[Marxism] Rise and rise of the Dutch Socialist Party: new perspectives for socialism or naïve, hip, left parliamentarism? | Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

glparramatta glparramatta at greenleft.org.au
Sat Sep 1 06:09:52 MDT 2012


September 1, 2012 -- Although parliamentary elections are often billed 
as "historic", and results hailed as "landslides" and "political 
earthquakes", it usually turns out not to have been quite that dramatic 
when the dust settles. But the September 12 national elections in the 
Netherlands really do seem to be living up to expectations of that 
magnitude.

The unexpectedly early fall of the previous minority cabinet---the most 
right wing in living memory, and hostage to the support of xenophobic 
demagogue Geert Wilders and his Party for Freedom (PVV)---has triggered 
an election that seems likely to usher in a radical realignment of the 
landscape on the left, and could realistically produce an outcome that 
poses some fundamental strategic questions for socialists in the 
Netherlands and beyond, while presenting an uncomfortable reality check 
for the country's economic and political establishment.

At the time of writing the Netherlands's most left-wing party, the 
Socialist Party of the Netherlands (SP), is leading opinion polls, with 
23.3% support (35 seats in the 150-seat lower house), as against its 
nearest rival, the ruling neoliberal People's Party for Freedom and 
Democracy (VVD), on 21.3% (32 seats).

Could this large, strong, well-resourced and genuinely left-wing party 
really win elections in a wealthy country at the heart of the neoliberal 
project of the European Union? Could the established political system be 
forced to accept seasoned, hard-nosed, non-careerist socialists playing 
the leading role in government? Or might it all prove a premature -- and 
potentially damaging -- foray into managing capitalism with a human 
touch in a time of deep crisis?

*Will Wroth *reflects from Rotterdam on what, for socialists, might well 
be the most encouraging---yet challenging---election result in a generation.

Full article at http://links.org.au/node/3010

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