Dutch Pendulum Swings to the Right?

Brussels Journal today takes stock of the Dutch political landscape in the aftermath of the Wilders Ban-the-Quran furore:

The Left’s strategy of importing immigrants to turn them into voters in order to “elect a new people” is backfiring in the Netherlands. After the November 2006 general elections the Dutch Labour Party (PvdA) appointed two immigrant ministers to advertise its special care for Muslim interests. Both ministers, Moroccan-born Admed Aboutaleb and Turkish-born Nebahat Albayrak, hold dual citizenship. Geert Wilders, the leader of the “Islamophobic” Freedom Party (PVV), opposed the appointment of the two ministers because they retained their original Moroccan and Turkish citizenship upon becoming Dutch citizens. Wilders says he doubts the loyalty to the Dutch nation of those who also want to remain loyal to other nations. The political establishment reacted with indignation, but the Dutch seem to vindicate Mr. Wilders.

Yesterday, a highly respected Dutch poll showed that Wilders’ PVV has become almost as big as the PvdA in the 150-seat Dutch Parliament. If elections were to be held today the PVV would get 19 seats (compared to only 9 in the last elections), while the governing PvdA would only get 20 (down from 33).
Read the rest at Brussels Journal.

I don't know I agree with the assessment that the Dutch are shifting to the right. To me it seems that the Dutch right is shifting to the right, while the Dutch left is creeping evermore leftwards. The rift seems to be deepening, with all the polarisation that is associated with such a development. And the saddest part: Immigrants, especially non-muslim minorities, are caught in the middle.

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