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Anti-immigration candidate Pim Fortuyn forges ahead in the Netherlands
April 15, 2002 2:47 AM   Subscribe

Anti-immigration candidate Pim Fortuyn forges ahead in the Netherlands This guy is interesting - he's openly gay yet is the figurehead of the new right in the Netherlands. His party came out of nowhere in Rotterdam to take 17 seats and he has ambitions to be Prime Minister. His policy is to halt immigration into the most densely packed country in Europe, while retaining the nation's permissive and multicultural character. Could this be the model for future right-wing parties in Europe? Or is this just media-friendly fascism with a friendly face and a well-cut suit?
posted by hmgovt (15 comments total)

 
The problem I have with Fortuyn (whose popularity can partly be explained by the fact that people are fed up with the current politics), is that I'm affraid for the rest of the party. I think he will do well in the election, but he will be disappointed by actual politics (coalitions, etc.). He will leave in a few months. What will remain is a group of right-wing people, with hardly any political experience.
posted by swordfishtrombones at 3:22 AM on April 15, 2002


How exacty do immigration restrictions equate to fascism?
posted by rhizome23 at 3:23 AM on April 15, 2002


How exacty do immigration restrictions equate to fascism? Depends how they're enforced and whether or not they're backdated to include whichever groups the party doesn't like. This guy isn't keen on muslims.
posted by hmgovt at 3:32 AM on April 15, 2002


So discouraging any group, or having a society at large say, "We just plain don't want them around." is facism? I would think a country has the right to decide who it wishes to include within its borders and how it wishes to treat its citizens... which ironically, why I do not consider Sadam Hussein's treatment of the Kurds to constitute a casus belli against him, and why I don't consider China's human rights record, as abysmal as it is, to be significant. [Now, invading another sovereign state and forcing one's will upon it, i.e: Tibet, IS highly significant, and needs to be done with caution, and for the right reasons... which China did not have.]

The right to self determination is as inalienable as any other human right. Otherwise, we have a duty to immediately examine all Muslim countries to make sure not a single Jew, Buddhist, Christian, or secular humanist is so much as looked at cross-eyed.

The US constitution would not allow discrimination against a religious group...BUT the Netherlands are NOT the US... if the law of the Netherlands will allow... or is changed to allow them to do so... they, as a nation, are within their rights.
posted by dissent at 4:16 AM on April 15, 2002


How refreshing to see a journalistic story where anti-immigration is treated fairly. I can hardly imagine American journalism writing such as article as is linked in the original post. Can you imagine a similar article in a mainstream American newspaper NOT ending with a pro-immigration quote? That is b/c AMerican mainstream journalism is the lapdog of business interests. And business interests see America as a "ranch" where they are the ranchers and citizens are the livestock. And all ranchers want more livestock. What I want to know is, when do we get sent to the slaughterhouse?
posted by username at 5:56 AM on April 15, 2002


I actually sort of see his point -- which seems to be, let's integrate the immigrants we have before we take on anymore. That doesn't seem to be such a bad idea in and of itself -- I've certainly often wondered why anyone would want to move to another country only to disrespect its practices and customs. We in the west tend to think of this in terms of respecting the more conservative cultures of the middle and far east, but it certainly ought to apply going both ways. I can't argue with that. If you hate "liberal" western ideals, stay in your home country wherever that may be. If you want to benefit from the economic superiority of the west, such as it is, understand that it is founded at least partly on those very same liberal principles.
posted by donkeyschlong at 6:03 AM on April 15, 2002


Dissent, I'm not sure that anyone was suggesting invading the Netherlands or levying economic sanctions or denying Most Favored Nation trading status.

But I have problems with the idea that the right to self-determination means that other countries should accept any policy, shrug, and say "Oh, it's just their way." If the Netherlands were to adopt policies which are blatantly discriminatory, I don't think I could honestly say that they would be "within their rights" to do so. (I'm not sure that 'blatantly discriminatory' describes what's happening here with Pim Fortuyn - it depends on whether 'zero immigration' really means just that or means 'zero Muslims').

I think other nations have the right to criticize such actions and policies. The rights of other free nations probably stop at criticism and don't extend to the right to intervene except in extraordinary circumstances. But without allowing for the criticism, we end up with the Chinese position of "any external criticism of our internal policies is interference in our internal affairs" - which is an argument I just don't buy. To say otherwise would be to elevate national self-determination much too much against the sometimes competing principles of human rights.

