Netherlands Election

Any politician who utters the words “We will continue our fight” on election night has lost, and so Geert Wilders is invited to scurry off back to his armed guard while the Dutch center holds, delivering a bracing, if temporary, rebuff of Europopulism, and now, eyes on France. But as the reporting horde scurries from Amsterdam to Paris, there remain coalition politics to resolve back in Den Haag.

GreenLeft looks to end up with something like 15 or 16 parliamentary seats in today’s elections, a huge increase from its previous four, on the same night the Dutch Labour Party has been just about eviscerated, apparently for previously joining in a coalition with the center-right government of Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

Despite Labour’s travails, given the current state of the European left, GreenLeft’s 30 year old leader Jesse Klaver should court Rutte’s VVD for inclusion in the coming Dutch governing coalition as a way to put down a marker, to claim legitimacy for his party after its remarkable quadrupling of its parliamentary presence, and to cement GreenLeft’s arrival on the Dutch political scene.

I’m just sayin’.