Headline RoundupNovember 25th, 2023

What Does Conservative Populist Geert Wilders’ Election Victory Mean for Western Politics?

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Conservative populist Geert Wilders delivered a surprising victory in The Netherlands’ parliamentary election this week, sparking media dialogue on political trends in the West.

Dutch Powderkeg: An opinion from Andrew Stuttaford of National Review (Right bias), who interviewed Wilders in 2005 for the publication when he was living in a guarded prison-like facility due to fear of being attacked by Islamic extremists, said this experience has likely contributed to his illiberal turn. Stuttaford partially attributed Wilders’ election to sentiments bubbling under Dutch politics, and the establishment’s longtime ignorance of questions he asked.

A European Red Wave: An analysis from UnHerd (Center bias) said Wilders’ win, alongside other recent political trends in Europe, shows Europeans are becoming more favorable of right-wing candidates and is likely foreshadowing Europe’s own “red” wave. The writer said it will make “isolationist” figures like Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán “harder to maintain” as right-wing populism spreads through Western European nations and governments.

Stop Viktor Orbán: An opinion by Marc Champion for Bloomberg (Lean Left bias) said the European Union “should do all it can to ensure” Orbán’s “illiberal democracy” model fails, and that this task is “made more urgent” by Wilders’ victory. Champion, who likened Orbán and Wilders to figures like Former President Donald Trump, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, said Orbán’s governing style “enables cronyism, corruption and the abuse of power, running counter to everything the EU was built to achieve.”

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