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Democracy has spoken in Holland

The results in the Dutch election are most interesting , most especially with the very strong result for Geert Wilders and his Freedom party.

But I can’t help wondering just how pleased my learned friend will be at the news because the reason  (apart from its policies being popular) that Geert Wilders party is now is such a strong position is the fact that Holland has proportional representation, so popular support for his policies has been translated into his party being in the running to be part of the next Dutch government.

I am just waiting for someone to whine about how this is a terrible result. But if you want to argue that PR is an unmitigated good thing then a result like this has to be accepted and even celebrated. After all this is a  most democratic result.

Cheers Comrades

😉


2 Comments

  1. JM says:

    Iain, I don’t know if you’ve noticed but Australia already has proportional representation.

    In the Senate, I don’t think there’s any argument.

    But in the Reps our system of preferential voting is recognized throughout the world as a form of proportional representation – we make a distinction because we recognize procedural differences and hairsplit them.

    In fact, there has been a call in the UK over the last 10 years or so – much stronger now after the recent election there which led to an essentially hung parliament as neither major party can govern without the support of the minority Lib-Dems – for the UK to adopt our system, which they term “alternative vote”. They see it as a form of proportional representation that provides a good balance between effective representation and decisive outcomes.

    Two things. Firstly, I’m quite sure that this result won’t lead to Wilders party completely restructuring Dutch politics. Europeans have been dealing with fringe and minority parties for years, just as we have. They’ll get a bit of influence, but like the Lib-Dems they’ll have to compromise themselves to the point where their appeal fades and their vote goes down a bit. Real power has a habit of forcing tough choices that fantasist supporters don’t like.

    Secondly, I’m quite sure you’ll be back here within a short period decrying those weak-kneed Europeans crippled with indecisive political systems.

  2. Iain Hall says:

    JM

    Iain, I don’t know if you’ve noticed but Australia already has proportional representation.

    I am perfectly aware of the voting system here and I fully endorse it (well apart from the state system in Tasmania)

    In the Senate, I don’t think there’s any argument.

    Not from me there isn’t

    But in the Reps our system of preferential voting is recognized throughout the world as a form of proportional representation – we make a distinction because we recognize procedural differences and hairsplit them.

    You are making that Up ! there is no way that our preferential voting system can be described as a form of proportional representation. Please provided citations to back up this wild claim.

    In fact, there has been a call in the UK over the last 10 years or so – much stronger now after the recent election there which led to an essentially hung parliament as neither major party can govern without the support of the minority Lib-Dems – for the UK to adopt our system, which they term “alternative vote”. They see it as a form of proportional representation that provides a good balance between effective representation and decisive outcomes.

    As above

    Two things. Firstly, I’m quite sure that this result won’t lead to Wilder’s party completely restructuring Dutch politics. Europeans have been dealing with fringe and minority parties for years, just as we have. They’ll get a bit of influence, but like the Lib-Dems they’ll have to compromise themselves to the point where their appeal fades and their vote goes down a bit. Real power has a habit of forcing tough choices that fantasist supporters don’t like.

    The comparison with England just does not hold up as strongly as you want to suggest quite simply on the numbers the PVV had at the last count that I had seen got 24 seats compared to the party with the greatest number having what 31 seats that makes Geert’s party a bigger player in proportion to the total number of seats than the Lib Dems are in the UK This makes the Pvv’s position much stronger and they don’t have to deliver much of their program to be considered a success to those who voted for them.

    Secondly, I’m quite sure you’ll be back here within a short period decrying those weak-kneed Europeans crippled with indecisive political systems.

    My point with this post is to make it clear that PD delivers essentially weak governments but also that it allows any populist party to get into positions of power and influence, even if the the cultural elites are horrified by their policies .

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