by Mark Angelides
Barring some surprise electoral catastrophe, Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party (PVV), will likely win the popular vote in the Dutch elections today. His hard-line stance on immigration and (more specifically) integration has set the tone for many of the parties vying for a share of the power. In an effort to counteract PVV’s popularity, many traditionally mainstream (centrist) parties have started veering to the right. Wilder’s appeal comes, in part, from his very straight forward and direct manifesto; he sticks to the message, and anyone who is reasonably literate can read and understand his points in a matter of minutes.
The manifesto has received mixed responses, with some media agencies saying that Wilders seeks to “rid the Netherlands of Islam”, and others saying this is a more “Holland First” platform that prioritizes traditional Dutch values. Wilders famously stated in an interview in 2008, that “Islam is not a religion; it’s an ideology, the ideology of a retarded culture.”
The actual manifesto is a single side of A4 paper and contains 11 pledges, each one sentence long, with only one of the pledges fleshed out. Here they are (translated and provided by medium.com) :
1) de-islamize the Netherlands
– Zero asylum seekers and no more immigrants from Muslim countries: we are closing our borders.
– Withdrawal of all residence permits already granted to asylum seekers; asylum seeker centers closed down.
– No more Muslim veils in public functions
– Ban of overall Muslim expressions that are against the public order
– Preventive incarceration of radical Muslims
– Criminals with double nationality stripped of their Dutch citizenship and deported
– Syrian fighters not allowed back in The Netherlands
– All Mosques and Muslim schools are to be closed and the Koran banned.
2) The Netherlands will reclaim its independence. Therefore, we leave the EU.
3) Direct democracy: binding referendums, citizens have the power.
4) Deductible/excess in healthcare insurance is eliminated
5) Rents to be lowered
6) Age of retirement back to 65 years old. Pensions for everyone.
7) No more money for foreign aid, windmills, art, innovation, public broadcasters, etc.
8) Past budget cuts involving care will be reversed.
9) Plenty extra funds for defense and police
10) Lower income taxes
11) 50% reduction for vehicle ownership taxes
Financial benefits per point [ED: the savings for the Dutch State that each of his points will provide]
1. + 7.2 billion Euro
2. to be calculated at a later date
3. to be calculated at a later date
4. -3.7 billion Euro
5. -1 billion Euro
6. -3.5 billion Euro
7. + 10 billion Euro
8. -2 billion Euro
9. -2 billion Euro
10. -3 billion Euro
11. -2 billion Euro
If you have any strong feelings on the Wilder’s platform, let me know in the comments section below.
by Mark Angelides