Now on to May 22nd
Now on to May 22nd
The splendid evening had arrived, the evening of March 19th. The day of the local elections was once again just as unreal as all those other election nights that I have experienced. A strange silence falls over the country and the party. The work is done, the campaign fought, and it’s the voters’ turn to have their say. And we had doubled our council seats! Who would have thought that?
Jan Marijnissen is Chairman of the Socialist Party and was its leader until 2008.
At the beginning of the evening I had done an estimate on the basis of reports from around the country. A gain of 25-50% had to be possible. As it turned out it was 100%. An unbelievably good result, one which we can all be proud of. The branches had their reward for their work, and so they should have. Yet what has been striking is that across the local elections a clear nationwide trend was emerging: heavy losses for the two governing parties, Labour and the centre-right VVD, and gains for local parties, for the centrist D66 and for the SP. This national trend can be explained by the enormous disgust which exists among the people at the policies of this government. People are more than fed up with the demolition job; they want hope and confidence that things will get better instead of worse, that we are going to get back to rebuilding.
The VVD and the Labour Party have declared that despite their historic losses they intend simply to continue along the same course. That is undemocratic , and bad for the country and its citizens. In the next few years we must make our alternatives more widely known so that we can give the people hope and confidence that things can be different, that they can be better.
Starting with Europe: on May 22nd we elect a new European Parliament. This gives us the chance to declare clearly that we don’t want a superstate Europe: we can say NO to this EU.