List of political parties in the Netherlands



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Political parties

This article lists political parties in the Netherlands.

The Netherlands has a multi-party system, with numerous parties in which no one party often has a chance of gaining power alone, and parties must work with each other to form coalition governments.


The parties

Parliamentary parties

Parties with representation in the Eerste Kamer or Tweede Kamer, as of February 2004:

Other groups in parliament:

Other active parties

Other parties recently active, but now defunct

Parties that no longer exist

Parties with uncertain status

Descriptions of some of the parties

The Partij van de Arbeid (PvdA, Labour Party), a European social democratic party, is left of center. Its program is based on greater social, political, and economic equality for all citizens. Former PvdA-prime minister Joop den Uyl has called it an "equal spread of knowledge, income and power." In recent years the party has begun to debate the role of central government in that process. Although called the Labour Party, it has no formal links to the trade unions. In practice, however, strong links exist, with PvdA politicians often beginning their careers in the FNV labour union.

The Christen-Democratisch Appèl supports free enterprise and holds to the principle that government activity should supplement but not supplant communal action by citizens. On the political spectrum, the CDA sees its philosophy as standing between the "individualism" of the VVD and the "statism" of the Labour Party.

The Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie (VVD) is a conservative liberal party. It thus attaches great importance to private enterprise and the freedom of the individual in political, social, and economic affairs. The VVD is generally seen as the most right wing of the major parties, though the List Pim Fortuyn took a position to the right of the VVD.

Democraten 66 (D66) has had widely fluctuating electoral fortunes since the party's founding in 1966. It is a liberal democrat (center) party, generally portrayed as between the CDA and PvdA, with its strongest support among young, urban, professional voters. It professes a pro-European platform of ethnic and religious toleration.

GroenLinks combines, as the name (which translates to GreenLeft) says, a Green (ecologist) with a Left-wing stance. It operates to the left of the PvdA. The party was erected in 1989 as a fusion of a left-radical, a pacifist, a communist and a left wing Christian party; since then, the party moved more to the centre of the political spectre. In 2004, the party leader Femke Halsema announced she saw her own party as a leftist liberal party, breaking with its socialist roots. Like D66, it is a pro-European and even more so a multiculturalist party.

The Socialistische Partij (SP) is the most radical left-wing party. In the 1970s and 1980s, it was a People's Republic of China-supported Maoist party, but in 1991 the SP dropped its communist course, and chose a more independent and less radical socialist course, denouncing Maoism and the People's Republic of China. The party itself has called it a move "from socialism to a social ism."

The Lijst Pim Fortuyn (LPF) is a right-wing populist party. It was erected by the popular politician Pim Fortuyn for the 2002 elections, but Fortuyn himself was murdered 9 days before the elections. After that, it had a difficult year with much internal struggles, which led to CDA and VVD ending the government coalition which they had formed with the LPF.

The ChristenUnie is a Christian party, which mostly concentrates on ethical issues, such as a resistance against abortion, euthanasia and gay marriage. In other areas (e.g. immigration and the environment), the party often is closer to the left-wing parties.

The Staatkundig Gereformeerde Partij (SGP) is a very conservative Christian party, with even stronger ethical points of view than the ChristenUnie. Although a very small party on a national level, it is an important political power in some conservative-christian municipalities. The party sees governments (local, regional, national and international) as unconditional servants of God. The party bases all of its views directly on the Bible.

See also

eo:Politikaj partioj en Nederlando nl:Politieke partijen in Nederland


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