The Dutch are rejecting populism

The dependency on international cooperation shared by all political parties in Parliament for decades enforced a kind of “There Is No Alternative” thinking in politics against which part of the population now rebels.

The strongest opponent of this cooperative internationalism is Geert Wilders of the Freedom Party. Wilders wants the Netherlands to leave the euro currency and the European Union altogether. He promises a “Nexit” referendum in imitation of the Brexit referendum that will take the United Kingdom out of the European Union.

Yet although questions about national and cultural identity are certainly an issue in the election campaign, all polls show a large combined majority for the parties with a more internationalist agenda. This is consistent with other polls that show a large majority of Dutch who prefer to stay in the European Union and in the euro.

In the elections of March 15, Wilders is expected to garner between 13 and 17 percent of the vote. The other votes will be going to the other parties.