gerbie: (nam)
About two years ago I already wrote to explain a bit about Geert Wilders.

Over the past two years Wilders started a new party (PVV), gained nine seats in parliament (about 6%) and continued to bash the Islam.

His latest idea was to make a movie to prove the world how bad the Islam is. Several times the release date was postponed, there were talks with TV-stations both public and commercial, but none wanted to air the movie. At some point people started doubting the existence of a movie. Wilders announced that the movie would certainly be there before April first. Could it all have been an April fools joke? He would have had a great point. There had been plenty of discussion, in media and in politics, before anybody knew what the movie was about. Then again, he hasn’t shown any sense of humor over the last years, so a joke of these proportions certainly was out of the question.

Then the website made for the movie (http://www.fitnathemovie.com) was canceled before the movie was published. Politicians hoped that the Dutch wouldn’t have to suffer the same problems as Denmark after the famous ‘Mohammed cartoons’. The Dutch world service made an own movie explaining the person Wilders (http://www.rnw.nl/aboutfitna/).

Finally, last Thursday the movie appeared on LiveLeak a British site. Millions watched it worldwide. Over three million in the first three hours apparently. Most reactions were simple: “Is that all there is?” People almost seemed relieved. Sixteen minutes of old fragments, each and every one can be found through YouTube, old newspaper clippings and quotes from the Qur’an. Nothing explosive. Everybody knows that Muslim extremists exist. Everybody knows Wilders’ opinion, so nobody needed a movie to see either.

People in the street mostly gave their opinion: “I can imagine people being offended”, yet nobody was actually offended. Politicians worldwide told Wilders they didn’t like the hatred he tried to raise through this movie.

An underestimated side effect though (imho) is the fact that a lot of potential Wilders voters see their ideas confirmed. I’ve seen 17 years old coming into class the next day telling me that ‘if there were elections now, I would vote for him’. Somehow people don’t see or do not want to see that Wilders is portraying a very selective picture.

Wilders took his time to make the movie, yet still made some mistakes. He used a picture of a Dutch rapper instead of the picture of Mohammed B., who assassinated Theo van Gogh. Next to that he refers to WikiPedia as an official site related to the movie.

After one day the site LiveLeak had to remove the movie, as several of its staff were threatened. Obviously mirrors have appeared elsewhere on the web for those who want to see what all the fuzz is about.



More relevant links about Wilders and Fitna the Movie:

WikiPedia on Fitna the Movie
(on the bottom there are links to download the movie)

Washington Post

A Mirror:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3369102968312745410
gerbie: (Default)


Marcel van Roosmalen – Op pad met Pim (07-006)

Soms is het een goed idee om iets een tijdje te laten rusten. De actualiteit schreeuwt soms zo om aandacht, dat negeren voor mij de enige optie lijkt. Vooral ook omdat achteraf bezien, het meestal allemaal wel meevalt. Het fenomeen Pim Fortuyn had ik eigenlijk ook een beetje willen negeren. Zijn moord zorgde er voor dat dit plan mislukte. Ik heb met een aantal buitenlanders online leuke discussies gehad.

Het aantal mensen dat via souvenirs, boeken en andere prullaria geld wilde verdienen vlak na zijn dood bleek enorm. Daar deed ik niet aan mee. Twee jaar later bij de Slegte toch nog een van de boekjes gekocht. Pas nu vond ik de tijd rijp om eens terug te blikken op het fenomeen.

Journalist van Roosmalen volgde namens HP De Tijd de politicus in opkomst. Hij deed dit met een leuke ondertoon, ietwat spottend, maar ook wel met verbazing. Verbazing over hoe het land reageerde op deze flamboyante verschijning, die het vooral moest hebben van de vorm, zeker niet van de inhoud. Slechts weinigen durfden de verbale strijd met hem aan te gaan, al waren er zeker mogelijkheden een discussie met Fortuyn te winnen.