Certainly, as an American citizen, I'm very grateful for some of the thoughtful criticism that's been levied against us for our policies, by the Europeans and others. I'm also annoyed by some of the knee-jerk anti-Americanism out there. But I'd never want to give up the former to avoid the latter.
posted by Chanther at 6:09 AM on April 15, 2002


I would think a country has the right to decide who it wishes to include within its borders and how it wishes to treat its citizens... which ironically, why I do not consider Sadam Hussein's treatment of the Kurds to constitute a casus belli against him...

Iraq's treatment of its citizens has apparently included using nerve gas on them. Perhaps the cheery dismissal of the use of chemical weapons to kill members of minority ethnic groups as "the right to self determination" explains why some people are so wary of anti-immigrant political movements.
posted by snarkout at 8:47 AM on April 15, 2002


"often wondered why anyone would want to move to another country only to disrespect it's practices and customs"
- which is a fair enough thing to wonder I suppose - if you'e never pictured yourself fleeing (or just plain moving) across the planet and suddenly expected to drop the idea of a sock stapled to the fireplace 'round december.

You'd keep that little red stocking right? (i'm carelessly assuming that you might be a US christian Xmas type - but the tradtion doesn't matter). That's your custom.

Some things people bring with them when they move, like customs, and it's pretty fair they do. With any luck, it'll enrich the host culture.
posted by dabitch at 8:52 AM on April 15, 2002


In the latest election polls support for the "Lijst Pim Fortuyn" was 11% (up from 10.3% in week 14, but far lower than it was earlier). I'm not happy about the 11%, but OTOH the idea that 89% of the respondents indicate that they're not going to vote for him is encouraging.

There's little to no chance that Pim Fortuyn will actually end up in the government.

If the election results are comparable to the latest polls he will get 17 seats in the Chamber (on a total of 150), but to get into the government he'd need to form a coalition with one or more other parties. A number of the largest parties have already refused beforehand to form a coalition with him. The combined support for him and those parties that would be willing to form a coalition with him is insufficient for a Chamber majority.
posted by rjs at 9:01 AM on April 15, 2002


Dabitch- I don't want to move... and it's pretty fair that a people should be able to set whatever rules they wish for the people that they generously allow to move into their territory.


"Enrich the host culture"? Crap.

No, "When in Rome, do as the Romans."
posted by dissent at 9:25 AM on April 15, 2002


Dissent:
I would think a country has the right to decide who it wishes to include within its borders and how it wishes to treat its citizens...

Who decides? Who is "the country?" Who are "the citizens?" If you don't answer those questions, you're just talking nonsense.

Your arguments sound about one slender hair's breadth away from the arguments that white Southerners used to make about "Southern customs" and the gall of Northerners and other outsiders who wanted to destroy the way of life that "Southerns" had enjoyed for years. It wasn't any of the Northerners' business, right?

(psst -- who decides? Who in the South was enjoying what "customs," and who wasn't consulted on the matter? You may want to consider such questions.)

By the way -- just writing "crap" in response to someone else's argument and invoking a cliche in support of yours doesn't make you an iconoclast; it just shows lazy reasoning.
posted by argybarg at 10:04 AM on April 15, 2002


Bear in mind your analogy would hold if I were a Northerner dismissing the customs and institutions of the South as unworthy of intervention, not if I were a Southerner telling others to "butt out".

I can live with that. It's not my right, responsibility, or duty to examine the morals of the world and intervene where I see fit. It is my right to intervene where those morals are about to step all over me, and my country. Until then, it makes far more sense to me not to become involved. And indeed, in this case, any proposed actions by the prospective Dutch government are not at odds with my morals, in any event.

And it doesn't show lazy reasoning... it shows disgust with a viewpoint that doesn't allow people and nations to take measures to control the type and behavior of immigrants.
posted by dissent at 11:02 AM on April 15, 2002


dissent: "Enrich the host culture"? Crap.

No, "When in Rome, do as the Romans."


Right. So just why aren't people living in wigwams and hunting buffalo in the States anymore?
posted by hmgovt at 1:04 PM on April 15, 2002


dissent:

So discouraging any group, or having a society at large say, "We just plain don't want them around." is facism?

yes, it is.

which ironically, why I do not consider Sadam Hussein's treatment of the Kurds to constitute a casus belli against him, and why I don't consider China's human rights record, as abysmal as it is, to be significant.

that's not irony.

self determination is as inalienable as any other human right

human rights refer to humans, not states. you interpret countries' "self-determination" as the right to shit all over people's human rights.

I don't want to move...

most refugees and inmigrants don't want to move either. I know my grandfather didn't want to cross the atlantic in a ship's cargo hold and then the andes on a donkey's back, but he did it anyway. many of your ancestors were also inmigrants at some time.

... it makes far more sense to me not to become involved.

agreed.
posted by signal at 5:07 PM on April 15, 2002


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