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Political parties of the Netherlands

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The political parties of the Netherlands: see also politics of the Netherlands.

Parties with representation in the Eerste Kamer[?] or Tweede Kamer, as of February 2003:

Other parties that took part in the January 2003 Tweede Kamer elections:

Other active parties:

Parties that no longer exist:

Parties with uncertain status:

Descriptions of some of the parties follow.

The Partij van de Arbeid (Labour Party), a European social democratic party, is left of center. Its programe is based on greater social, political, and economic equality for all citizens, although in recent years the party has begun to debate the role of central government in that process. Although called the Labor Party, it has no formal links to the trade unions.

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 Liberals and the "statism" of the Labor Party.

The Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie (VVD) is "liberal" in the European, rather than American, sense of the word. 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 conservative of the major parties.

Democraten 66 (D'66) has had widely fluctuating electoral fortunes since the party's founding in 1966. It is a center-left 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.

The Socialistische Partij[?] (SP) is the most radical left-wing party. In the 1970s and 1980s, it was a China-supported Maoist party, but later it chose a more independent and less radical communist course.

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 11 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 points such as a resistance against abortion, euthanasia and gay marriage. In other subjects it 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.

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