Politics of the Netherlands
The politics of the Netherlands is that of a indirect democracy. It has a constitution and a monarchy that operates within the constitution. The democratic structure is determined by a parliament (the legislative branch) and a government (the executive branch). The government depends on the confidence of the parliament, but the two branches aren't strictly separated (the parliamentary system).
The parliament is called the States General (Dutch: Staten-Generaal) and consists of two chambers: a lower house, the so-called Second Chamber (Dutch: Tweede Kamer), comparable with the House of Representatives in other countries, and a upper house, the so-called First Chamber (Dutch: Eerste Kamer), comparable with the Senate in other countries, and often called likewise.
The Netherlands is officially called the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is composed of four countries: the Netherlands itself (the European part) and three island countries in the Caribbean: Aruba, Curaçao and Saint Martin. Three other islands in the Caribbean that belong to the Netherlands have a status of special municipalities of the Netherlands, the so-called Caribbean Netherlands.
Current government is the Third Rutte cabinet, a coalition of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD, a conservative liberal party), the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA, a Christian democratic party), Democrats 66 (D66, a social liberal party), and the ChristianUnion (CU, an orthodox Christian democratic party).
The Third Rutte Cabinet was established on October 26, 2017. Prime Minister has been VVD politician Mark Rutte since 2010.
The following 13 political parties are in parliament:
- 50+ - 50PLUS (Dutch: 50PLUS), a party focused on the interests of elder people.
- CDA - Christian Democratic Appeal (Dutch: Christen-Democratisch Appèl), a Christian democratic party. Previous Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende is a CDA member.
- CU - ChristianUnion (Dutch: ChristenUnie), an orthodox Christian democratic party.
- D66 - Democrats 66 (Dutch: Democraten 66), a social liberal party, founded in 1966.
- DENK - DENK (Dutch: DENK), a party aiming at non-western citizens.
- FvD - Forum for Democracy (Dutch: Forum voor Democratie), a party critical about the current political situation.
- GL - GreenLeft (Dutch: GroenLinks), a leftist party that pays special attention to the environment.
- PvdA - Labour Party (Dutch: Partij van de Arbeid), a social democratic party.
- PvdD - Party for the Animals (Dutch: Partij voor de Dieren), a party for animal rights and against global warming.
- PVV - Party for Freedom (Dutch: Partij voor de Vrijheid), a populist party, established by Geert Wilders.
- SGP - Reformed Political Party (Dutch: Staatkundig Gereformeerde Partij), a conservative Calvinist party.
- SP - Socialist Party (Dutch: Socialistische Partij), a socialist party.
- VVD - People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (Dutch: Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie), a conservative liberal party. Current Prime Minister Mark Rutte is a VVD member.
No more in parliament:
Political leaders sorted by the number of seats in parliament.