberal groep called D66). A pretty bizar trio actually. In those 8 years (1994-2002) Dutch politics started to bog down slowly. It just didn't work. In 2002 Pim Fortuyn smashed everything up and would have been the next Prime Minister, would he have lived.

Conservatism is a political school of thought which has not really been well attended to in the Netherlands sinds the sixties. In this period the country went through a pretty turbulent time were the progressive left got on top and never let go sinds then. Even the classic liberal party (the VVD and Mr.Wilders old party) shifted to the center and even center left(!) of the political scale.

Mr.Wilders can be called a conservative. He belonged to the 'right wing' of the VVD, which was becoming almost non-existent in this party as they moved up still further to the center. In US terms, he can be seen as a social-Libertarian, but with a twist! His social agenda does have definite boundaries however. Politically speaking, it is of Libertarian mold.

Anyway, the BIG problem in the Netherlands on the political front, was that there was NO balance anymore on the political scale. The right c.q. conservatives c.q. 'nationals' did not have a political home anymore, seeing that all big political parties moved to the (safe) center. Dutch politics became one big consensus cesspool in which everybody held everybody pinned down. This slowly but shurely paralyzed Dutch politics to the point were the whole thing came to a social standstill. It took about 20 years.

The only truly conservative party which has remained in the Netherlands, is the SGP, an orthodox protestant party, which are on the fringes of Dutch politics and don't play a significant role holding 2 seats and not growing, albeit, not shrinking either (they really represent the 'Bible-belt' community actually).

Wilders growth does come from a wide range though. His voters come from the old Fortuyn supporters (a mixed bag of supporters of just about all walks of life), but certainly also from CDA, PvdA, SP(!) (=hard core classic socialists and even neo-communists), VVD ofcourse, but also a definite increase of religious (Christian) voters, who see in him the man who says it like it is, regarding the uneasy feeling many Christians are getting about the growing Islam in the country. As can be seen in increasing numbers, Christian voters do NOT want to comply to a more tolerant islam stance. All this contributes to Wilders following. The Parties official stand however at this point, keep Mr.Wilders' PVV at arms lenghts, trying to marginalize him and his voters as racist bigots etc. Not very smart really, if not a bit dishonest...

As for the Dutch constitution, well.....

....in 1983, after the (very) turbulent 70's, the parlement, at that time increasingly politically correct (if not somehow naive), amended article 1 of the constitution of the Dutch Kingdom (originaly from 1848) in a big way, taking a radically new step to a place where 'no man has gone before' and decided to replace art 1 of the constitution with banning discrimination all together "on the grounds of religion, conviction, political orientation, race or gender" on which the then communist(!) leader Marcus Bakker proposed to add "or any other ground", which was also accepted! Call it the famous Dutch tolerance. This article made (among other) any form of religious critique very difficult. In 1983 this was not really a problem ofcourse, because the only religion of any importance at that time was Judeo-Christianity. Criticizing Christians and their beliefs was easy, seeing their centuries-old adjustments to Liberal democracy. Few had ever heard of Islam in 1983, let alone political islam...

Art.1: "All persons in the Netherlands shall be treated equally in equal circumstances. Discrimination on the grounds of religion, belief, political opinion, race or sex or on any other grounds whatsoever shall not be permitted."

This article, along with some of the penal code are now beeing used in the Wilders court case. As anybody can see, this article really goes places ('political opinion' 'belief' 'any other grounds' ) which is stretching the legal boundaries to say the least.

Article 7 of the constitution stipulates however:

  • "1. No one shall require prior permission to publish thoughts or opinions through the press, without prejudice to the responsibility of every person under the law."
  • "3. No one shall be required to submit thoughts or opinions for prior approval in order to disseminate them by means other than those mentioned in the preceding paragraphs, without prejudice to the responsibility of every person under the law. The holding of performances open to persons younger than sixteen years of age may be regulated by Act of Parliament in order to protect good morals."
  • What must be taken in (very) serious consideration however, is that Mr. Wilders is a member of parlement, and as such is also a lawmaker, and has special privileges as well as legal exemptions to say just about anything about anything or anybody. Mr. Wilders is not just any John Doe screaming about.

