Political Party Analysis: Minor Parties (Netherlands)

Next we will cover the minor parties in our analysis of Dutch politics.

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 In addition to the parties that we’ve focused on so far, there are a few minor parties that are projected to receive less than 10 seats in the House of Representatives.  We will do a quicker overview of these parties, as they play a part in coalition making and in Dutch politics in general but have a smaller role than the large parties.

Christian Union (CU)

gert-jan_segers
Christian Union Party Leader Ger-Jan Segers (Picture from Wikipedia)

The Christian Union is a centrist Christian Democratic party that combines both center-right and center-left policy positions.  They were founded in 2001 and have been a small party in Dutch politics ever since.  The CU has served as a junior coalition partner once, between 2006 and 2010, as part of the fourth Balkenende cabinet.

Policies*

Some of the CU’s social policies include a one-earner model (government promotion of one parent staying at home with children), opposition to euthanasia, pro-life when it comes to abortion, making soft-drugs illegal, openness to asylum seekers, and defending the creation of private schools.  On foreign policy they oppose further integration with the EU and are soft-euroskeptics.  On economic policy they are more center-left: wanting slightly lower income taxes but encourage state control over education and healthcare.  They are not completely opposed to market forces in these sectors though, unlike the Labour Party.

christian-union-spectrum

(Sources: Wikipedia, Christian Union Policies)

Recent Electoral History

House of Representatives: In 2012 the party received 3.1% of the vote and 5 out of the 150 seats in the House of Representatives.  The CU finished in 7th place, and lost 0.1% of the vote from the previous election, keeping the same number of seats.

Senate: The CU won 3 out of the 75 seats in the Senate in the 2015 Senate Election, finishing in 8th place.  Members of the Senate are selected by the states.

European Parliament: The Christian Union is a member of the European Conservatives and Reformists parliamentary group in the European Parliament.  In the 2014 European Parliament elections, they finished in 8th place with 6.8% of the vote in a joint ticket with the Reformed Political Party (SGP), earning 2 out of the 26 seats allocated to the Netherlands.

State Parliaments: The CU holds 29 out of 570 seats throughout the state parliaments following the 2015 Regional Elections, which makes them the 8th strongest party throughout the states.  They managed to gain 6 seats from the previous elections.

Election Preview

The Christian Union is projected to receive 5 and 7 seats in the House of Representatives in the 2017 election according to opinion polls.  This is little to no improvement for the party compared to the 2012 election, but there is a chance that the CU will be involved in the coalition negotiations, depending on who the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) decides to (or has to) work with.

(March 9th update): The CU is still expected to receive between 5 and 7 seats.

Reformed Political Party (SGP)

The Reformed Political Party is a right-wing Calvinist party whose goal is government based on the Bible.  It is the oldest party in the Netherlands and has always been in the opposition, as the SGP is usually unwilling to negotiate coalition agreements with other parties.

1024px-kees_van_der_staaij
Reformed Political Party Leader Kees van der Staaij (Photo from Wikipedia)

Policies*

The party is reactionary on social issues, holding many views than often lead to it being called a theocratic party by those who criticize it, despite its insistence on the separation of church and state.  Some of these social policies are: opposition freedom of religion and instead emphasizing “freedom of conscious”, the belief that men and women are not equal (but are equal in value) and have different roles in society, support for the head of the household voting instead of universal suffrage, support for the death penalty, regulated free speech, and a pro-life stance on abortion.  On economics they are more center-right, believing in recent and future budget cuts, decreased taxes, assistance for parents that wish to stay home, a social safety net for the elderly, increased restrictions on working age safety nets, increased emphasis on private charity from churches, and store closures on Sundays (their website also doesn’t work on Sundays).

sgp-dutch

(Sources: Wikipedia, SGP Policies)

Recent Electoral History

House of Representatives: In 2012 the party received 2.1% of the vote and 3 out of the 150 seats in the House of Representatives.  The SGP finished in 9th place, and gained 0.4% of the vote from the previous election, gaining an additional seat.

