Wilders Defeat Is No Reason for Complacency: Leonid Bershidsky

Publikuota: 2017-03-16
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the VVD Liberal party appears before his supporters in The Hague, Netherlands, March 15, 2017.  REUTERS / Yves Herman
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the VVD Liberal party appears before his supporters in The Hague, Netherlands, March 15, 2017. REUTERS / Yves Herman
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Geert Wilders‘ larger than expected defeat in Wednesday‘s Dutch election sets up a disappointing year for nationalist populists, who only last year appeared to have centrist elites on the run.  But while it‘s fine to celebrate Dutch good sense, it‘s also useful to keep in mind that the problems that nearly handed Wilders a win are not going away.

A year ago, Wilders‘ anti-immigrant, anti-European Union party, PVV, appeared poised to win a large plurality in the election despite having just one member (Wilders) and no local political offices or campaign machine. It was almost certain even then ...

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