Good analysis by the Economist: Wilders gets most of what he wants

This analysis by the Economist hits the nail on the head:

Mr Wilders has emerged as the real winner of these prolonged negotiations. His determination to protect the Dutch welfare system by halting immigration permeates the government programme. On top of this, he has not been obliged to tone down his notorious rhetoric, although the cabinet will inevitably be associated with it. The danger for the two coalition parties is that their government will miss the opportunity for genuine economic reform and instead be remembered for turning the Netherlands in on itself.

It is very difficult for us, the Dutch people living here and now, to determine our position about how to best proceed. Would it have been better if the left-wing parties had their go at the coalition or is it a very smart move to ringfence Wilders as part of the minority coalition. At yesterdays CDA-conference we have heard both opinions in all their nuances. And the Economist also outlines the risks involved.

Yet, there is one question that is not discussed much nowadays, but it is the main question that divides supporters and adversaries of this coalition. That is the question to which degree we think that the Dutch people will remain coolheaded enough to save their own democracy. Supporters of the minority coalition believe that we will be alert enough to not run ourselves into a less democratic environment and that one day the magic of Wilders will stop. Yet, the adversaries fear that the Dutch will act like zombies who follow Wilders whereever he goes, as long as he is providing sweets to the public.

I'm not so sure myself, but as a matter of principle -and until the contrary reveals itself- I will stick to the vision that the Dutch can remain coolheaded when necessary.