PvdA Antwerp has managed to stay at the forefront of the far right and can therefore be an example for the left in the Netherlands – Joop

PvdA Antwerp has managed to stay at the forefront of the far right and can therefore be an example for the left in the Netherlands – Joop

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If Labor wants to increase its popularity in the run-up to the next election, it would do well to look to its Flemish party of the same name. In Antwerp, the PvdA, which is closer in position to the Socialist Party than to the GroenLinks-PvdA, has managed to stay ahead of the national trend in the far-right Vlaams Belang party, with an overall left-wing programme.

How did they manage it? “They are credible, they have the right people, and they attract young people and Muslims,” said political scientist Peter van Aelst of the University of Antwerp. VRT. “We see them every day in the streets and markets and they listen to our problems.”

“The party has been harping on the same themes for years. Think health with medicine for the people. They have been campaigning against lead poisoning in Umicore for years. This makes them credible. This also applies to discussions about fair wages or political greed. Elected officials give The PVDA gives part of their wages to the party.

Not only does the Flemish PvdA oppose xenophobic right-wing parties, such as the hijab ban, but it also, according to van Aelst, “stands by Palestine unconditionally, which is very popular with many Antwerp voters.” Voters in the Netherlands have been a turning point, as became clear in the run-up to the European elections, with GroenLinks-PvdA saying it wants to defend Palestinian rights, but at the same time continuing to insist on it. Israel’s right to defend itself, even if it costs thousands of lives in Gaza. For this reason, many left-wing voters in the Netherlands voted for the Party for the Animals, for example.

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According to van Aelst, the PvdA in Antwerp has also shown that it is realistic: “At the time, the PVDA was at the forefront of the climate marches. But now they are abandoning this topic. When it comes down to it, it is clear that they are choosing people’s wallets.” Affordability over Big ideology.

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