Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Europe's Race to the Ballot Box

"We feel a growing unease when people abuse our freedoms to mess things up, while those freedoms were the reason they came here in the first place. People who refuse to adapt, blemish our habits and reject our values. Who intimidate homosexuals, scold women in short skirts and call ordinary citizens racists."
"I fully understand when people think: if you reject our country in such a fundamental way, I would rather see you leave. I feel the same thing. Act in a normal fashion, or get out."
"Be normal, or be gone!"
Dutch Liberal Party advertisement message

"[Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is attempting to] deceive [the electorate]."
"The man of open borders, asylum tsunami, mass immigration, Islamization, lies and deceit."
Geert Wilders Dutch Party for Freedom (tweet)
"According to the latest poll, soon, we are going to have two million voters. Members of the court, you know these people. You meet them every day. As many as one in five Dutch citizens would vote the Party for Freedom, today. Perhaps your own driver, your gardener, your doctor or your domestic aid, the girlfriend of a registrar, your physiotherapist, the nurse at the nursing home of your parents, or the baker in your neighborhood. They are ordinary people, ordinary Dutch. The people I am so proud of."
"They have elected me to speak on their behalf. I am their spokesman. I am their representative. I say what they think. I speak on their behalf. And I do so determinedly and passionately. Every day again, including here, today."
Wilders' statement, Trial, November 2016

"[France can accept no more refugees and will] make a different choice [from Germany under his leadership]." 
"Schengen must be reformed. Free movement in Europe must have a non-negotiable counterbalance: systematic controls at the external borders."
"My position is clear. France cannot accept more refugees. The right of asylum is not migration chaos."
Francois Fillon, French conservative candidate for French presidential election
France and the Netherlands teeter on the cusp of elections that may bring nationalist parties to power as Europe reels under the flood of Muslim migrants and refugees fleeing Syria, Libya, Iraq and opportunistic economic migrants have joined them from North Africa, where they suffer from oppression, unemployment and lack of a future in war-torn and jihadist-inflicted nations throughout the Muslim world. Accompanying and sandwiching the refugee/migrant floods have been a tsunami of social crimes committed against the indigenous populations of the host countries.

Combine that with mass atrocities where jihadists often tied to Islamic State or al-Qaeda have succeeded in terrorizing countries which have long hosted Muslims reflecting their colonization days in Algeria, Morocco, and countries like Pakistan, Turkey and Afghanistan bleeding nationals who end up in Europe so that mosques and calls to prayer ring out over lands once dotted with churches that people faithfully attended and no longer do, finding themselves challenged by the oppressive presence of people whose customs and values let alone their faith is completely alien.

Even while Germany, Holland, Austria, Sweden and Norway extended their generosity to embrace the floods of refugees in a humanitarian gesture difficult not to comprehend in the Western mind, they have been rewarded by resulting chaos and social backlash; chaos from the inability and/or unwillingness of many of the refugees to accept the laws and values and social culture of the welcoming country, and social backlash from their indigenous populations suffering the consequences of the hordes of strangers in their midst, threatening their homegrown culture.

With the popular ascendancy of parties promising to reverse the changes that have made the familiar so drearily, frighteningly unfamiliar and occasionally dangerous, the governing left-wing parties that were so generous in opening their borders to the never-ending crowds of people seeking haven, make their desperate bids to adopt some of the measures more familiar on the right, to reassure voters that they understand their anguish and once re-installed they will reverse some of those now-rejected welcomes.

In France, immigration has become a priority issue in the French presidential election campaign, where the National Front's Marine Le Pen's popularity has risen in lock-step with each new jihadist attack perpetrated in the name of Islam. That vote will take place in May, when the current leftist President Francois Hollande is destined to step away from the helm of governance. Preceding that election will be the Netherlands' where Mr. Rutte's rival was convicted for 'insulting' Moroccans and charged with inciting racial strife.

The populist Party for Freedom of which Mr. Wilders is head, has become very popular among Dutch voters. Its manifesto claims that in governance, it will close all mosques, ban the Koran and close the nation's borders to asylum seekers. This is an agenda popular with eastern European nations who had steadfastly refused to accept any Muslim refugees, EU orders and Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel be damned, under their right-wing political parties in power.

Germany Europe Nationalists
France's Marine le Pen, right, and Geert Wilders stand together during a meeting of European Nationalists in Koblenz, Germany, on Saturday. (Michael Probst/Associated Press)

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