    These are very interesting times in Dutch society indeed...

    All in all, this country looks like getting itself in very hot water. The whole legal community is up in arms about it and many others are very worried where this is all leading too.


    Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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    could have been much worse [412 words]the Grand Infidel of KafiristanJan 26, 2010 17:38167818
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    enforcement of standards is the problem [447 words]the Grand Infidel of KafiristanJan 28, 2010 17:08167818
    simple [66 words]the Grand Infidel of KafiristanJan 28, 2010 17:14167818
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    1If Wilders is condemned, the whole principles of human rights are forgotten by the judges .. [217 words]elisseievnaJan 23, 2010 13:48167783
    2"judges are now unable to understand the principles " [60 words]mythJan 24, 2010 13:55167783
    1Pipes and Wilders : same goal despite different analyse or prognosis [196 words]elisseievnaJan 23, 2010 13:36167781
    1how to defend freedom of speech - the french one-euro-coin [76 words]mythJan 24, 2010 13:43167781
    1A suggested rewrite of "Wilhelmus van Nassouwe" [88 words]Peter HerzJan 22, 2010 16:36167730
    1problems ignored by left wing elite in holland [105 words]Almost in EurabiëJan 22, 2010 15:10167726
    please check translation [29 words]mythJan 22, 2010 18:06167726
    1Respect? [158 words]LynnJan 22, 2010 09:55167717
    The Islam - Islamism Distinction [94 words]StefchoJan 22, 2010 07:05167710
    Thank you [184 words]WilbertJan 21, 2010 11:48167668
    2Radovan Karajich [35 words]LeeJan 21, 2010 11:26167667
    war criminal [14 words]b soetoroJan 27, 2010 08:07167667
    1disagree: fined or jailed, it would probably enhance his chances [152 words]mythJan 21, 2010 04:41167647
    readability [18 words]curvedwaterJan 21, 2010 16:55167647
    I admit laziness [49 words]mythJan 23, 2010 09:36167647
    The man is upright [262 words]CharlesJan 21, 2010 03:43167644
    "Our country has never been the same" [46 words]mythJan 21, 2010 10:52167644
    1Mass immigration has become catastrophic in the NL [456 words]CharlesJan 23, 2010 09:24167644
    the look of immigration in rotterdam [81 words]mythJan 23, 2010 13:41167644
    The Netherlands are changing fast [185 words]CharlesJan 24, 2010 11:25167644
    Rotterdam's moroccan mayor appreciated by Wilders [30 words]mythJan 24, 2010 13:26167644
    Mayor of Rotterdam is of Moroccan descent; Dutch politics in a flux. [614 words]CharlesJan 25, 2010 05:27167644
    He does not need that kind of help -- in the contrary [66 words]Alain Jean-MairetJan 21, 2010 02:34167640
    On the contrary ! [99 words]Anne-Marie DelcambreJan 26, 2010 05:38167640
    I don't even believe you [246 words]Alain Jean-MairetJan 26, 2010 10:14167640
    groundless accusations ! [58 words]Anne-Marie DelcambreJan 27, 2010 15:01167640
    you're not lying, Mme Delcambre [4 words]Alain Jean-MairetJan 28, 2010 09:12167640
    How very interesting. What a shocking response, Mr Alain Jean-Mairet ! [196 words]Anne-Marie DelcambreJan 29, 2010 11:11167640
    What a pity, what a waste [377 words]Alain Jean-MairetJan 29, 2010 15:14167640
    "And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free" , John 8 : 32 [98 words]Anne-Marie DelcambreJan 30, 2010 19:06167640
    Why I Believe in Reincarnation, Mr Alain Jean-Mairet [178 words]Anne-Marie DelcambreJan 31, 2010 05:00167640
