Sunday, June 6, 2010

Wilders Could Be In Next Dutch Gov't

The man likely to become the next Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte of the VVD (The People's Party for Freedom and Democracy), has stated that his Party (which is expected to garner the most votes in Wednesday's national election, but not an outright majority) could form a ruling parliamentary coalition with the Christian Democrats and with Geert Wilders' PVV (Party for Freedom). This is according to David Charter, writing for the UK Times and reporting from the Hague.

Rutte also said that he would be open to a coalition with the Labor Party as well, and he also characterized Wilders as "quite left-wing" on economic issues.

According to the most recent polls, Wilders' PVV is set to double it's strength in the Dutch parliament from 9 to 18 seats. That still puts it in fourth place, though, behind the Christian Democrats (24 seats), Labour (29) and the Rutte's VVD (36).

In addition to his "leftist" economic policies, Wilders is also a strong supporter of gay rights and women's rights. He and his party are routinely labeled as "right-wing" because of their strong, unapologetic criticism of Islam as a "totalitarian ideology".

Until recently Wilders had enjoyed uncritical support from the American right, but then, quite suddenly, Wilders came under fire from prominent members of the FOX News punditocracy (more on that here); and Wilders also had a recent falling out with the Christian Action Network (CAN), which had planned to release a film about Wilders, until Wilders personally and quite publicly distanced himself from the group when he became aware of homophobic actions and statements by CAN (more on that here).

Wilders gained international attention in 2008 when he released the film Fitna, a highly controversial 18 minute long documentary which is extremely critical of Islam.