Spandrell wrote a post on Dunbar feminism. The idea is applicable to many aspects of life, like politics. Dunbar politics. People are wired to care first and foremost about themselves and their tribal social environment. All politics is identity politics. So in a democracy all votes become identity votes.
This helps us understand the Wacky Dutch Election Cirus, 2017 Edition. Silly Americans with your two-party system blocking smaller voices! Our Great Nation has a record amount of 28 parties participating! No winner-takes-all over here, we divide all votes fair and square.
How to describe the atmosphere? The US election was pretty electric and sent waves through the internet. The Dutch atmosphere is smaller, inside a bubble. Less noticeable. Life here is like America in the 50s or 60s or 80s, I dunno. There is little overt political association: no signs, no hats, no bumper stickers. Yes the SJWs occasionally parade around, but no one likes SJWs. What seems to prevail is that there are rumblings of unrest far outside our kingdom but lets just enjoy these good times inside our kingdom. Still we have a ritualistic civil war head count coming up in three weeks, so what do?
Journalists cover the election in the typical ‘producing-an-unaware-and-compliant-citizenry’ style we’ve come to learn and love. Trump is evil, Wilders is evil. Journalists tell us the Good Parties are participating in an orderly transfer of power. Yes, the journalists admit, there might be the occasional mudslinging, but at least it’s not as bad as in America, wink.
Except there is no orderly transfer of power. If I read between the media headlines it is clear to me that the functionality of the power relations in the Hague is slipping away. A chronic case of democracy does that to a nation. Old politicians have slowly been hammered down by scandals and low voter turnout, new politicians are nothing but slick talking salesmen.
See young Jesse Klaver of GreenLeft lying about his education, the Catholic church ànd his upbringing to make himself more likeable. Polls show him at 12%.
See the new 50+ party, founded to address the clusterfuck that is the Dutch pension system. The Dutch elderly find themselves in a South Park skit: This is your pension… Aaaaand its gone. The party’s singular objective is to secure those pensions. 50+ Party leader Henk Krol, being your run-of-the-mill snake oil salesman, is simply shocked and is determined to set things right for these poor old folks. So democracy gives old folks the chance to flip the finger to their children and grandchildren. Polls have Krol at 8%.
But even the vintage parties have gone full sell-out. The left doesn’t have any cool products anymore. The millennials are still sorta enthusiastic but hipsters won’t be cool forever. The left has no believable leader and so it is splintered. Every leftist leader scrambles for attention.
Lodewijk Asscher represents the Party for the Blue-Collars, but the blue-collars have lost trust in the party seeing the amount of jobs going down and the cost of life going up. Polls have Asscher at 12%, down from 25% in 2012.
Then there is Alexander Pechtold of Democrats’66, the party for cool education people. Problem with education is that every leftist party WANTS MOAR EDUCATION so Pechtold has nothing special to offer. In his defence: on a good day he is as charming as Hugh Grant. Polls have him at 15%.
Next we have Sybrand Buma of the Christian Democrats. The Christians have lost, lost, lost. God has left Buma’s party a while ago. Buma’s most notorious tv moment is on a lefty talk show where he enthusiastically jumps on the cathedral bandwagon and decries how horrible it is that four women dare say they were raped by Bill Clinton! How evil of Trump to rattle ex-president Bill Clinton and his lovely wife like this, Bill is just an innocent bystander! …But the US is faraway and Trump is just a story, so most Christian Democrats don’t get the joke. Buma sits on 10%.
Final player on the left is Emile Roemer of the Socialist Party, a real OG lefty. Roemer is a disarming socialist leftist. Socialism never took off in the Netherlands like it did in the USSR and the wave has probably passed. Still, 12%.
On the right Mark Rutte of VVD reaches new heights of cuckoldry previously thought unreachable. Clearly we need more cooperation with the EU. Surely we can trust the EU. In Rutte’s defence he is the only party with a memorable campaign slogan: ‘just be normal.’ How do we solve the immigrant crisis? Just be normal. What about this Jihadist? Just be normal. One can imagine the hooks Rutte uses to lift his mouth into a smile prior to any meeting. Nothing is going on here folks, isn’t life just dandy! Aren’t we having a great time? Apparently so, as his message of lets ignore the world resonates with 19% of the poll vote.
Final major player is Geert Wilders, Holland’s most famous politician. Wilders is making few public appearances after it was discovered a member of his police security was leaking information on Wilders’ whereabouts. The fate of Theo van Gogh and Pim Fortuyn looms. Polls give Wilders 17% of the vote.
There are other new parties on the right, most notably Jan Roos and Thierry Baudet. Both are honest on Islam and are a breeze of fresh air compared to Mark Cuckke. Thierry is clearly the most intelligent politician (left pic) in the circus but intelligence is a tough demographic sell. 1 seat, or 0.7%. Jan Roos uses less fancy words but seems more practical. Roos
also has the support of alternative media Geenstijl.apparently not, Geenstijl supports even more niche Jan Dijkgraaf.) 1 seat from the poll.
Finally, lest we forget, Tunahan Kuzu from THINK, the Turkish party. Their campaign for now boils down to That’s Racist! We’re Turks! Good for 2% of the vote.