TOO - Baggins: The Fate of Populism in Europe: The Dutch Election and a Preview of France, Germany, and Italy
On Wednesday the Dutch voted in huge numbers (82% turnout) in the first of three crucial Eurozone elections this year. Rarely has a Dutch election drawn this much global interest and financial-market attention. Preliminary, unofficial results indicate that incumbent Prime Minister Rutte’s party won 33 seats in the 150-member legislature while Wilders’ party won 20 seats.
Rutte is now poised for a third term as prime minister. He seems to have profited from co-opting much of Wilder’s thunder in the hard line he drew in a diplomatic standoff with Turkey over the past week. The fight erupted over the Netherlands’ refusal to let two Turkish government ministers address rallies in Rotterdam about a referendum that could give Turkey’s President Erdogan more powers. It gave Rutte an opportunity to show his new-found nationalism by refusing to bow to foreign pressure, a stance with widespread backing in the nation. ...