When I went to bed last evening at around eleven the picture was already quite clear. What many had feared did not happen. Populism did not win in the national elections. Admittedly, the far-right is still too strong, but its leader, Mr. Geert Wilders, will have to accept the reality that he only won 13 percent of the Dutch vote. It looks like Mark Rutte will once again become the prime minister—that is, if he succeeds in putting a coalition together that has enough support in parliament. He has shown to be a capable leader. That does not take away from the fact that I would have preferred a more progressive leader from the left side of the political spectrum. Altogether, however, I am greatly relieved. I hope that the Dutch choice will send a clear signal to other countries in Europe with upcoming elections that they can also help to stop the further rise of this dangerous populism.
Since my wife and I arrived home last Sunday evening after a conference near the German city of Frankfurt, and, immediately following, an assignment in the beautiful Belgian city of Gent, I have been very busy in preparing for other events: a sermon and a presentation, next Saturday, in Denmark (with a visit to Danish friends), for the Day of Dialogue in the Adventist Church in Utrecht on March 25, and presentations in early April in Orlando, Florida. As the Dutch say: It keeps one off the streets! But it means, unfortunately, that right now I have no time for a long blog with some deep thoughts!
Other things also demanded attention in the past few days. DHL delivered the first boxes with the French edition of my book, entitled FACE AU DOUTE. The promotion has started and the books will be available through amazon.fr from April 3 onwards. The work on the German translation has now begun. It is in the hands of a very capable and experienced editor. In consultation with him I have revised some elements in the manuscript. This does not result in changes in the message of the book, but the order of some of the chapters has been changed and some things have been clarified. Coming Sunday or Monday I will meet with the folks in Denmark who help realize a Danish edition–which we hope will be ready within a few months from now.
So, it was a busy but very satisfying week. For myself, but also for the ‘great’ country in which I live!