De hoofdpersoon zelf was niet altijd even enthousiast over de journalist en zijn maatje. Het komt de kwaliteit van dit boekje alleen maar ten goede. Pas halverwege het boek had ik door dat Van Roosmalen ook het boek over Vitesse had geschreven voor de serie Hard Gras, dat ik eerder dit jaar las. Zijn stijl blijkt dus op meerdere gebieden te werken. Complimenten voor de schrijver dus.

Nummer: 07-006
Titel: Op pad met Pim. Van Eindhoven tot Hilversum.
Auteur: Marcel van Roosmalen
Taal: Nederlands
Jaar: 2002
# Pagina’s: 142 (937)
Categorie: Politiek
ISBN: 90-5911-070-6
gerbie: (Drag)
As I predicted in the previous episode of this series, the key role in the last General Election went to the Christian Union and its leader Andre Rouvoet.

With all three major parties losing ground, the big winner was the extreme left wing Socialist party, yet they soon found out that the two major parties CDA and the PvdA did not want to cooperate with them. Step in Rouvoet.

A small conservative right wing party up until recent, his style in parliament was widely praised, awarded and now also rewarded with more seats. They are still not a big party, yet big enough to help the two biggest parties to a majority.

Last week the end of the negotiations were there, the three parties will form a new government. The coming fortnight will be used to find the right people for the government. Before the end of the month, the Dutch will have a new socialist-Christian government. Time will tell what this means for the country.

Right wing parties criticized the yet to form government for overspending and especially surprise winner Geert Wilders and his extreme rightist party PVV does not like the idea of 26.000 former refugees getting a permanent residence permit.

Left wing parties talk about a missed opportunity for real solidarity and not enough attention for environmental issues. Liberal thinkers are afraid that progressive laws on abortion and euthanasia will be affected with two Christian conservative parties in the government.

Time will tell who is right and how this new government will affect the country.
gerbie: (sapo)
Just a few more weeks and the Dutch will be voting again for a new parliament. The election is earlier than anticipated after the cabinet fell last July with the D’66 ministers leaving over the debate about Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Since then we have a minority cabinet, a centre-right coalition of CDA and VVD. Prime minister is still Jan Peter Balkenende. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting This is his third cabinet, with the first two premature finishing and the third time just to bridge the gap until the elections.

On November 22nd the Dutch will have to decide who will rule this country for the next four years. It certainly will be an interesting election. The two main parties seem to be heading for a close finish, the polls indicate a different result every week, though always the two parties are extremely close.

So next to Jan Peter Balkenende and his CDA, we find Wouter Bos and the PvdA. Left against right, but destined to end up in a coalition together. So the first question is who will be the biggest of the two. Both seem to be heading for around 30% of the votes. The winner will have first choice for a coalition partner. This most certainly will not be the loser of the two. Which makes it interesting for other parties, both left and right.

On the right there are the Liberals, VVD, who have been in the government for ages and want to continue governing with the CDA. On the left there are two parties important: SP and Groen Links (green left). During many elections these three parties have lost votes to so called strategic voting. For example somebody supports the SP, but still votes for the PvdA, just to make sure that the biggest left wing party becomes the biggest full stop. This election we might see the opposite. If left nor right will get a majority (which the polls are indicating), the two biggest parties need to co-operate, otherwise there is no government.

The last option might be one of the tiny parties that do get in. There are a few options for a party like D’66, who sneaked into the last government, but couldn’t get their points (political reforms) to make it into laws. Other options are the small right wing parties, who all claim to have some link to Pim Fortuyn, but are basically just extremely conservative and walk the thin line between conservatism and racism.

