Huge increase in new parties for election

6th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

6 September 2006, AMSTERDAM — There has been a massive increase in the number of parties hoping to win seats in the Dutch parliament.

6 September 2006

AMSTERDAM — There has been a massive increase in the number of parties hoping to win seats in the Dutch parliament.

The Electoral Council (Kiesraad) has registered a total of 74 parties for the general election on 22 November compared with 45 in the last national poll in 2003.

Several of the parties are newcomers on the political scene but registration does not automatically mean a group can take part in the election.

New parties must have 30 signatures from each of the electoral districts to be contested. As there are 19 districts in total, 570 supporters are required for a national campaign. Parties fielding a national list have to pay a EUR 11,250 deposit and the final lists must be submitted by 10 October.

The Party for the Animals (PvdD), which has been hovering in the wings for a few years, probably has a good chance of scoring a 'November surprise'. Its draft list of candidates includes 20 Dutch celebrities and some polls in recent years have suggested it could win one to two seats.

One of the big names on the PvdD's list is popular television and film actress Georgina Verbaan. She may also be a risk factor as she comes across as zany and occasionally unstable. She conducted a media campaign in 2004 to prove the breasts that she so proudly flaunted in the Dutch edition of Playboy were totally natural. Having her breasts X-rayed showed her level of commitment to that cause.

Foreigner observers will be more interested in the registration of the Brotherly Love, Freedom and Diversity Party (PNVD). Though the name may suggest this is a group of die-hard hippies from the 1960s, the PNVD was founded a few months ago by paedophiles to push for the legalisation of sex between adults and children. Given the level of public hostility there has to be some doubt the party will obtain the required amount of signatures.

Other new parties on the list include Nederland pro Deo, Tamara's Open Partij and the Nederlandse Klokkenluiders Partij (Dutch whistle-blowers Party).

Several right-wing Fortuyn-inspired parties are hoping to make a breakthrough but they may end up taking votes from each other instead of the established parties. The main contenders for the right-wing vote are Geert Wilder's Party for Freedom, EénNL, established by Marco Pastors and Joost Eerdmans, and Hilbrand Nawijn's Party for the Netherlands (PVN).

While some of the newer parties, particularly the right-wingers, have a chance of winning seats in parliament, the electorate will be conscious of the disastrous flirtation with LPF party in 2002.

Following the murder of populist Pim Fortuyn, his LPF party won 26 seats in the 150-seat parliament and entered a coalition government.

The LPF's candidates were largely new to politics and included an owner of pornographic websites and others who claimed to be in direct contact with Fortuyn in the afterlife. Fortuyn's most committed supporters suggested a book of his quotes – something akin to Chairman Mao Zedong's Little Red Book – was all that was needed to decide important policy questions.

Their devotion to Fortuyn was only outweighed by the loathing of each other. The coalition government collapsed in 87 days as a result of bickering between two LPF ministers and an allegation that a very prominent member threatened to shoot the then leader Harry Wijnschenk.

The LPF is contesting the election as 'Fortuyn' but all recent polls suggest it will lose its five seats.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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