By Ishaan Tharoor with Sammy Westfall
WN: Tragic! Untimately anti-Christ!
For years, it seems, we’ve talked about the erosion of the “cordon sanitaire” in Western politics. Far-right parties have been making steady inroads into parliaments across Europe. Some factions descended from explicitly neofascist movements. Others embraced a set of extremist views once considered beyond the pale on a continent still largely defined by a 20th-century liberal-democratic consensus, born out of the traumas of World War II. Even as the far right’s vote shares and ranks of elected lawmakers grew, more mainstream parties vowed to never form alliances with them or enable their entry into government.
After almost 25 years of catering to far-right voters, allegedly to defeat far-right parties, a far-right party is by far the biggest party in parliament,” noted Dutch political scientist Cas Mudde.
But in the 21st century, Europe’s far right is firmly ensconced in the mainstream, and reflects political attitudes no longer harbored simply by a fringe minority. The Dutch parliamentary election last week offered the clearest evidence yet of the new status quo.
In a shock result, the far-right Freedom Party led by longtime firebrand politico Geert Wilders claimed 37 of the Dutch legislature’s 150 seats, more than doubling its footprint after 2021 elections. Wilders’s faction, known by the Dutch acronym PVV, now is the largest party in parliament and theoretically in position to dictate the fate of the country’s next government. A complicated period of wrangling will follow involving the alphabet soup of parties that comprise the country’s fragmented political landscape, as it’s unclear Wilders can actually cobble together a coalition that would let him take power.
Please click on: Europe’s far right goes mainstream