This is strange..
I could comment on the actual political ramifications of today's parliamentary elections in the Netherlands, and I will summarize them at the end of this post. However, I find one piece of the results far more intriguing than the others...
One of the biggest surprises in Holland tonight came not from the major parties, but from a small party that gained its first ever seats in parliament... Partij voor de Dieren (Party for the Animals). Winning 2 out of the 150 seats, Partij voor de Dieren is the first animal rights party ever elected to any European parliament. I'm going to try not to make fun of this party, as their aims are obviously serious. Regardless of my opinion of their platform, the leaders of this party are to be congratulated for catapulting a fringe party into parliament. That said, I find myself scratching my head in amusement and wondering why so many Dutch people would vote for a party whose logo is a cartoonish dairy cow munching on a dandelion ....and is it just me, or does party leader Marianne Thieme bear a striking resemblance to Lindsay Lohan? (No offense intended to either Thieme or Lohan)
Click here to link to the official site of Partij voor de Dieren (English version)
Endnote: The results of the election left the centrist Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) party, which formed the last government, holding the most seats (41). The social democratic Labour Party was second with 32 seats. The CDA and its former coalition partners do not have enough seats to form a majority, so the government may have to be formed by a coalition of both the CDA and Labour. Two smaller parties made major gains, with the Socialist Party jumping from 9 to 26 seats and the anti-immigration Party of Freedom surged upward from 1 to 9 seats. I am not pleased with the rise of the Socialists (I am never pleased with any gains by any Socialist), and I don't know enough about the Party of Freedom to comment. I am generally opposed to European far-right anti-immigration movements (which tend to be tinged with racism and anti-Semitism), but my reading so far indicates that that this new party has a classical liberal worldview and therefore may be a kinder, gentler movement in the mold of America's Tom Tancredo (who I am not a huge fan of, but I think adds a valid point of view to the immigration debate).
Tags: Partij voor de Dieren, Nederland, Netherlands, Holland, Animal Rights