Geert Wilders was the big winner in the Dutch general election as the far-right continues to grow at an alarming rate in Europe
It was another dark election day in Europe on Wednesday, befitting of 2023, as by far the biggest party in the Netherlands – Geert Wilders’ PVV – doubled their seats from 18 to 37 in the Dutch general election.
As is always the case, the success of the far-right is the result of two variables: the conservatives normalising the far-right’s politics, and the Left failing to persuade the majority of society.
On the normalisation of far-right rhetoric: in a very cynical ploy to control the campaigning narrative, the conservative VVD party brought down the previous government using the issue of migration. Of course, even if the topic was advantageous to VVD, it was even more so for Wilders’ PVV, who proceeded to dominate the debate on the topic. Combined with the VVD’s admittance that they would be willing to collaborate with PVV in order to form government, this allowed the very experienced and well-performing Wilders to enter the mainstream debate.
On the other side, the “progressive” forces of the country rallied around a hotchpotch alliance of parties, led by the weak Eurocrat Frans Timmermans. And so we once again arrived at the usual mistake: the clear appetite for change expressed by the electorate was met on the one hand by a right-wing which legitimised the far-right, and by a social-democrat centre-left which only offered aesthetic changes to the status quo.
The result should surprise no one. We’ve seen this play out on repeat for the last decade, and we are doomed to see it repeated until the far-right dominates Europe, or progressives finally get serious about offering radical change. DiEM25 fights daily for the latter option.
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