Yesterday’s municipal elections in the Netherlands were won by the Left. The Labour Party (PvdA) gained more than 500 town hall seats, an increase of 50 per cent compared with 2002, while the far-left Socialist Party (SP) doubled its number of seats. The Christian-Democrat CDA of Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and his government coalition partner, the free-market Liberal VVD, suffered heavy losses. Yesterday’s result does not bode well for the Right in next year’s general elections. If the result in 2007 is the same as yesterday’s the PvdA will gain 49 of the 150 parliamentary seats, while the CDA – currently the largest party – will lose 13 of its 44 seats. A government of Labour, the SP and the extreme-left Groen Links (Green Left) Party could replace the current center-right government, leaving the Netherlands with a radical-left coalition similar to that of Norway today.
Today the center-left newspaper De Volkskrant writes that the immigrant vote has tipped the balance in favour of the Left. This should not come as a surprise. All across Europe, immigrants tend to vote for the Left. The Left is perceived to be the welfare state’s Santa Claus. Most of the immigrants who came to Europe during the past decades were attracted by the generous welfare benefits which Western Europe lavishly bestows on the “underprivileged.” Today, owing to their demographic growth, the immigrant vote is increasing as more and more young immigrants reach voting age. In many countries the Left has begun to cater for the immigrants, aware that the immigrants guarantee their power.
According to the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies of the University of Amsterdam 80% of the non-indigenous electorate voted for Labour. This explains why cities such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Breda and Arnhem succumbed to the Left. 84% of the Turks voted for the PvdA; 81% of the Antillians/Surinamese did likewise. Of the Moroccans 78% voted Labour and 12% voted Green Left.
According to De Telegraaf, the largest paper in the country, immigrant voters have become a power block.
The effects of the immigrant vote will soon be visible. The Amsterdam borough of De Baarsjes has already decided to remove a white cross which serves as a memorial to the Second World War. The cross is situated not far from the place where a mosque is being built. According to the authorities “Muslims and Jews” take offense at the cross as a war memorial. “We told them that it is a Dutch tradition to refer to the dead with a cross. However, the cross is seen as a reference to Christianity. I can understand this,” the local (Christian-Democrat) councillor, Jan Voetberg, said.