Déjà vu in the Netherlands – Dutch Elections Today

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Early voters cast their ballots for the general election in The Hague, Netherlands. REUTERS/Michael Kooren

 

The Dutch Election for Prime Minister will be held today, and the major issues that have riled the Dutch electorate speak to the uncanny wave of populism that has swept several Democratic, Western nations. First, the United Kingdom voted in favor of a referendum to withdraw from the European Union; then, the United States elected Donald Trump president. Now, the French and Dutch election seasons seem to mirror the U.S. election and the British referendum vote on the basis of populism and immigration rhetoric.

The primary issues on each of the aforementioned political stages are the same as those on which the Dutch election currently hinges. Immigration is a massive issue in the Netherlands much like it is in France, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The concern among citizens, however, changes from one side of the argument to the other much like the conversation Stateside between Republicans and Democrats. Additionally, the right wing is predominately rallying behind Geert Wilders who has been dubbed the “Dutch Trump” or “the Donald Trump of Holland.” He is known for a highly controversial, 2008 film entitled, Fitna, which made significant ripples on the Internet for splicing passages of the Quran with the aftermath of terrorist attacks.