What is the formula for electoral success?
I have to wonder if it isn’t being refelcted among the Dutch right now. In the Netherlands, the VVD, as the Liberal party is known, has come from so far down in the polls they couldn’t see any of their competitors to leading in the polls for the next parliamentary elections.
So, how did they manage that? Well, with an unlikely combination for a liberal party – austerity and immigration. On the austerity side:
As in other European countries, the need for painful spending cuts has risen to the top of the political agenda, and with it the fortunes of the VVD. “On June 9 we’ll find out who the voters think is the best party to guide the Netherlands through the crisis, to put matters in order, to give our beautiful country new prospects so it can emerge stronger from this crisis,” Mr Rutte, dressed in Diesel jeans and a blue shirt, tells a small crowd in one of the town’s squares. “We’re being honest and saying everyone is going to feel this.”
Of course, theonly lingering doubt about all this is while they may agree with the concept, and even vote for it, will the Dutch really put up with the cuts?
The VVD certainly hopes so and is betting it will give them some electoral longevity assuming sucess.
On the immigration front, it is fairly straight forward – the Dutch are looking for a hard line to be taken there. More control, less immigrants, and certainly the expulsion of any illegal immigrants.
Of course, I’m sure by now you’ve figured out why I brought this up. Mid-terms here in November, presidential election in 2012.
Where do you think those two issues will play here and how will they influence votes?
Your learned speculation and wild-ass guesses are welcomed.