Why this story matters:
In the Netherlands, local elections matter. Each one of the country’s 355 municipalities has its own political profile, and only by looking at city elections can the political climate throughout the country be truly understood.
And, speaking of the Dutch political climate, it is no longer worthwhile writing headlines that make white nationalism seem like a novelty in the Netherlands. It has been there for years.
In the international eye, it was mostly incarnated by Geert Wilders, but now he has been replaced by Forum for Democracy leader Thierry Baudet. Wilders was focused on fighting Islam using populism, while Baudet says he wants to take back something that has been "lost" using "intellectual" nativist rhetoric.
But the battle is not over. The Bij1 party (formerly known as Artikel 1) also won a seat in Amsterdam’s city council. The party is named after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which outlaws discrimination based on race, religion, gender, or any other reason. They will be the main opponents of Thierry Baudet and his Forum for Democracy in the struggle for influence within the municipal council.
Details from the story:
- The Forum for Democracy party in the Netherlands is the equivalent to the alt-right.
- The Forum used to be a think tank but turned into a political party before last year’s general election.
- Its leader, Thierry Baudet, has openly supported Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin for being “strong leaders.”
- The party fielded candidates in Amsterdam and Rotterdam and secured three seats on the 45-member Amsterdam city council.
- The party also holds 2 seats in the Dutch parliament.