Senate: The SGP won 2 out of the 75 seats in the Senate in the 2015 Senate Election, finishing in 10th place.  They gained one seat from the previous election.  Members of the Senate are selected by the states.

European Parliament: The Reformed Political Party is a member of the European Conservatives and Reformists parliamentary group in the European Parliament.  In the 2014 European Parliament elections, they finished in 8th place with 6.8% of the vote in a joint ticket with the Christian Union, earning 2 out of the 26 seats allocated to the Netherlands.

State Parliaments: The SGP holds 18 out of 570 seats throughout the state parliaments following the 2015 Regional Elections, which makes them the 10th strongest party throughout the states.  They managed to gain 6 seats from the previous elections.

Election Preview

The Reformed Political Party is projected to receive 3 and 4 seats in the House of Representatives in the 2017 election according to opinion polls.  This, like the CU, is little to no improvement for the party compared to the 2012 election, but unlike the CU, the SGP will likely not be involved in coalition discussions due to ideological differences.

(March 9th update): The SGP has been steady in polls and are still projected to receive between 3 and 4 seats.

Party for the Animals (PvdD)

marianne-thieme-prinsjesdag
Marianne Thieme’s testimonial party is looking to make gains in the lower house.

The Party for the Animals is a testimonial party in support of animal rights in the Netherlands.  Since its foundation in 2002, the party has not won more than 2 seats and is seeking more to influence other parties on their single issue than to actually gain significant power.

Policies

The party is overall a generally left-wing party focused on animal rights and environmentalism.  Their policies thus are mainly government control over the agriculture industry and restricted agricultural trade.  The rest of their economic policies follow a very left-wing trend as well, as they advocate for a basic income, keeping the retirement age at 65, green taxes on use of scarce materials combined with a lower income tax for the poor, a a “green balanced budget” ensuring the government at least helps the environment as much as it hurts it, a controlled water board, and opposition to recent budget cuts (and thus a soft opposition to the EU and its budget demands).  On social policy the PvdD is against the death penalty, supportive of freedom of information when it comes to government action, supportive of an open but well controlled acceptance of refugees (especially accepting of children), opposed to mass collection of peoples’ data, supportive of soft drugs, and supportive of gay marriage.

pvdd-spectrum

(Sources: Wikipedia, PvdD Policies)

Recent Electoral History

House of Representatives: In 2012 the party received 1.9% of the vote and 2 out of the 150 seats in the House of Representatives.  The PvdD finished in 10th place, and gained 0.6% of the vote from the previous election.

Senate: The PvdD won 2 out of the 75 seats in the 2015 Senate Election, finishing in 9th place.  They gained one seat from the previous election.  Members of the Senate are selected by the states.

European Parliament: The Party for the Animals is a member of the European United Left–Nordic Green Left parliamentary group in the European Parliament.  In the 2014 European Parliament elections, they finished in 9th place with 4.2% of the vote, earning 1 out of the 26 seats allocated to the Netherlands.

State Parliaments: The PvdD holds 18 out of 570 seats throughout the state parliaments following the 2015 Regional Elections, which makes them the 9th strongest party throughout the states.  They managed to gain 11 seats from the previous elections.

Election Preview

The Party for the Animals is projected to receive between 3 and 5 seats in the House of Representatives in the 2017 election according to opinion polls.  This would be the largest amount of seats the party has ever held in its short history, but it is unlikely to join in any coalition due to its ideological differences with the VVD.

(March 9th update): Due to a slight increase in the polls, the Party for the Animals is now expected to receive between 4 and 6 seats.

For the Netherlands (VNL)

jan-roos
Journalist and VNL Leader Jan Roos leads his party into their first election. (Photo from AFP)

For the Netherlands is a right-wing euroskeptic party founded in 2014 when two Party for Freedom members of the House of Representatives left to form their own party.  The party is hoping to hold onto its two seats in the 2017 election.

