Last night there was another broadcast of Forum Inside, the best YouTube program from the Netherlands. And yes, it is more than worth watching the show. Indeed, Thierry Baudet, Ralf Dekker and their guests talked very openly and honestly about the election results, and what it means for FVD, the Netherlands, the right, and Geert Wilders.
For starters, Baudet explained that he took a liking to Geert Wilders years ago, even before he split from the VVD in 2006. He thought Wilders said good things about the war on terrorism, Islam, and immigration. Now he thinks more critically about that, seeing that there is more going on than just a clash between East and West. But then he went for Wilders - and yes, he also knows Geert and hopes the PVV guy can really get something done.
But there are differences between PVV and FVD, Baudet said. "I think in the long run what we do has much more effect," he said. Because "eventually you have to get people throughout society who change things."
Be that as it may. For now, Baudet is very eager to see if Wilders proves successful. "So it's really kind of will he succeed, or will he not succeed," Baudet said. Will he a) get a coalition together and b) if he succeeds, will that coalition actually change anything?
Dekker also thought it was important to talk about "how the results came about." On a website like TPO, they came up with an exit poll, it took on a life of its own, and people became obsessed with checking whether their vote was counted correctly.
That was not very helpful, Dekker said. "Apart from some minor mistakes, I don't feel that things go wrong in the counting," he explained. He wanted to make that clear. But of course, this does not mean that it was really an entirely fair election.
Everyone saw that Baudet was only invited there and where it really had to be. For example, when programs had to invite every list leader. Then he was also allowed to come along. If it did not have to from the law, then he was kept out. And even if he did have to be invited, they tried to get him again and again AND then they invited him as far in advance of the election as possible. Why? Because people would have forgotten about his performance by the time they went into the voting booth.
In that respect, it has not been "fair. But voting fraud as such is really not widespread in the Netherlands, Dekker said. And that's true, indeed. In some countries fraud really can be committed on a large scale, but with us it is very difficult, if not completely impossible. It was good of Dekker to make that clear in the broadcast.
"It still seems to me god impossible in our system [to cheat like that," Baudet added. Even if very evil people are counting, nationwide it could at worst save hundreds or a few thousand votes, which of course is not even close to sufficient for a seat. So in terms of results, then, it would make no difference.
Then, of course, the question is whether Wilders can really change things. Unfortunately, the table was critical of that. "I don't see it happening very soon," it was said.
"Of course, it's also a difficult argument to make," Baudet said. "Suppose Wilders fails to form a government. What will happen then? Then you get Timmermans?"
Table guest Milan Schenk responded by saying that the VVD also said it did not want to govern with Timmermans. Dekker responded with the argument that Ed Nijpels claims the opposite. After all, he said only yesterday that the VVD does have to do business with the PvdA-GroenLinks "if necessary."
"What a lot of people don't understand, then, is that when it comes to the key issues that VVD through to GroenLinks endorse the fundamental assumptions of current policy," Baudet said in response. They favor climate policy, they think there is a nitrogen problem, they want immigration on a large scale. "Corona, NATO, World Health Organization ... Russia is the big enemy, Christianity is over ... across the board they actually agree completely."
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Yes, some want a little more this and others want a little more that. But "the PVV is half yes, half no." Nitrogen, climate, immigration and Nexit they are pretty good on. On other subjects, on the contrary, they don't. So then the question is; is the cartel going to accept that the PVV has partly very different principles and wants to implement them? Or will it not accept that and so the PVV falls outside the boat. Or, and this is also an option, will they govern after which they don't know how to make good on those points where they differ from the cartel?
Although FVD lost, there is still something positive to report in itself. Because many people find PVV and FVD more or less comparable. So this means that FVD is fishing in a pond of as many as 40 seats. And that is of course very hopeful, thought the gentlemen and lady at the table.
Rightly so, of course. Yes, this time FVD lost. But it is and remains the largest membership party in the Netherlands. FVD can really change in time. A nasty result does nothing to change that.