Which might leave a key role for the Christen Unie. The small Christian Union is doing well in the polls and their leader Andre Rouvoet. He is a well respected politician and has been voted parliamentarian of the year on more than one occasion. Being Christian would make him right wing obviously, though many of his points of view have more in common with the social issues the left want. The seats his party take might decide the election. The results on November 22nd will tell us more.
gerbie: (Passport)
Hirsi Ali loses her passport.(bbc world)

One of the most controversial Dutch politicians from the last years got back in the news last week. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, (part 4 in this series) member of right wing VVD, was the subject of a tv-documentary 8 days ago. In the documentary several relatives were interviewed, asylum experts as well. In short people got to know that Hirsi Ali lied about her name (which is Ayaan Magan), about her having fled from a war (she lived in a different country already) and about possible threats. Based on this evidence she gained entrance to the Netherlands first and a Dutch passport later.

This is all history and public knowledge as well, yet nobody had put all the facts together as the documentary did. Major problem after this happened is a Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk, also a member of the VVD. She is the symbol of Dutch harshness over the last years. The Netherlands, for centuries a haven for refugees, known for a tolerant society, have turned into one of the most difficult fortresses in Europe. Not many refugees can or even want to come here anymore.

The two main characters together:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Verdonk has more ambitions: she wants to be the political leader of her party in next year’s elections. She wants to send back Antillian youths (Link), refused a passport to Feyenoord football star Kalou (Link) as he failed a test on Dutch language and customs and also transported 18 year old Taida Pasic back to her country, weeks before her final school exams (Link) even though the girl speaks perfect Dutch and has lived here as long as in her native Kosovo. In short: Verdonk appeals to right wing voters who think a multi cultural society is a disaster. She demonstrates that rules are rules, trying to look like a determined politician, hoping to become the Dutch Thatcher next year.

Even in her own party she is not sure of the leadership, with Mark Rutte, a younger and more civilized candidate appealing to the not-so-right-wing-conservatives, as another major contender. With Hirsi Ali exposed as a liar, Verdonk had to do something. Referring to similar cases in the past, she told the Dutch parliament and press that Hirsi Ali couldn’t own a Dutch passport, as there isn’t a person called Hirsi Ali.

In the meantime Hirsi Ali will leave the Netherlands. Hirsi Ali has been offered a job by the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative Washington-based think tank (Link). She will still appeal the decision to take her passport. It seems questionable though that she has any future in the Netherlands.

In the mean time Verdonk's future doesn't look as bright. She loses support both inside as outside her own party.

Sources:
Volkskrant
Washington Post
Zembla (documentary)
BBC news
My own memory and interpretation.
gerbie: (rotswand)
The rise (and fall?) of the individual

More than in most countries, Dutch politics have been dominated by parties, not by individuals. The last few years though things seem to have changed. Several individuals try to storm the political arena, without ties to one of the traditional parties. They think not being attached is an advantage, considering that the majority of the people seem to have lost confidence in ‘old school politics’.

It all started with Pim Fortuyn in 2002 (Link to part one), but he never had the chance to prove that his theories did work. Perhaps this explains why several others think they can achieve ‘fame like Pim’. Eventually lack of experience and lack of time to write a good well considered programme would have been the downfall of Fortuyn as well, but as he was killed, people still consider him a messiah. He was even voted ‘Greatest Dutchman of all times’, which seems funny as he has won more after he was killed than in his whole life.

A year or two later Geert Wilders (read part five) thought he was the new Pim. Ever since he has only been in the news because he (allegedly) received death threats or because he found a way to tell the world what he thought of Muslims, usually followed by more threats. In the opinion polls he keeps dangling between 1 and 4%. Not a real force.

A few others have thought they had it as well. Hilbrand Nawijn (His website) used to be a frustrated CDA-member not making any progress, until the rise of Fortuyn offered him the opportunity to become a cabinet member for a short period. His flirt with extreme right wing politician De Winter from Belgium didn’t do him any favours. Nor did the fact that he was moaning about his office in Parliament, after he left the Fortuyn-party (LPF), show that he was busy with politics.

Other failures include Emiel Ratelband (His website) a self proclaimed management guru, failing at the first hurdle: being elected.

