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Leonid Bershidsky

The Dutch Election Is About More Than Nationalism

As in the U.S., voters here are rebelling against an elite they feel has stopped listening to them.
Spoiled for choice.
Photographer: ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN/AFP/Getty Images

It's almost 10 p.m. on a Monday night but the 100 or so people assembled in a hotel conference room in North Holland are in no hurry to go home. They're asking a dapper, young politician pointed and thoughtful questions that reveal a hunger for political debate.

It would be an idyllic picture of one of the world's most accomplished democracies if the content of the discussion weren't evidence of a democratic process gone badly wrong. The March 15 election in the Netherlands is expected to deliver a further strong signal to global political elites that many Western voters no longer accept the way in which they are governed. And that signal won't be limited to the expected strong showing for Geert Wilders' far-right Freedom Party (PVV).