As you may know, the PvdA saw their open pandering to the (mostly muslim) immigrant vote hugely rewarded. Polls showed that around 80% of immigrant (and by extension: muslim) voters had voted PvdA in the municipal elections of March 7 last, often sending muslim PvdA fraction members to a seat in municipal councils on preferential votes. This was especially the case in the three big cities in Holland: Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague. The Telegraaf concluded that immigrants have now become a power block in the Netherlands. One, which no political party can deny for fear of losing necessary votes to gain power. And accounting for this fact has hugely benefitted the PvdA.
But all is not well. Wouter Bos, the current leader of the PvdA (Labour party) in the Netherlands got himself into some hot water just prior to the weekend. As Brussels Journal already reported, he fears that “We are bound to run into trouble with our new immigrant councillors” who might “conduct politics according to the culture of their home countries, where clientelism is the norm.”.
This in turn led to a backlash of media attention, which then of course was the cue for the PvdA to go into full spin mode and verbally spank the media for its reporting, which, according to Michiel van Hulten, Chairman of the PvdA, had taken on "racist features". Which was kind of disingenious, because in taht same interview, he admitted "I cannot guarantee that all the thousands of candidates are sufficiently qualified", which is pretty much saying the same thing, all be it in more circumspect, backhandedly PC, terms, isn't it?
In the mean time, the PvdA , and more particularly Wouter Bos, is in a bit of a quandary. Wouter Bos envisions himself as a new Tony Blair (well, a Tony before the war in Iraq and the scandals and the failed EU chairing and what not). He's seeking to form a 'broad' coalition with at least the Christian Democrats and he's been tacitly rejecting overtures by GroenLinks and the Socialist Party for a pure (and rather ehhh, extreme) left wing coalition.
But he may well find it impossible to form such a broad coalition, because he will also have to pay his dues to the immigrant voters block. Immigration and problems with militant Islam is becoming more and more an issue in the Netherlands and all political parties are influenced by this. Being seen as a party that openly caters to particularly that group of voters that is considered to be a menace to Dutch society will not endear the voters to the PvdA. Nor will the PvdA be very welcome as a coalition partner to the great parties on the right. next years election will be interesting.
[UPDATE001]Kayce's Korner has a commentary on the situation described above. Give it a read.
[UPDATE002]Snouck also weighs in on the matter