The Dutch have always pioneered social experiments. This retrenchment of historical uber-tolerance is the first in a wave of such movements. Politics being local, sovereigns are protecting there own.
By ARTHUR MAX
The Associated Press
Thursday, March 4, 2010; 8:50 AM
AMSTERDAM -- The voting was supposed to be about parking fees and dog taxes. But a populist anti-Islam party made a powerful impact in local elections Thursday while traditional governing parties suffered setbacks in what could be a harbinger of national election results three months away.
Nearly complete returns posted by the NOS state broadcaster showed Geert Wilders' Freedom Party winning in the town of Almere and coming in second in The Hague, the only two races it ran out of 394 cities and towns that elected local councils.
If the outcome is any indication of the parliamentary vote in June, Wilders could emerge as a king-maker on the national stage.
The Freedom Party, which Wilders founded four years ago, had not previously put up candidates in municipal elections.
"Today Almere and The Hague, tomorrow the whole of the Netherlands. This is our springboard for success in parliamentary elections," Wilders said as the returns came in.