Dutch here raise concerns on Dutch elections there

From "I did not know that there was an election", to friends that followed every step. It seems to depend partly on how often people have had a chance to go back to the Netherlands. The more they have been back, the more they still feel connected with the politics. Of those who have followed it, there seems to be a huge feeling of astonishment that even in the country that we left as a country that is very liberal and very pro freedom of speech, culture, religion etc, it is possible to give a man as Geert Wilders such a following.

One of my friends expressed it as follows on face book; " Whoop, whoop election results show that populism does not rule the Netherlands" and then she says " but something has shifted, as I would never have believed that I would be happy with a win from the VVD"

What she means is that the VVD is a party on the Right of the political spectrum and she would normally have hoped for the political left to win. But at this moment she is jubilantly happy with the win from the VVD as it is SO much better than a win from Geert Wilders. It is hard to believe that Geert Wilders was actually leading the polls, but for a while he did.

However the political system in the Netherlands has a safeguard against somebody like him, because in Holland, to be able to be in government you have to form a coalition with other major political parties to create a majority, and the other parties were flatly refusing to work together with him. So even with a win, he would not have ended up in government.

Interestingly he wanted to close the borders for migrants, and he wanted to forbid the Muslim religion, yet he had not worked out at all how he was going to achieve that. Nice comparison with President Trump who also seems to be floundering when it comes to execution of his ideas.

Although us Dutchies over here are very relieved that Geert Wilders did not win, me and some of my friends are still worried about the fact that he has so many followers. My mother gets scared when she is in the middle of a group of young migrants from Morocco, yet she is still strongly against Wilders. Some of course let them selves be ruled by such a fear. All in all, things do not go well for migrants in the Netherlands ( or Europe or America).

- Ietje van Stolk (originally from Netherlands, she is a member of the Canterbury Migrants Centre Trust)