Hey there everyone, On the fifteenth we have our general elections here in the Netherlands. Normally the international news coverage is equal to that of Denmark's reason of being i.e. non-existent. Yet this year we are all the rage having our own 'far right eurospectic anti-Islam whateverever party', apparently that makes our tiny nation news worthy, naturally it follows that we have a poll on Diplo. Firstly here's the list of 28 parties we can vote on (I've taken the liberty to translate the names wherever possible): 1 VVD Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie (People's party for Freedom and Democracy) 2 P.v.d.A. Partij van de Arbeid (Labour Party) 3 PVV Partij voor de Vrijheid (Party for Freedom) 4 SP Socialistische Partij (Socialist Party) 5 CDA Christen Democratisch Appèl (Christian Democratic Appeal) 6 D66 POLITIEKE PARTIJ DEMOCRATEN 66 (Democrats '66) 7 ChristenUnie (Christian Union) 8 GROENLINKS GroenLinks (The Greens) 9 SGP Staatkundig Gereformeerde Partij (Reformed Political Party) 10 Partij voor de Dieren (Party for Animals) 11 50PLUS (50+) 12 OndernemersPartij (Entrepeneurs Party) 13 VNL VoorNederland (For the Netherlands) 14 DENK Politieke beweging DENK (THINK) 15 NIEUWE WEGEN (New roads) 16 Forum voor Democratie (Forum for Democracy) 17 De Burger Beweging (The Civilian Movement) 18 Vrijzinnige Partij (Freethinking Party) 19 GeenPeil ( ... GeenPeil) 20 Piratenpartij (Piraty Party) 21 Artikel 1 (Article 1) 22 Niet Stemmers Vereniging voor Niet-Stemmers (Non-voters Party) 23 LP Libertarische partij voor persoonlijke vrijheid en verantwoordelijkheid (Libertarian party for Personal Freedom and Responsibility) 24 Lokaal in de Kamer (Locals in the Parliament) 25 JEZUS LEEFT (JESUS LIVES) 26 StemNL (Vote NL) 27 MenS en Spirit / Basisinkomen Partij / V-R Partij voor Mens en Spirit Samenwerkende 'Parasol Partijen' (Party for Humanity and Spirit / Basic Income Party) 28 VDP Vrije Democratische Partij (VDP) (Free Democratic Party) Well, that's quite a list. Luckily there's only a bunch of parties that have a chance to get into the parliament. Most parties are ignored by the media and have no chance to participate in any of the debates. Before we move on, first a list of the parties that are currently in the parliament: VVD Mark Rutte 40 PvdA Lodewijk Asscher 35 SP Emile Roemer 15 CDA Sybrand van Haersma Buma 13 PVV Geert Wilders 12 D66 Alexander Pechtold 12 CU Gert-Jan Segers 5 GL Jesse Klaver 4 SGP Kees van der Staaij 3 PvdD Marianne Thieme 2 50PLUS Henk Krol 1 Independent n/a 8 According to the polls we will get some new parties in the parliament. Here's two links that show the most recent polls: http://frontbencher.nl/peilingen/ http://peilingwijzer.tomlouwerse.nl/ The poll will only include these parties because who cares about being inclusive. Here's a look at the left-right / progressive-conservative spectrum. Since most of you won't know any of these parties I'll try to give a short description of them. Here's me trying not to be biased. Listed from biggest to smallest party according to the polls. PVV (Party for Freedom): The party of Geert Wilders. Mostly known due to its anti-Europe and anti-Islam stances. Arguably left-winged on economic issues and right-winged on social issues. VVD (People's party for Freedom and Democracy): The VVD is currently the biggest party in the parliament. Mark Rutte, the party leader, has been our prime minister since 2010. The VVD currently forms our government together with the Labour Party. The party can be described as conservative-liberal and has traditionally been our biggest right wing party. D66 (Decomcrats '66): Social liberal and progressive party, lead by Alexander Pechtold who has managed to push the parties popularity massively since he became its leader in 2006. The party is mostly known for supporting students, being pro-European and pro-republic. D66 lend a lot of support to the government in the past couple of years. CDA (Christen Democratisch Appèl): CDA used to be one of the biggest parties in the country, but lost a lot of its seats and influence. It is still the biggest christian party and is generally a moderate or centrist party. Currently led by Sybrand van Haersma Buma. GroenLinks (The Greens): Green, social and tolerant. One of the most left winged and progressive parties in the Netherlands. Currently lead by Justin Trude- I mean Jesse Klaver. GroenLinks gained a lot of popularity due to the Labour Party losing a lot of voters. SP (Socialist Party): Its core issues are employment, social welfare and investing in public education, public safety and health care. The party opposes privatisation of public services and is critical of globalization. - From Wikipedia. SP is really straightforward in its socialist policies. Usually gains quite some traction in the polls, but under performs in the actual election. PVDA (Labour Party): Currently in the government with the VVD, which they are heavily criticized for and made them lose a lot of popularity. They've recently changed leadership to Lodewijk Asscher in the hope to regain some of their former voters. 50+: A relatively new party, which has currently 1 seat in parliament. The party solely focuses on one demographic, yet manages to gain a lot of support. Is often criticized for having the same populist tendencies as the PVV and the SP. CU (Christian Democrats): The CU holds socially conservative positions on issues such as same-sex marriage, abortion and euthanasia, is Eurosceptic, while maintaining progressive stances on economic, immigration and environmental issues. The party self-describes itself as "social Christian". - From Wiki. Has a very loyal voter base which gives them a permanent presence in the parliament. More progressive than the CDA. SGP (Reformed Political Party): The Reformed Political Party is an orthodox Protestant Calvinist political party in the Netherlands. The term Reformed is not a reference to political reform, but is a synonym for Calvinism. The SGP is the oldest political party in the Netherlands in its current form, and has for its entire existence been in opposition. The party has, owing to its orthodox political ideals and its refusal to cooperate in any cabinet, been called a testimonial party. - From Wiki, I am getting really lazy. The most conservative Christian party in the parliament. Gained a bit more popularity under the leadership of Kees van der Staaij. Partij voor de Dieren (Party for the Animals): The Party for the Animals is a political party in the Netherlands. Among its main goals are animal rights and animal welfare, though it claims not to be a single-issue party. The party does consider itself to be a testimonial party, which does not seek to gain political power, but only to testify to its beliefs and thereby influence other parties. - Love, Wiki Wikipedia is quite right on it not being a single-issue party, lately its become very progressive in its views and Marianne Thieme is a first class raging feminist. Denk (Think): Denk was formed by Tunahan Kuzu & Selcuk Ozturk who used to be members and parliamentarians of the Labour Party. They left the PVDA and became independent parliamentarians. This is the first election in which they participate as an actual party. Denk is left-winged progressive and relies heavily on the vote of Moroccan, Turkish, etc. migrants. VNL (For the Netherlands): VNL calls itself a Classical Liberal party. VNL is a proponent of small government and supports the introduction of a low flat tax rate. Furthermore, it supports investment in the police and defence, seeks to limit the powers of the European Union to a free trade area, and wants a stricter immigration policy. VNL supports a Nexit referendum and is very skeptical of the European Union. Forum voor Democratie (Forum for Democracy): FvD wants to change the democracy by 'overthrowing' the current political elite. It is a big proponent of referendums, is EU skeptical, wants a stronger stance on immigration, and wants to tackle Dutch public broadcasting system. ---- Going to leave it here for now. Clearly this is hardly enough information to make an informed vote, so do ask me any questions if you are interested. Perhaps some of the other Dutch Diplo citizens can chip in as well. I'll post some of the voting issues tomorrow.