The dawn of a new era? The
Netherlands woke up to surprising
results of elections for the Dutch provincial council with Thierry Baudet’s
Forum for Democracy (FvD) emerging as the strongest party.
The conservative party earned twelve
seats, as much as the liberal VVD party of Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
In absolute terms, the majority of
votes went to the FvD by a count of 14.4 percent versus 13.8 percent for VVD.
The Christian Democrats and
GroenLinks (GreenLeft) each earned nine seats while Geert Wilder’s Party for
Freedom (PVV) lost almost half of its voters in comparison to 2015 and only
received six instead of nine seats.
In his victory speech after the
midnight result, 36 year old Baudet lauded the party’s victory and promised his
jubilant supporters that he would act against the “arrogance of power”:
“We are going to start a
renaissance in which our self-confidence is restored, in which we can live
safely in a trusted environment, in which the democratic state is repaired and
economic and cultural dynamism can return.”
Baudet’s party strongly opposes mass
migration and legislation on climate change and has called for a referendum on
the country’s European Union membership. In his speech he criticized the
“They believe in nothing, but only
worship one idol: climate change.”
“We are being destroyed by
the people who should be protecting us,” said Baudet in his speech. He also
stressed that the government should be concerned about preserving Dutch
civilization, its art, music and prosperity.
“The arrogance and stupidity of power
was punished today.”
Before the vote, public broadcasters
and mainstream media openly campaigned against Baudet. Leftists bombarded
social media and declared “Hatred has triumphed.”
The day before the election a cartoon
with Baudet on a coffin appeared in a newspaper while national television
cursed the forum’s potential voters as “people who hate blacks”.
However, their sentiments failed to
dampen the popularity of Baudet who has built a traditional elitist image and
underlined a Dutch-first cultural and economic agenda during his campaign.