Sunday, 19 March 2017

Netherlands not a pointer to France

It seems to me that Liberal International is optimistic when it proclaimed in the warmth of the Dutch results:
The election, which saw the highest turnout of Dutch voters in 30 years amid earlier concerns that the far-right party of Geert Wilders would emerge with the most seats, is seen as a bellwether for the French elections later this year.

 France sticks to a first-past-the-post system (though with a run-off election) of voting which favours the leading parties. Nor does she have an explicitly liberal party. These are major differences with the Netherlands. So it is almost inevitable that Marine le Pen of the National Front will be one of the two candidates for president in the final vote on 7th May. The signs of a racist campaign are already evident - and that was from the conservative, not the fascist, camp.

The prospects in Germany which also has a proportional system and now a resurgent liberal party are much better. It would be great if the increasingly racist AfD were to be stopped in its tracks next September - but a lot can happen between then and now.

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