The Hague, the Netherlands
Due to coronavirus measures in the general elections held between 15 and 17 March, the parties to participate in the House of Representatives of the Kingdom of the Netherlands were determined. Mark RutteSuccess of the People’s Freedom and Democracy Party (VVD)
Two months ago, the cabinet, led by Mark Rutte, resigned after a childcare scandal broke out. With this election, the members of the disbanded cabinet outside the Christian Democratic Party (CDA) increased their votes and won more seats in parliament. The Socialist Party (SP), which exposed the scandal affecting migrant families, lost votes compared to previous general elections. The election table in the country has developed in line with expectations. The general election once again demonstrated the strength of Rutte’s relationship with the citizen. However, the statement that the real winner of the election was the Democrats 66 (D66) made headlines in many newspapers in the country. Siqrid KaagThe Turkish-led Liberal Party won 24 seats and the most successful election in its history. The moment when Kaag happily came to the table and celebrated the election results was one of the highlights of the night. President Tayyip Erdogan because an investigation has been launched into social media sharing in Turkey Geert wilders The Freedom Party (PVV), led by right-wing populist and nationalist policies, came in third. The strengthening of the D66 is expected to have a major impact on policy in the country.
In a country where a coalition government is mandatory, the main discussion now is which coalition to join. Kaag, the leader of the D66 party, which has social liberal values, said he wanted to pursue a more environmentally friendly, progressive and fair policy in the coalition this time. The statement suggests that the D66 could demand that a left-wing party, such as the Labor Party or GroenLinks, join the coalition. The media have often reported that the policies of the far-right Wilders and Kaag on public health and the environment are inconsistent, so the Wilders party PVV is unlikely to attend the event. new coalition.
Liberal politicians are growing in popularity
Rutte’s conservative liberal party VVD, Wilders-led right-wing populist party PVV, in the coalition that has ruled the country since the 2017 general election, Wopke Hoekstra The Christian Democratic Party is led by the CDA and the liberal D66 led by Kaag. The 2021 general election shows that the picture is not much different from 2017, but that the right-wing populists have partially lost the power of the Christian Democrats; The history of the left parties shows that they are in decline. The loss of left power can be explained by economic and social reasons. Groenlinks, the left wing of the Labor Party and the Socialist Party, has promised to make the property market more affordable, improve the country’s level of prosperity and social justice. In a country where the socialist left has a high power in the past, these parties have rapidly lost support in recent years. Liberal politicians are gaining popularity day by day.
I have observed the factors behind the 11-year success of the conservative liberal Prime Minister Rutte, the possible reasons for the rapid rise of liberalism in Europe and the gradual weakening of the socialist left, the election process and the Dutch people before it. The clearest and most reliable answer is: economic ideals and the prospect of a stabilizing policy.
“Reliable” was one of the most common comments I came across about Prime Minister Rutte. It is not forgotten that the cabinet headed by Rutte resigned due to a great scandal; However, this situation has not caused a public outcry since the beginning of the process. Some citizens said that this was not the first resignation of the Cabinet and that the public would continue to trust Rutte. A critical point is that individuals speak in public, rather than the names of political parties. Liberal politicians are able to inspire sincerity in society with an individual image. Opponents of VVD, the party’s main party, also have a moderate view of Rutte; One of the most important reasons for this may seem to be the sincerity between the ordinary citizen and the politicians who run the government. Seeing Rutte on television and in meetings for years is very important for acquaintance and personal intimacy; Behind this is a well-planned promotion campaign, strategic marketing and successful policy. As an example of the election, see the election poster of Rutte’s party VVD. The design of the poster is modern, simple and traditional. Rutte’s sincere smile was placed in the middle of the poster, the usual straight and elegant style of dress was emphasized, and the name of the party was pasted in small print in the lower right corner. In another election announcement prepared as an alternative to this poster, only the word “MARK” appeared; the party’s VVD name did not exist. In an analysis article published in the Dutch newspaper AD, With a successful campaign, Rutte has been made “a person everyone likes and will vote for,” and Rutte is said to be more individualized than the party’s values and goals.
Photos: AD newspaper
Another important element is Rutte’s everyday, ordinary, familiar moments. “Prime Minister Rutte resigned by bicycle.” “Prime Minister Rutte came to vote by bicycle.” “Rutte accidentally shook hands during a Coronavirus meeting.” These and related headlines often appear in Dutch newspapers. It can be said that the fact that citizens can see in the Prime Minister the faces that are unique to the Dutch strengthens the existing sense of sincerity. Thus, Prime Minister Rutte plays the role of a mirror to the people with his natural, sincere and open attitude, which is far from outward and has won the sympathy of the public.
Left parties lost votes
The big loss of votes of the left parties is one of the most important results of the elections. A graph showing the number of votes the Labor Party has received since 1959 shows that the party has lost votes very rapidly in recent years. Other left-wing parties, such as the Groenlinks and the Socialist Party, also failed in the election. In the recent past, many left-wing voters have voted for the D66, which pursues a socially liberal policy in these elections. Young people who support leftist policies are more likely to live in cosmopolitan cities such as Amsterdam, Haarlem and Delft. Many of these young people see liberalism as a strengthening of the capitalist economy with higher social values. For this reason, they say they will continue to choose the left parties. Although the Socialist Left ideologically arouses empathy and interest among university students, left-wing political parties appear to need to try different “re-branding” methods for successful politics.
Young voters are generally divided between left and liberal. The most important pillars of the youth who support Rutte’s right-wing center-right party, which follows liberal policies, are economic reasons. Many describe the Netherlands as a “land of entrepreneurs.” In a country with a post-Fordist economy and a focus on the creative sector, entrepreneurship has gained significant value, and economic support for entrepreneurs is seen as an important element. Under Rutte’s leadership, it was often reported that entrepreneurs were given the necessary support. In addition, one of the reasons why the D66 is so popular is the economic conception of the Liberal Party. While other left-wing parties theoretically support the socialist economic order, the D66 aims to improve the existing economic system and increase the minimum wage. In short, thanks to a liberal policy approach, it creates a middle ground for the citizen.
It is a common belief in the society that the current leadership is disrupting the coronavirus process. Although Rutte did not recommend wearing a mask at the beginning of the process, tightening the rules and emphasizing the importance of masks in recent months has not been well received by the public. A middle-aged Dutch neighbor asked me, “It didn’t work, why are we wearing it now?” He explained the use of masks. On March 2, cafes opened their terraces without permission in protest of the government’s coronavirus policy.
The promise of improved coronavirus and pandemic conditions also played a major role in the rise of right-wing parties. The far-right Forum for Democracy (FvD), founded two years ago, has had great success in these elections. One of the biggest factors in the populist party’s success was its announcement that it would repeal coronavirus measures. Party leader Thierry BaudetKnown for its political similarities with the Wilders. Both politicians are urging the Netherlands to leave the European Union for economic reasons, such as easier access to world trade.
The elections are over, but we will see how the coalition will continue. The most important results of the elections are the rise of liberalism, the demand of the people for a balanced policy and the renewal of the parties representing the left. It seems that the Dutch, who care more about the economy and trade than most, will continue to show great interest in liberal politics in the future.