The latest to try his luck is Peter R. De Vries. De Vries is a crime journalist, with a television show that has been a success for the last decade. (his crime site). He has solved many crimes the police couldn’t solve, gaining popularity amongst the Dutch people. When Fortuyn was murdered, many wrote to him to solve the murder, they didn’t trust the police anymore.

Why De Vries thought that governing a country is similar to solving crimes is a mystery to me. Why many people think he would be great as a politician puzzles me even more. He certainly is vain enough to be a politician. The R. in his name is just a letter. Without it, his name would seem ordinary. So he added it, following the American example of the middle name, not a regular Dutch thing. He named his party Partij voor Rechtvaardigheid, Daadkracht en Vooruitgang. Shorten it and you’ll see the same abbreviation as his own initials. It means something like "Party for justice, Strength (Babelfish gives me action strength) and progress".

His programme includes typical right wing idea’s like ‘Third strike out’ and more money for the justice department. On the other hand he also wants leftist things like more money for developing countries and legalizing soft drugs. Finally he has some outsiders idea’s wanting to lose civil servants and abolish the Eerste Kamer (the congress controlling the legislative power).

For Dutch readers his programme can be found at his site: PRDV

He did do something different though: He wants to people to tell him if he should continue his journey to The Hague. During the last election 80% of the Dutch voted. Therefore he wants 41% to tell him he should continue, this will be measured next month in an opinion poll. If not, he calls it quits. In polls at the moment he scores about 25%, though only 3% of actual votes. Not a real threat for the ruling political parties it seems.

The amount of individuals trying to gain power outside the political system should worry them though.

(part 1-6 can still be read through the memories or tags)
gerbie: (Default)
Dutch politics for outsiders (6)

Perhaps what I will be writing here now doesn’t exactly fit under the header, but it is about politics and I am Dutch, so it’ll have to do. It will be, by far, my most opinionated piece in this series up until today, just warning you in advance.

Apparently several people still think a referendum is something good. Power to the people, direct democracy, no backbenchers deciding for the man in the street, plenty of pros. I will tell you why it is not a good idea.
Read more... )
gerbie: (Drag)
Dutch politics for outsiders (5)

The new star, at least if he is the judge himself, in Dutch politics, is called Geert Wilders. (his website) He used to be a member of parliament for the right wing conservative party VVD, yet last year he made himself persona non grata in that party. His ideas were a bit too extreme, even for the most conservative ones among them. Since then he is on his own.

Soon after he left the VVD, his star rose in the polls. A lot of people said they would vote for him. He felt perfectly well that a lot of anti-Islamic sentiments could be channelled towards his new party. Almost legendary is the parody in a famous Dutch satirical TV-show. "I am not against the Islam, I am against excesses of the Islam", he keeps claiming.

A few months onwards he still didn’t have any other point, but to shout at Muslims. His potential twenty something seats in the next elections shrivelled back to a meagre 5. When a couple of months ago filmmaker Theo van Gogh was murdered (link to abc news) he was one of the politicians who received death threats. He left publicity, didn’t get to work anymore and had to spent time on the run. Jokingly they said he could use his body guards to fill the seats he would win in parliament, as he still didn’t have a programme, nor other politicians in his ‘Group Wilders’.

The weird thing is, everything that happened to him, was fairly predictable. Nearly a year ago I wrote a piece about him in my Dutch language LJ (Dutch obviously) the second episode in a series I stopped. I was trying to be sarcastic and abolish certain politicians. Both of my choices have since risen to media stars, but both extremely controversial.

Last week Wilders finally presented his ideas for the next years. Immediately the similarity with populist Pim Fortuyn (Fortuyn explained by me) was striking. Perhaps because Fortuyn never had the chance to act upon his ideas, Wilders took the opportunity to use his ideas to regain ground, after his lost popularity. Yet closing the borders completely, abolishing aid for third world countries, cutting taxes in half, leaving the EU should Turkey enter, three strikes out like some US states and five prisoners to one cell, it all seems extremely populist, though not realistic. I’m afraid it will work with some though; he might become a political force the next election.