Policies

On policy the VNL describes itself as a classical liberal party but it mixes those ideas heavily with liberal conservatism and (on social issues) national conservatism.  Because of this mix, they advocate the free market in economic policy: a low flat income tax, lower corporate taxes, abolition of the inheritance tax, gift tax, transfer tax, insurance tax and wealth tax, lower regulations on companies, introducing more market influences in healthcare, and privatization of healthcare.  For social policies they highly value security, like their previous PVV party, but hold slightly more moderate views: stopping mass immigration, defending western Judeo-Christian values, equality of men and women, equality of heterosexual and gay people, separation of church and state, and that individual error is on the person, not society to fix.  The party also advocates for leaving the EU.

vnl-dutch-spectrum

(Sources: Wikipedia [Dutch with more info], VNL Policies)

Recent Electoral History

House of Representatives: The party currently holds 2 seats in the House of Representatives after the members left the PVV.

Senate: N/A

European Parliament: N/A

State Parliaments: N/A

Election Preview

For the Netherlands is projected to receive no seats in the House of Representatives in the 2017 election according to opinion polls, but they have reached the 0.67% cutoff in some polls.  This means they will lose at least one if not both of their seats.

(March 9th update): We are now projecting VNL will receive 1 seat, but they still remain on the border of the 0.67% cutoff.

DENK (DNK)

screen-shot-2016-12-15-at-07-57-37
The main face of the fledgling DENK party, Tunahan Kuzu, has countered right-wing populist policies with support for the Palestinian state, Muslim countries, and Arab immigrants.  (Photo from Facebook)

DENK is a left-wing party founded by 2 Turkish born members of the House of Representatives who left the Labour Party in 2014.  The main conflict leading to their creation of a separate party was immigration and refugees.  DENK will be hoping to hold their 2 seats in the 2017 election.

Policies*

DENK is a very left-wing party when it comes to social issues, as they support the creation of a “racism database”, creating a program of mandatory community service for those who are discriminatory (doing community service for those they discriminated against), training police in discrimination prevention, forming friendship schools for immigrant and non-immigrant children to meet, replacing the Ministry of Defense with the “Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction”, and acceptance of an equal spread of refugees across the country.  On economic policy they support diversity minimum quotas for women and people with migrant backgrounds, 10% of top corporate officials must come from migrant backgrounds, control over the pharmaceutical industry, reduced regulatory burdens on small businesses, a national bank to give loans to small businesses, abolition of the property tax, maximum of 70% of municipal lands can be owned by big developers, restrictions on rent increases, and reduced international trade.  They also call for the recognition of the Palestinian state and sending 1% of GDP in development aid to poor countries.

denk-spectrum

(Sources: Wikipedia, DENK Policies)

Recent Electoral History

House of Representatives: DENK holds 2 seats in the House of Representatives who left the Labour Party.

Senate: N/A

European Parliament: N/A

State Parliaments: N/A

Election Preview

DENK is projected to receive between 0 and 2 seats in the House of Representatives in the 2017 election according to opinion polls.  This means they will could lose all, half, or none of their seats, but it is highly unlikely that they will gain any seats.

(March 9th update): Recent polling has shown DENK is consistently receiving enough support for us to project they will receive 1 or 2 seats.

Read our analysis of other Dutch Political Parties:


*Disclaimer: The policy positions in this article have been evaluated using Wikipedia, the parties’ own websites, and various articles concerning Dutch politics.  We attempt to rate the parties based on all information that is available, but due to language barriers, lack of information, or simple mistake we may have missed something.  If you feel our liberty ratings or general evaluations are incorrect, please let us know on our contact page or nicely in the comments and we’ll try to fix it.  If you have questions on how these ratings are created, feel free to ask as well.

**Abortion is a topic that is split among the liberty movement, but it is the opinion of this site that it is anti-liberty, and we take that into consideration in our evaluation of parties.

***This spectrum shows economic liberty on the right axis and social liberty on the left axis, so 100 on both axis is “pure” libertarianism and 0 on both axis is pure authoritarianism for example.

Author: Brendan Noble

I am a data analyst, economics major at Hillsdale College, campaign strategist, and conservative-libertarian. Twitter: @Brendan_Noble

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