Dutch politics

What's liberal politics in the Netherlands?

Comments0 comments

The 'liberal' label is being used by many political parties in the Netherlands. It's hard to do justice to all of them within the scope of this page, but we'll try.

  • VVD is the centre-right, pro-business party, which is calling itself 'liberal', because it favours maximal individual freedom and a free-market economy, with low taxation. Since its founding in 1948, its left and right wing have repeatedly clashed. VVD is the Dutch party with the closest resemblance to what is called a conservative party in other countries.
  •  D66 is the centre-left reformist democrat party, formed in 1966, sometimes referring to itself as 'social-liberal'. It combines pro-individual freedom and pro-welfare state viewpoints. D66 is also a strong advocate of direct democracy, having campaigned for a corrective referendum and for electing rather than appointing mayors.
  •  Green Left is the progressive leftwing party, seen as 'free-thinking liberals' promoting climate-friendly measures, a fair division of tax burdens, and pushing for more equal-opportunities policies. The party was formed in 1989 out of a group of four small left-wing parties.
  •  PVV is Geert Wilders' Freedom Party, founded in 2006. Often classed as a 'conservative liberal' party, it combines an uncompromising anti-Islam policy with a pro-health care view, favours protection of the 'common hard-working Dutch person' and wants to protect gay rights.

No religion

All four 'liberal' parties share the view that politics and religion should be strictly separated, a disputed view in the Netherlands with its long tradition of Protestant and Roman-Catholic party politics.

Liberalism in the Netherlands goes back to the 19th century. Its founding father was MP and later Prime Minister Johan Rudolph Thorbecke (1798 – 1872), whose rewritten constitution was adopted by parliament in 1848. It changed the Netherlands into a parliamentary democracy, substantially reducing the role of the king in state affairs.

Netherlands, Scheveningen: Dutch Liberal party (VVD) supporters celebrate during national election night late on June 9, 2010 in Scheveningen




Comment here on the article, or if you have a suggestion to improve this article, please click here.

If you believe any of the information on this page is incorrect or out-of-date, please let us know. Expatica makes every effort to ensure its articles are as comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date as possible, but we're also grateful for any help! (If you want to contact Expatica for any other reason, please follow the instructions on this website's contact page.)

Captcha Note: Characters are case sensitive
The details you provide on this page will not be used to send any unsolicited e-mail, and will not be sold to a third party. Privacy policy .

0 Comments To This Article