Geert Wilders didn’t win – but he has reshaped Dutch politics

If the 2017 Dutch election was seen as a bellwether for populism in Europe, the verdict is still out. Mark Rutte’s liberal VVD may have come out on top, but it was a limping victory. One which saw the party lose around a quarter of its seats and radically shift its position over immigration.

Just a year ago Rutte stood firm that immigrants were welcome in his country. But as the winds seemed to favour the anti-immigration stance of far-right parties, his rhetoric changed. ‘Act normal or go away,’ he said recently. It was in response to growing concerns that immigrants arriving in the Netherlands were not yet integrating.

The fact is that the “mainstream parties” have adopted most of Wilder’s immigration policy.

  • Dana Garcia

    I hope it’s true that Geert Wilders has pushed law and sovereignty into the realm of acceptable public discourse in a permanent way. Only time will tell.

    • Watchman

      We don’t want mouthing of the same things as Geert Wilders has been saying – we want action to back up these words. Talk is cheap.

      • Dana Garcia

        Holland is very densely populated and could reasonably declare itself FULL and not receiving any more immigrants of any tribe.

        I’ve long thought there are as many liberal arguments for immigration restriction as conservative ones.

        • Watchman

          Germany, Spain, France, Greece and Italy would not accept such a declaration, as it would set a precedent that these countries would not accept. In addition, with the borders within the EU basically unguarded due to the Schengen Agreement, who is going to stop the immigration?

  • pdxnag

    They dodged an arrow, today. An arrow of sanity to wake them their pro-Islamist insanity. The quiver is not empty and another arrow is surely at the ready.

    (I actually had to look up the word for the thing that holds arrows. Arrow, because it is more like a cupid sort of intervention.)

  • Jay Currie

    Wilders won enough. Even if he had topped the polls he still would not have had coalition partners and would have been isolated. Winning additional seats gives him enough momentum to scare the libs. That is a great outcome for this round.

    Getting Euros past the happy clappy, multi-kulti, whistling past the graveyard reaction to Islam was never going to be a short term win. Unfortunately, there are decades of propaganda and social pressure to overcome and that will only happen as the incompatibility of Islam with liberal, Western, standards becomes starkly apparent.