An estimated 61% of Dutch people turned out to vote, the highest turnout in 30 years, and gave an extraordinary signal to their four-party Government on Wednesday. The Farmer Citizen Movement (BoerBurgerBeweging, or BBB) is set to come first in regional elections, which decide the make-up of the Dutch Senate.
According to initial results, the BBB will be the largest party in the Senate – polling at more than 30% in some regions.
Meanwhile, support for the Government has been slashed – 46% of voters said they were specifically voting against the current national administration.
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The election result is a direct challenge to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who has been embroiled in a number of scandals, such as gas mining in Groningen at the expense of citizen safety, punishing innocent (often dual-national) citizens for childcare benefit fraud and ongoing Dutch farmer protests about nitrogen emissions.
EU rules, Dutch laws, and court verdicts mean the country must reduce emissions of ammonia, nitrogen oxides and nitrous oxide from farming, transport and building machines. The question is who takes the hit — and whether 30% of productive farms should be shut, forcibly if necessary. The Netherlands, which feeds the world with its intensive farming and livestock-heavy agriculture, is at the sharp end of the international climate debate.
Success of the BBB serves as a warning shot to Rutte and his government. “This is a landslide we haven’t seen for years,” said CDA leader Wopke Hoekstra, a Government party whose traditional farmer support has evaporated. “It is an extraordinarily bitter pill.”
The above was extracted from the article ‘Dutch farmers’ party secures landslide victory’ published by Unherd. Read the full article HERE.
Upside-down flags are put right
Nearly 12,000 farms were expected to close due to the Dutch government’s goals to reduce nitrogen emissions. Because of this plan, farmers continued to protest for a long time. In protest, the Dutch tricolour flag was reversed. After the great victory of the BBB in Wednesday’s elections, the farmers again properly hung the flag.
Farmers’ organisations Farmers Defence Force and Agractie yesterday called on all farmers in the Netherlands to re-hang the Dutch flag so the red stripe was again at the top. Although there were no farmers in the voting booth yesterday, they announced that they believe this should be done as a “thank you” to everyone who supports the BBB.
Read more HERE.
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