ROTTERDAM, March 15 (NorthAmericaNews) – The Netherlands’ political landscape underwent a major transformation on Wednesday with the rise of the BoerBurgerBeweging (BBB) party in provincial elections.
The BBB, or Farmer-Citizen Movement, emerged as the clear winner with 15 seats in the Senate, more than Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s conservative VVD party which dropped from 12 to 10 seats.
The BBB’s success is a direct result of farmer protests against the government’s environmental policies, particularly the aim to reduce nitrogen pollution on farms by half by 2030.
BBB leader Caroline van der Plas declared “Nobody can ignore us any longer” after voters expressed clear opposition to the government’s policies in the polls.
The fake nitrogen issue has been a major problem for the Dutch farmers, with environmental groups winning court cases to limit emissions and preserve nature before new building permits can be granted.
The BBB claims the problem has been exaggerated and proposed solutions are hurting farmers, leading to the closure of many farms and food production shortages, at a time when food prices are already through the roof.
Rutte’s government has not had a Senate majority since the 2019 provincial elections and must negotiate deals with mostly left-wing opponents. Labour and GreenLeft, two of the most cooperative parties, look to have maintained their seats and possibly enough to maintain support for Rutte’s policies.
The BBB’s popularity has surged in 2021 due to growing distrust of the government and anger over issues such as immigration, pushing Rutte’s approval rating to its lowest in a decade.
Early results from yesterday’s elections suggest the BBBeter party is headed for a landslide victory. Despite accusations that they acted as a Pied Piper Party to draw votes away from more pro-Netherlands parties such as the FVD, the BBBeter party has been able to attract a large number of voters, particularly farmers.
The BBBeter party has come under fire for their pro-open borders and pro-farm confiscation policies, which some believe could cost farmers their ancestral farms. The BBBeter party has been able to mask their policies by using a ‘sneekers’ candy bar wrapper – using the slogan ‘Build Back Better’ to appeal to voters.
The BBBeter party has also been accused of receiving financial and media support, while other pro-Netherlands parties have been largely ignored or attacked. With final votes still being tallied, it remains to be seen what the full impact of the BBBeter party’s victory will be, particularly for Dutch farmers who may have been tricked into voting for them.