Dutch News readers have been reacting with shock and disappointment at the election results and the huge rise in support for the far right PVV.
Angga Dwi from Indonesia, who has been in the Netherlands for almost a year said he is now having second thoughts about making the Netherlands his home. “I feel like the people of the Netherlands are going to be less open to other people and cultures. I am thinking about moving my careers to more immigrant friendly countries such as Singapore, Dubai and Japan.”
A PhD student at Utrecht University who requested to remain anonymous says he comes from a non-EU Muslim country and identifies himself as an “open-minded, anti-authoritarian Muslim”.
“After seeing the exit polls last night, I couldn’t sleep,” he said in an email. “My partner and me are extremely worried about these results. Like lot of other migrants, we came to the Netherlands to flee from authoritarian regimes.
“But now we have now a potential prime minister who wants to intervene in our lifestyle by the banning clothes we are wearing and banning places we are going to worship. This level of authoritarianism proposed by Geert Wilders was not even the case in the country we left.
“But, I am also aware that Wilders is not the only one to blame for this situation. Other parties like the VVD and NSC also spent a lot of effort on blaming migrants for all problems in the country.”
Photographer Carol Govaert, a dual American Dutch national said she stunned that the PVV is the biggest party. “It scares me that many countries have elected such right wing politicians,” she said. “It is definitely a wake up call.”
Software engineer Collins Lidédé, originally from Nigeria and who now has Dutch nationality, said he was not shocked about the election results but that he had been saddened by them.
“I am worried about the future not only in the Netherlands but in the EU and world in general,” he said in an email. “But also I have hope in the Dutch people and how sacred the rule of law is to us. I hope that the coalition government formed will uphold the law and we have a duty to hold them accountable for the future of our children.”
“I went to bed last night thinking, nah, surely not,” said British national Jess Cooke. “But nope. It’s happening again. The Conservatives have fumbled and alienated their voters and now the far right have swooped in, prompting a wholesale shift to the right and then the overall inshitification of the country.
“I left the UK in a large part because of the climate of hate, selfishness and naivety that came with a far right ruling ideology. I’d hate to see the Netherlands crumble into the same nasty fate.”
British national Sophie Patrick, a mental health therapist and psychologist who did a Master’s degree at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, also drew parallels with Brexit.
“The shift towards far-right politics in the Netherlands has left me deeply disappointed and concerned,” she said in an email. “The discomfort and polarisation that emerged during the Brexit process, with friends and family divided over the issue, have left a lasting impact on my perception of political decisions and their consequences.
“Seeing a similar trend unfold in the Netherlands, with the rise of a far-right party, raises red flags about the country’s future. The mass exit and economic instability that followed the Brexit vote serve as stark reminders of the potential consequences of choosing extreme political paths.”
However, retired Dutchman “Hans” said there is nothing new in Wednesday’s vote. “Again voters choose to protest in large numbers. They are very unhappy
with the years gone by. It happened first when Wilders started. Later we had a big win for Forum voor Democratie. Last year it was the BBB and now it is Wilders again.
“We can start speculating but no big party is going in a “cabinet” with Wilders. I predict that Frans Timmermans will become prime minister with the
support of VVD, NSC and D66. So we don’t have to leave the country yet.”
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