On the other hand, if he keeps hitting at the weak like he does, his popularity probably will be only temporary. Yet I hope he will not be the next victim of another Muslim extremist. Apart from the fact that I do not believe in violence, it would make him an icon that he does not deserve to be. Let him talk and most people with common sense will eventually turn their back on him. Just acknowledging that he has a point is easy, a good solution for several of the problems he rightly stresses, is yet to be found.
gerbie: (Drag)
You asked for it (9)

E.U. politics (requested by [livejournal.com profile] lorelei_aisling)

Is there such a thing as E.U. politics? It is difficult to tell. In general the feeling of most people in Europe is that the politicians in Strasbourg and the civil servants in Brussels are only there for their own sake and do not care about the citizens of Europe. They spent millions of ‘our’ tax-money and are basically a useless bunch of wankers.
Read more... )

(You asked for it, a series I started to give anyone the opportunity to tell me what to write. You want to tell me as well: leave a comment or mail me (E-mail in user info). This was part 9, 1 request waiting at the moment.)
gerbie: (Drag)
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the latest politician to cause a huge stir in the Dutch political world, even causing foreign media to follow what is happening. Who is she and why does she get so much attention?

Ayaan Hirsi Ali (AHA in short) was born in Somalia, but fled the country with her father. Her dad lives in London these days, not too happy with the way his daughter is developing herself lately. AHA integrated really well in the Netherlands. She learned the language, studied and became a strong, feminist, independent woman. She started working for the main left wing political party (PvdA) and was a member of the board of Amnesty International in the Netherlands. She became known for criticizing her own religion, the Islam.

The something happened in her life. I’m not sure why, but she switched parties and became a Member of Parliament for the main right wing party (VVD), in the meantime searching publicity wherever possible. First controversial statement was when she compared Mohammed; fairly important to most Muslims I’d say, with a child abuser. This was not enough for her, in interviews on television and in other media she told the world that the Islam was an old fashioned religion. And worse, as this statement was the nicest thing she said.

To top this all, she wrote the script for a movie called “Submission part 1”. In this movie she aimed at the oppression of women in Islamic countries. Perhaps at itself not a bad idea, the way she chose to do so wasn’t very clever. The short movie, directed by controversial movie maker Theo van Gogh, also known for his controversial columns in which he offends many, including Muslims, calling them goatfuckers, shows a near naked woman who has quotes from the Koran written on her naked body. This body is only covered with a see through veil; hence the viewer sees her breasts as much as the Koran quotes. Not exactly the way to call for reform in the conservative religion.

A few months later Van Gogh (indeed a great-nephew from the famous painter) was murdered in the streets of Amsterdam. The murderer not only killed him, but also put a knife with a note for Ayaan Hirsi Ali in his corpse after the act. AHA went out of the public eye for a while. She needed several body guards and couldn’t do her work anymore. A couple of weeks ago she went back to Den Haag to do her work as a MP again. On the first press conference she told the world that she did feel some guilt, as her friend was killed, but in the meantime she was writing a script for part 2.

To me she seems to be on some sort of holy crusade, history will have to decide if she’s a loony, an attention seeker or the reformist leader she claims to be.
gerbie: (local)
Dutch politics for outsiders (3)

Traditionally there are three main parties in the Dutch parliament. On the right there is the VVD, Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie. Liberals, which in the Netherlands means that they want freedom, hence a not very active government. Central right there is the CDA, Christen Democratisch Appel. The Christian conservative party, yet not fundamentalist. Everyone who doesn’t go to church anymore but still counts himself as a believer will vote for them. On the left there is the PvdA, Partij van de Arbeid. Socialists, workers movement, links with the unions with several former union leaders choosing this party as their next step in a political career.

