NO, POPULISM IS NOT DEAD. JUST ASK RUTTE.

A few days before the so-called Brexit referendum I released a press statement to warn against populism in the world, Europe and my own country, Curaçao. Again I want to send a cautionary advice. I do not want to put a damper on all the jubilance around the world after the Dutch election of this week, but let us please do not confuse the results as a defeat of populism. I too want to believe that the Dutch election is going to send a powerful message to the likes of Ms.Marine Le Pen (France) and Mr. Uwe Junge (Germany), both far right populists who face elections later this year. That is simply not the case. Let us understand that populism in The Netherlands was not defeated. Politicians in The Netherlands chose to adopt the popular nationalistic language and radical anti-Islamic ideas of Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party rather than confront these messages.The Dutch Prime Minister, Mr. Mark Rutte, chose his words carefully after his victory condemning the ‘wrong populism’. Let us not overlook the fact that he did not condemn populism in general. So I guess that according to Mr. Rutte there is nothing wrong with his brand of populism. Unfortunately Dutch politicians in general, not only Mr. Rutte, chose to adopt the radical ideas of Mr. Wilders, repackage them and somehow made them look less over the top with the Dutch voters. Also, let us not forget that Mr. Rutte had his own ‘mano de Dios’ moment to help him win the election when the Turkish President, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, decided to start a spat with The Hague. I guess Mr. Rutte chose to rather join the populists than doing something about them. Fast-forwarding to France, does this mean that Ms. Le Pen does not have a chance in the French presidential election because of what happened in The Netherlands? I do not think France (and Germany) should read too much into what happened in The Netherlands this week. Finally I want to make this point. Not that I agree with him, but Mr. Wilders has been authentic about his intentions to be the savior of the Western World against Islam which according to him is pure evil. Ms. Le Pen is not that principled. She wants power and will likely run and cruise on the right kind of populism. Just like Mr. Rutte.

Author: alexdavidrosaria

Alex Rosaria is from Curaçao. He has a MBA from University of Iowa. He was Member of Parliament, Minister of Economic Affairs, State Secretary of Finance and United Nations Development Programme Officer in Africa and Central America. He is an independent consultant active in Asia and the Pacific.

3 thoughts on “NO, POPULISM IS NOT DEAD. JUST ASK RUTTE.”

  1. Spot on! Love needs to speak up. Humanity needs to take center stage and that is on all of us who carry the belief in a better, fairer world where there is a place for all of us and diversity is the norm.

    Like

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