Déjà vu in the Netherlands – Dutch Elections Today


Wilders is known for much more than a propaganda film now, however. In 2017, he is the leader of the Freedom Party and the formidable opposition of incumbent Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Wilders currently campaigns on anti-immigration promises with which many Dutch citizens agree. He aims to eliminate the burqa, imprison Muslims whether they’ve committed a crime or not, shut down all mosques, and cease all immigration from Muslim-majority nations in a manner not dissimilar from President Trump’s initial Muslim ban.

Additionally, Wilders has extended the campaign promise that he will present a referendum on the Netherlands’ E.U. membership. Prime Minister Rutte opposes this, though not as hard and steadfastly as his supporters might have expected a year ago. He has publicly stated that the original idea of the European Union is “dead,” but he is unwilling to withdraw from the union. Rutte has also said of immigrants who do not culturally assimilate that they must “behave normally or go away.” These statements bring some of his supporters to believe that he has pivoted more toward the position of a centrist despite having initially been elected as a leader of the left wing.