With either the PvdA or the CDA as the winner in just about every election in living history, it has never happened that one of them had a majority. Over 50 seats of the 150 seat Tweede Kamer is an exception. This means that after every election we need to find which parties work together. The Christian central right party CDA has the advantage there. They sit in between the other 2 major parties and can choose who to govern with, should they win an election. Should one of the other two win, they are still the obvious choice as a governing partner. Basically this means that being in the middle of the power, they are always part of the Dutch government. One exception: the so called ‘purple’ government during the nineties (next time I’ll explain this one).

Small parties are still relevant in the Netherlands. Sometimes one of them becomes a bit bigger for a while; sometimes they are needed to get a majority for the government. A few that matter at the moment are:

D’66. Since 38 years they try to make democracy easier and more accessible. Their major aims are a referendum and a directly chosen mayor and prime minister. At the moment they are in the government with CDA and VVD, therefore helping those parties to a majority. Central left.

Groen Links. Green party, socialist ideas. The major opposition party over the last decade. Never big, but usually good and strong leaders.

SP. Socialistische Partij. Up and growing since the eighties. Another left wing party that is growing in the opposition. With the PvdA near the centre, on the left the SP has found a gap to draw a lot of voters who are still full of ideals. Their leader Jan Marijnissen is generally acknowledged as the best politician in the country at the moment.

ChristenUnie and SGP: Small fundamentalist Christian parties. Always get 6 or 7 seats together, never get any power, but are always just there.

Next time: Purple government.
gerbie: (beach bum)
Dutch politics for outsiders (2)

I have started to enjoy politics. The world can’t live without it; I can’t understand people who completely ignore the centre of power, just because they do not like certain politicians. Or most. Or even all. Politics are everywhere. Different in different places though. So, here is, in short, the rundown of the political system of my country, the Netherlands.

Dutch people get to vote 4 times. European elections, later this year, like everyone else in 25 European countries. Not very popular, like the Provinciale Staten. They are the ‘government’ of the 12 provinces we’ve got. In such a small country, provinces are fairly useless according to most people. They have got some influence on public space, but to be honest, they aren’t very glamorous. They do vote the “eerste kamer” (first chamber), the part of public office that checks the “Tweede Kamer” (second chamber), the part where it really happens.

This time I’ll concentrate on the Tweede Kamer. Once every four years (unless a government falls prematurely) we get to vote for the Tweede Kamer. This is the most basic form of elections I can imagine. 150 seats are to be redistributed, every vote counts. No difficult calculations, no winner takes it all, just divide the number of total votes by 150 and you know how many votes you need to take a seat.

Usually some 20 to 30 parties participate in this election. The first 10 or so get enough votes to take at least one seat. The three major parties usually take about 100-120 seats among them, we have never had one party taking a majority yet, I don’t think this will happen soon. To form a government 2 or more parties need to talk after the results are known (late the same night) and get to a consensus government. As easy calculations go, the government needs at least the backing of 76 members of parliament, to be able to govern properly.

Next time: Political Parties in the Netherlands.
gerbie: (picton)
I'll do an effort. Firstly you've got to be able to understand the Netherlands; otherwise you won't get anywhere. Small country, former world power (17th century). Known throughout the world for its tolerance, its freedom. Also known as a drugs paradise, legalised prostitution and advanced euthanasia rules. First country to have gay marriages. We're not as unique as some might think. The way we treat drugs is no different from other countries around us. We are just a bit more eager to show the world we are tolerant. We're pragmatic. Everybody in the whole world knows you can't ban prostitutes. We legalise them, make them pay taxes and set medical rules.

Great political system. Every vote counts, direct representation. A few big parties have been in existence for over a century. PvdA, left wing, socialist (compare: democrats/labour/SPD). VVD, right wing, liberal (compare:lib-dem/FDP), CDA, right-center, christians, conservative (compare: tory/republican/CDU). Never has there been one party with a majority, hence a consensus is always needed. We always have a coalition. We need to discuss things, we like to do that anyway. However well a country is doing, there is always something to moan. So there is always a small party kicking against the big ones who can create a bit of fuzz. This'll last until the next election and they lose again.