    Ask, and Ye Shall Receive [53 words]Alain Jean-MairetJan 31, 2010 08:53167640
    too much [46 words]elisseievnaJan 31, 2010 11:21167640
    Europe toasted [383 words]H. JohansonJan 20, 2010 22:56167636
    missed opportunity [22 words]Robert J. Meth, MDJan 20, 2010 22:14167631
    Enviable courage [20 words]GlennJan 20, 2010 09:14167609
    We Need People with Courage and Convication to Speak Out [205 words]RobinozJan 20, 2010 06:39167607
    TRUE KALAM [35 words]IFFATJan 20, 2010 05:57167605
    another muslim Kalmity? [440 words]the Grand Infidel of KafiristanJan 21, 2010 19:55167605
    1Why I Stand with Geert Wilders [19 words]sandraJan 20, 2010 05:44167604
    lawfare [103 words]solemnmanJan 20, 2010 04:24167602
    A RESPECTFUL DISAGREEMENT [68 words]DAVID R.GROESBECKJan 20, 2010 03:00167601
    1Islam is not all wrong [286 words]Kurt BaskingJan 21, 2010 03:14167601
    The good, the bad and the ugly [248 words]CharlesJan 21, 2010 07:40167601
    I agree with you [137 words]SidJan 21, 2010 08:59167601
    "I see nothing but(..)" [17 words]mythJan 21, 2010 10:44167601
    Why are we so scared Mister Pipes? [257 words]LovesChildJan 22, 2010 08:57167601
    RESPECTFUL DISAGREEMENT (CONTINUED.) [59 words]DAVID R.GROESBECKJan 23, 2010 06:57167601
    A RESPECTFUL DISAGREEMENT [19 words]DAVID R.GROESBECKJan 23, 2010 07:29167601
    something fascinating and positive about islamic culture [124 words]mythJan 23, 2010 13:36167601
    RESPECTFUL DISAGREEMENT [71 words]DAVID R.GROESBECKJan 25, 2010 00:43167601
    damage control to secular democratic institutions [139 words]mythJan 25, 2010 09:10167601
    RESPECTFUL DISAGREEMENT [189 words]DAVID R.GROESBECKJan 26, 2010 12:51167601
    has "Islam has undermined our democratic institutions to a dangerous degree" ? [73 words]mythJan 27, 2010 13:33167601
    RESPECTFUL DISAGREEMENT [80 words]DAVID R.GROESBECKJan 28, 2010 20:25167601
    immigration and welfare [266 words]mythJan 29, 2010 12:42167601
    RESPECTFUL DISAGREEMENT (CONTINUED.) [15 words]DAVID R.GROESBECKJan 31, 2010 00:24167601
    1Islam [149 words]Truth LoverFeb 2, 2010 20:22167601
    lip service [129 words]the Grand Infidel of KaffiristanFeb 4, 2010 02:41167601
    I agree but.... [108 words]Truth LoverFeb 4, 2010 15:30167601
    Geert Wilders on immigration [71 words]AnonymousJan 20, 2010 02:40167600
    non-western countries - what does this mean [30 words]mythJan 21, 2010 10:41167600
    not a case yet of "eff off - we're full'. [152 words]the Grand Infidel of KaffiristanJan 22, 2010 07:14167600
    I disagree on your view on the dutch attitude [276 words]mythJan 23, 2010 10:02167600
    That's not a valid response [162 words]AnonymousJan 25, 2010 06:42167600
    1Wilders "halt to immigration", is this radical ? [121 words]mythJan 25, 2010 09:21167600
    colour nothing to do with it. [293 words]the Grand Infidel of KaffiristanJan 25, 2010 20:20167600
    My point [252 words]AnonymousJan 26, 2010 11:53167600
    dreaming [176 words]the Grand Infidel of KaffiristanJan 29, 2010 03:06167600
    Missing the point [325 words]AnonymousJan 30, 2010 10:16167600
    common policy [241 words]the Grand Infidel of KaffiristanJan 30, 2010 20:32167600
    1no equal treatment radical islam vs other religions [120 words]mythJan 30, 2010 22:11167600
    EU immigration - the lowest standard [38 words]mythJan 30, 2010 22:14167600
    the "ideal of a world without borders" - when East Germany opened the border [131 words]mythJan 30, 2010 22:35167600
