Not the worst

Not the worst

Early preliminary results of elections for the Dutch Second Chamber of Parliament indicated that “Partij voor de Vrijheid” (PVV) led by Geert Wilders might become the biggest party (see related story). That no doubt surprised and might worry many readers, considering his controversial stance regarding foreigners and Islam as well as his stated desire to basically get rid of what he has described as costly and nothing-but-bothersome Caribbean territories in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

However, this by no means guarantees the right-wing party will be part of the next governing coalition. Even if that is the case, legislative support does not necessarily entail a role in the Council of Ministers, as in the recent past happened with the same PVV.

Perhaps most importantly, prior to the vote Wilders showed a willingness to tune down his anti-immigration agenda and help solve “much bigger problems” now facing the country. The latter indicates an eagerness to be in the executive branch and carry political responsibility at the national level.

This apparent outcome could facilitate a possible right-of-centre government with “Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie” (VVD) of former four-term Prime Minister Mark Rutte – who retired from active politics – and others. The joining of “Partij van de Arbeid” (PvdA) and “Groen Links” on a combined list headed by Frans Timmermans does not seem to have produced the intended left-of-centre majority.

But if a PVV-led combination were to include relatively moderate parties like “Christen Democratisch Apel” (CDA) or “Democraten 66” (D66) known for a friendlier attitude toward the islands, it might turn out not to be the worst thing in the world.

The Daily Herald

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