Far right has won :-( — or, why you should not cheer about the Dutch elections
There has never been more international interest in the Dutch elections as in 2017. The whole world was afraid that after Trump and the Brexit, the Netherlands would massively vote for extreme-right Geert Wilders.
But it didn’t happen, everybody was cheerful, thinking we defeated extreme-right by massively voting.
Except that is not the case. The real winner here is Geert Wilders and far-right (right won more seats than left, Geert Wilders won 5 seats). But it will take until the next elections of 2021 to show.
So here’s my prediction of what will happen in 2021.
2017: looking for security
The elections of 2017 were all about security and feeling save. Safety of jobs, safety of identity, safety of health care, safety of economy. People hate change, and conservative right provides exactly that answer: refuse to change by fighting change.
But the next 4 years, international crisis will only intensify. Climate change will bring more refuges and conflicts, the changing (economic) global landscape (Russia, Turkey, Trump, China) will pop the Dutch economic growth bubble, and artificial intelligence will start taking over the workforce resulting in more unemployment than we’ve ever seen before, as well as increasing the income gap between rich and poor.
The world is changing at rapid speed. Way faster than people can comprehend. In 2021 there will be millions of people who are scared and insecure, and those people will be looking for a conservative answer to all of this. To fight change and go back to the good old days.
Loss of the Liberals (VVD)
But with the 2017 outcome of the elections, VVD (the liberals) will have no choice than to move to left — away from Wilders — joining forces with centrum-right CDA and centrum-leftish D66 (both winners and both democrats).
This can only result in loss for VVD. They will not be able to provider an as good answer to insecurity as Wilders, because VVD moved left. After 2021, it will be the end of the liberals governing.
Wilders growth spur
All this will spur Wilders’ growth even more as both VVD voters and millions of scared, insecure and pessimistic people, will move to him and other far-right, in turn making him by far the biggest party.
Depending on how many seats VVD will lose, they might govern together with Wilders. Because realistically VVD is the only party that could potentially govern with him. And in 2021, Wilders will definitely be too big to ignore.
D66 will loose
The democrats (D66) can only loose, because they are a progressive party joining mid-right. And CDA and VVD will try to be as right as possible, to try stop losing voters to Wilders. (Not to mention, historically, D66 always loses big time after governing).
CDA, the alternative
CDA, right in the middle, will be the only winner of this 2017–2021 government. They will be seen as a stable, mild, christian, alternative to Wilders. There’s hardly anything they can do wrong the next 4 years. CDA might join forces with Wilders, because in the Netherlands, nobody can ever govern alone.
2021: We’re not ready for change
The good news is, the movement for change, and a realisation that we should do things different will only keep growing. The massive win by Groenlinks (left) in 2017 is a reflection of that, and this growth will continue the coming years (unless they spoil it all by joining this 2017 government), as an optimistic answer to far-right and the world in crisis.
But unfortunately, the world is not ready for Groenlinks in 2021. We first need conflict, revolution, climate disasters, and Wilders to fuck up so badly that the masses realise we need a new approach.
The hippies didn’t come before the World Wars, they came after.
So sorry world, populism is not defeated at all. Far-right, and especially Wilders, is the true winner of the Dutch elections.
And left or right, it is inevitable. We are only at the start of being screwed. And only after will we realise we need to change fundamentally and do things differently.