    birthright vs privilege [78 words]the Grand Infidel of KaffiristanFeb 1, 2010 04:54167600
    we all must stand by............... [12 words]sandiJan 20, 2010 01:32167599
    We need more of these troublesome young men [118 words]Stuart FaginJan 19, 2010 23:11167594
    Geert Wilders is the canary in the coal mine [245 words]SusanJan 19, 2010 22:28167592
    I agree with you entirely [198 words]WorriedJan 21, 2010 11:18167592
    Hear, hear! [30 words]Peter HerzJan 19, 2010 20:58167587
    parties standing up in NL [47 words]mythJan 21, 2010 10:36167587
    1Its dangerous to speak out in the Netherlands [632 words]CharlesJan 24, 2010 13:13167587
    Thanks, Charles. [66 words]Peter HerzJan 25, 2010 15:47167587
    proof "In the NL there still are dangerous downsides in not being politically correct and being patriotic" [42 words]mythJan 26, 2010 09:00167587
    A short history of Dutch politics and a few comments on its constitution. [1087 words]CharlesJan 26, 2010 13:49167587
    Dank U,, Charles [110 words]Peter HerzJan 27, 2010 18:50167587
    1The darkest page of Dutch history happened during WW2; the flag became a negative symbol. [496 words]CharlesJan 28, 2010 06:16167587
    what about the friesland flag [40 words]mythJan 28, 2010 09:42167587
    the Rainy Country, a special case [62 words]mythJan 28, 2010 09:48167587
    1The Wilders trial is very dangerous; it should be stopped. [49 words]CharlesJan 28, 2010 10:37167587
    Netherlands on the cutting edge of basic freedoms. [26 words]CharlesJan 28, 2010 10:58167587
    'Provincial nationalism' in 1 province does excist in the NL. [384 words]CharlesJan 31, 2010 07:21167587
    WW2 propaganda poster with symbols of christiantiy in NL [93 words]mythJan 31, 2010 09:12167587
    Dutch politics lop-sided for many years; it all started after 1945. [355 words]CharlesFeb 2, 2010 05:11167587
    membership claim or ethnic exclusion [263 words]anonymousFeb 16, 2010 16:51167587
    Some comments [417 words]EdFeb 10, 2011 18:02167587
    ironic [39 words]PeterJan 19, 2010 18:57167586
    Turn the tables and sew a flag [277 words]Lenny M.Jan 19, 2010 18:00167583
    Wilders could turn the tables by (...) reporting of truth [60 words]mythJan 21, 2010 10:33167583
    political and religious Islam [14 words]
    w/response from Daniel Pipes
    AlbinJan 19, 2010 17:36167582
    1Respect?? [48 words]JanJan 19, 2010 15:51167578
    let me explain : How can a free man in the western world have respect [50 words]mythJan 21, 2010 10:29167578
    change is constant [110 words]the Grand Infidel of KaffiristanJan 22, 2010 21:28167578
    is it "as a monolithic system incapable of change" ? islamists changing us instead [185 words]mythJan 23, 2010 09:27167578
    Myth get real [437 words]Take stockJan 23, 2010 10:40167578
    tough job for a taliban [226 words]the Grand Infidel of KaffiristanJan 23, 2010 19:09167578
    a frightening comparison "is this not how nazism came about in Germany" [143 words]mythJan 24, 2010 13:22167578
    1Why I stand with Geert Wilders- Stand together on keeping societies free. [121 words]DebbieJan 19, 2010 15:49167577
    Wilders [246 words]Janusz KowalikJan 19, 2010 15:42167576
    commenting "Religions must disappear for humanity to survive" [39 words]mythJan 21, 2010 13:30167576
    Ironically, he is a victim of incitement [250 words]LadyJan 19, 2010 15:39167575
    He can present the muslims crimes in Egypt and his case will be closed. [14 words]SkyJan 19, 2010 15:24167574