Enter Fortuyn. Smart, charismatic, gay. Criticising is easy, he does it brilliantly. He lets the country know that he is available to become Prime Minister. The three major parties don't want him, he joins a small party. Then breaks with them again, after an interview in which he says some things he shouldn't have. He starts his own party. In the polls he's doing great. Soon he is the fourth party, without being a party at all. He has no helpers yet, no others who can take all the seats he's going to win. Writes a book that shows the country what went wrong in the last decade. It doesn't take a genius to point those things out. The genius bit is that it sells big time. While no parties can get their ideas to the people, he sells it to them and therefore makes a lot of cash out of it. In direct debates he's brilliant. The dusty career politicians don't stand a chance in the fast world of TV where one-liners and charisma decide who wins a debate. His star rises, in some polls he's the second party, threatening to become the biggest in the upcoming elections.

His idea's. Not really revolutionary. The country is full. The Islam is a backward religion. There's too much bureaucracy. There's too many people abusing the social system. Your basic right-wing politician. Only he knows how to hit a button with people of all classes. "Finally somebody who says what he thinks", is an argument often heard. The problem is: he says what he thinks, but doesn't offer solutions. In addition, when he does, he hasn't got the facts right or his numbers could easily be attacked as 'fuzzy maths'. So his ideas might not be brilliant or new, the way he presents them is. He is the alternative for all those non-voters and protest-voters who are fed up with the three major parties always deciding everything amongst themselves. With small parties who can only grow if they start resembling one of the big three.

The country is full. No more immigrants are welcome. Only a few political refugees can apply. Fact: economic refugees don't get in anyway. We do not accept as many refugees as people think. Only a few tenthousands every year. Peanuts. Minor problem. However, easy scoring.
Islam is a backward religion. Is that true? Aren't there more similarities than differences between Islam and Christianity?
Too much bureaucracy. Correct. But how to solve that. Just cutting out some layers middle management doesn't automatically mean things will get better. It takes time and effort to reorganise that. Possibly money as well.

Does he contradict himself? Only a couple of days before he was killed he called for a general amnesty for all illegal in the country and then a complete stop of immigration. So suddenly the solution is different from what he has been calling for ages.

A problem at the moment at some second generation guest workers. Youngsters trapped in two cultures, but instead of taking the best of both worlds, they take the worst. The intolerance and old fashioned idea's of their parents who came from small town Turkey and Morocco in the sixties (and still view the world that way!) combined with the openness and tolerance of the Netherlands. They terrorise neighbourhoods, become gangs and petty thieves. When someone asked Fortuyn if he actually had spoken to some Moroccan youngsters, he answered that he slept with them. Openly parading the fact that as a rich gay men you can buy young vulnerable streetkids.

He could have won big time in next week's elections. At least he made the other parties shiver. This is a good thing. He was quite often right in his analysis of problems. However, he hardly ever had a good solution. In the real world of politics, he would have had a major problem, where he to become a minister, Prime Minister (his dream) or just a Member of Parliament. He would have lacked a lot of knowledge, his solutions wouldn't work. He would have to compromise with others, something he wasn't very good at. In 4 years time he would have lost a lot of his fans, it doesn't take a genius to see that.

Now the elections stand. His name is still on the ballot. The risk is that he gets many sympathy votes. His party-members, assembled in a rush will have to live up to the expectation, but haven't got an ideology to fall back on. Have different backgrounds. But mainly they lack the charisma and the ideas of their leader. A recipe for disaster. Other option is that now Fortuyn is gone, his party loses a lot. This happened in January when he was kicked out of LN. This party fell from 10% to 2% in the polls after that incident. But where do all these votes go to? Nobody knows. Since the assassination on Monday the campaigns have been stopped. Nobody can tell what will happen. Nevertheless, the elections will be interesting. That's a certainty.

Pim Fortuyn was killed last monday. He was 54 years old. Tomorrow he will be buried.
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