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Montevideo, May 25th 2018 - 18:55 UTC

Relief in Europe: “Netherlands said No to the wrong kind of populism”, Dutch PM Rutte claims victory

Thursday, March 16th 2017 - 05:58 UTC
Full article 15 comments

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Wednesday claimed a dominating parliamentary election victory over anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders, who failed the year's first litmus test for populism in Europe. Provisional results with over half the votes counted suggested Rutte's party won 32 seats in the 150-member legislature, 13 more than Wilders' party, which took only third place with 19 seats. The surging CDA Christian Democrats claimed 20. Read full article


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  • DemonTree

    This is good news. Congratulations to the Dutch for resisting the tide of populism, I hope the French and Germans are similarly sensible.

    Mar 16th, 2017 - 08:19 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    Yes, it was a relief to see some sense still exists. I suspect Trump scared the bejeezus out of them.

    Mar 16th, 2017 - 10:06 am - Link - Report abuse +1
  • The Voice

    I can't see how Racism and Xenophobia gets branded as populism? It obviously isn't a very 'popular' notion... Fortunately that the Dutch PM comes across as a very competent level headed character. The truth is when you allow a rampant and rapid rate of immigration particularly from people with different religions and values it sparks resentment and political opposition. And that can be stoked by the worst sort of racist rabble rouser.

    Mar 16th, 2017 - 10:28 am - Link - Report abuse +1
  • DemonTree

    @The Voice
    Populism is more a style of campaigning - blaming everything on 'out of touch elites' and saying 'the people' need to take back power from their own government (this always turns out to mean handing it all to the leader of the populist party). Populist parties often choose policies that sound good and will gain them support in the short term, but are bad for the country in the long run. Both left wing parties like CFK's FpV and right wing ones like Wilder's Freedom Party can be populist.

    There were also elements of it in the Brexit campaign; all that talk about 'Unelected Eurocrats' and how the EU was being run for the 'elite', and the campaign telling people not to trust experts. Brexit wasn't an election though, so it's not exactly the same.

    Mar 16th, 2017 - 10:48 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    Speaking of Brexit: As we head towards our leaving the EU we need 700 suitably qualified trade negotiators with the institutional knowledge. Currently we have 35. At best it will take 10 years to complete our exit.

    Mar 16th, 2017 - 12:39 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • The Voice

    “Populist parties often choose policies that sound good and will gain them support in the short term, but are bad for the country in the long run”

    Like the Labour, Green and Liberal Democrat parties then... ;-) But... none of them are popular at all? The only one that has many adherents is the Labour party and that is a shadow of what it was.

    Mar 16th, 2017 - 05:38 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • AustrOllOpithecus

    How the admired have fallen...

    Years ago, I will admit, many nations did look up to the Anglo-American nations as examples to possibly follow in economics, social, and political matters.

    Fast forward to 2017.... Macri telling the nations of Latin America to “open to trade and international exchange, to not follow the path of isolation and fear”.

    Then the Chinese leader saying the same thing, that China will not imitate “recent policy shifts in some countries”.

    Now the Dutch Prime minister says “The Netherlands has said no to the wrong and dark kind of populism now evident elsewhere”.

    Needless to say, ALL leaders other European nations in recent days have said the same thing.

    Even Commonwealth antipodean politicians have raised serious questions about the path “some countries are taking”, getting into verbal fights with their leaders even.

    How does it feel ANGLOS, that the world is now upside down? Your societies and nations (USA and UK), are now seen in every corner of the globe as the examples NOT TO FOLLOW... the new rogues of the world, where fear, xenophobia, bitterness, and narrow-mindedness are at one's beckon. What a sad, ignominious fall, eh?

    Mar 16th, 2017 - 05:55 pm - Link - Report abuse -3
  • DemonTree

    @The Voice
    No, like I said Populist is not the same as popular. Those parties are not populist ones, they work within the normal forms of government.

    Besides you are wrong. Racism and xenophobia are very popular everywhere. People naturally distrust those who are different to them, and are very willing to believe anyone who blames their country's problems on someone else, whether that is immigrants stealing their jobs or sepoys plotting against their country.

    You've seen people in Argentina make bad choices at the ballot box, right? And Venezuelans make even worse ones. Did you really think 'anglos' were immune?

    Of course it sucks, but I am more worried about what will happen to Britain than other people's opinions, and what America does is nothing to do with me.

    Also, although I think the voters were coming from similar places in the UK and US, Brexit does not have to mean protectionism.

    You forgot to list May saying that Britain was not going to close itself off from the world but would be open for business, and the British trade minister urging commonwealth countries to resist protectionism and describing it as a seductive but false friend.

    Our government is certainly not abandoning free trade, they are not on the side of Trump.

    Mar 16th, 2017 - 07:09 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Bisley

    An ignorant and misinformed Dutch public said “No” to the opportunity to prevent the further destruction of their culture and economy. They will pay the price.

    Mar 16th, 2017 - 07:27 pm - Link - Report abuse -2
  • Clyde15

    I see you have now narrowed your definition of Anglo to two countries.

    A somewhat radical switch from your more recent definitions which included Australia.

    Quoting China as a beacon of enlightenment ? What a joke. If there ever was a closed society, that is it. North Korea's best chum.

    Mar 16th, 2017 - 10:27 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • Briton


    ?????? sorry cannot agree.

    Mar 16th, 2017 - 11:32 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    @ Bisley

    You forgot to answer my question. Did you meet ChrisR at the Bisley shooting club?

    Mar 17th, 2017 - 10:13 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Heisenbergcontext

    Brussels must be relieved. I don't think there's much doubt whatsoever that Rutte 'profited' from Turkeys ill-considered attempts to hold a political rally in the Netherlands.

    Mar 18th, 2017 - 05:02 am - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Redrow

    All fair except Rutte had to move his tanks onto Wilders lawn with his statement to Muslims that in effect if they didn't like Holland they should go home. That doesn't sound very progressive to me.

    Meanwhile Wilder's vote share and seat share rose whereas the Left suffered a catastrophic collapse (barely reported). To conclude that all is well in progressive Europe again would be highly premature. While Le Pen will also lose (fortunately) she could well run Macron close - indeed it will be harder than people realise for the left to vote for Macron, they might just stay at home. And if Rutte can resort to borderline racist rhetoric to peel off far right voters then Le Pen will be free to tack left to get working class votes or at least scare them off Macron.

    Either way, the EU is paralysed - it must go forward to full political union to make the Euro work - but can't because the people don't want to. Or, they need to go back to the old currencies - but can't because the people don't want to. The problem is that the status quo is unsustainable and something needs to give as otherwise the crazies of the far-left/right won't seem so mad when the moderates are also acting irrationally.

    Mar 18th, 2017 - 03:08 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • DemonTree

    I mostly agree with you, except I'm not sure “the left” as a whole suffered as big a collapse as you think. The Labour party did all but collapse, but the left-green party picked up a lot of seats.

    What is the problem with Macron?

    Mar 19th, 2017 - 01:03 am - Link - Report abuse 0

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