    NOT!!! [4 words]E.EliveldJan 19, 2010 15:02167573
    Any chance...? [23 words]Peter HerzJan 21, 2010 07:45167573
    Facing Jihad [113 words]yuval Brandstetter MDJan 19, 2010 14:19167572
    Wilders orientation [74 words]the Grand Infidel of KaffiristanJan 22, 2010 21:38167572
    Too Little Too Late? [132 words]Bernard FriederJan 19, 2010 14:09167571
    I'm pessimistic about his chances in court [39 words]Abu NudnikJan 19, 2010 13:29167569
    Respect for religion? [150 words]Ralph C. Whaley MDJan 19, 2010 12:35167567
    1No Respect for the Islamic Ideolgy [119 words]SusanJan 19, 2010 12:11167564
    Vlaams Belang [28 words]
    w/response from Daniel Pipes
    JimJan 19, 2010 12:07167563
    1to Dr Pipes: authentic recent info on relationship vlaams belang(belgium) - pvv(NL) [355 words]mythJan 21, 2010 10:00167563
    to Dr Pipes: Wilders about Vlaams Belang [84 words]mythJan 21, 2010 10:13167563
    Islam is the problem? [48 words]
    w/response from Daniel Pipes
    Joel ScottJan 19, 2010 11:31167561
    Learn Islam's History Now [52 words]HistoryscoperJan 19, 2010 11:28167560
    Such reactionism is a result of unsecular muslim world. [156 words]VK TiwariJan 19, 2010 10:55167557
    Face death threats if we get the Islamists' fur ruffled [92 words]M.D.Jan 19, 2010 10:46167555
    If only [318 words]worriedJan 19, 2010 10:28167554
    quoting Martin Niemöller "and I did not speak out" [68 words]mythJan 19, 2010 09:47167552
    take on a leadership role for all Europe. [49 words]mythJan 19, 2010 09:34167550
    2Geert Wilders is a courageous man! [114 words]Tom F.Jan 19, 2010 09:32167549
    north american media self-censored [75 words]FREEMANApr 24, 2010 16:36167549
    Wilders "represents all Westerners", his freedom compared to mine [72 words]mythJan 19, 2010 09:30167547
    An Alternative World Order that outlaws wars [293 words]Ghulam Muhammed, MumbaiJan 19, 2010 09:24167546
    Are you really appealing for world peace! [230 words]VK TiwariJan 21, 2010 10:04167546
    such nice little sentiments [912 words]the Grand Infidel of KafiristanJan 21, 2010 22:08167546
    achieving mass approval by mass immigration and adoption by intimidation [266 words]mythJan 22, 2010 21:51167546
    Geert Wilder [84 words]ThiaganJan 23, 2010 04:58167546
    I got the impression... [81 words]UndertakerJan 24, 2010 00:33167546
    Wilders speaks out for but one reason and the "potential to emerge" [59 words]mythJan 19, 2010 09:23167545
    1Save Europe from Muslim savages [153 words]MuslimkushJan 19, 2010 09:21167544
    remarks about the original invitation to court [79 words]mythJan 19, 2010 09:12167542
    He will lose [93 words]b soetoroJan 19, 2010 09:10167541
    Question for Dr. Pipes. [87 words]
    w/response from Daniel Pipes
    Steve KleinJan 19, 2010 09:06167540
    1We must all stand with Geert Wilders or we shall not be free ! ...Jan. 2010 [151 words]Phil GreendJan 19, 2010 09:04167539
    Libertas inaestimabilis res est [91 words]Rebecca MouldsJan 19, 2010 08:49167537
    Mr Pipes, consider my 3 arguments also. [131 words]
    w/response from Daniel Pipes
    Harris RashidJan 19, 2010 08:42167535
    1The Muslim mind and Martin Luther [627 words]dhimmi no moreJan 21, 2010 08:14167535
    This reaction of Harris says all [33 words]WillemJan 21, 2010 11:52167535
    1technology - the bane of Islam. [582 words]the Grand Infidel of KafiristanJan 21, 2010 20:30167535

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