De strijd is cultureel, dat maakt de VVD tot de nieuwe middenpartij

De strijd is cultureel, dat maakt de VVD tot de nieuwe middenpartij
De strijd is cultureel, dat maakt de VVD tot de nieuwe middenpartij

In an op-ed for NRC Handelsblad, one of the Netherlands’ leading daily newspapers, I argue that the political constellation in the country is shifting from left-right to cosmopolitan-nationalist.

On the one extreme are the Green party and the liberal Democrats, who are socially progressive, in favor of immigration and pro-EU.

On the other end is Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party, which appeals to Dutch voters who are more traditional in their values, who worry about the malintegration of non-natives and who are increasingly Euroskeptic.

The Christian Democrats and the far-left Socialists, in different ways, approximate the Freedom Party line.

In this new context, Mark Rutte’s liberal party, formerly seen as center-right, is the party of the middle, I argue. Their views on everything from economic policy to immigration to the EU are a balance between the cosmopolitan left and the nationalist right.

They are also the new middle in a concrete sense: It doesn’t look like a coalition government could be formed without them.