Politics of the Netherlands
The politics of the Netherlands is that of an 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 18 political parties are in parliament:
- 50+ - 50PLUS (Dutch: 50PLUS), a party focused on the interests of elder people.
- BIJ1 - BIJ1 (Dutch: BIJ1), a party focused on combatting racism and gender discrimination.
- BBB - FarmerCitizenMovement (Dutch: BoerBurgerBeweging), a party focused on the interests of the rural environment.
- 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.
- JA21 - JA21 (Dutch: JA21), a conservative liberal and nationalist party.
- OSF - Independent Senate Group (Dutch: Onafhankelijke Senaatsfractie), a collection of local parties, for example the Frisian National Party (FNP)
- 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.
- Volt - Volt Netherlands (Dutch: Volt Nederland), a pan-European 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:
- AOV - General Senior Alliance (Dutch: Algemeen Ouderen Verbond), a former party focused on the interests of elder people.
- BP - Farmers' Party (Dutch: Boerenpartij), a former party focused on the interests of farmers.
- CD - Centre Democrats (Dutch: Centrum Democraten), a former anti-immigration party.
- DS'70 - Democratic Socialists 1970 (Dutch: Democratisch-Socialisten 1970), a former moderate social democratic party, a split from the PvdA.
- LN - Livable Netherlands (Dutch: Leefbaar Nederland), a former populist party.
- LPF - Pim Fortuyn List (Dutch: Lijst Pim Fortuyn), a former populist party established by the in 2002 murdered politician Pim Fortuyn.
Political leaders since March 2021, sorted by the number of seats in the House of Representatives.
Parties represented only in the Senate.
- Split from Forum for Democracy (FVD).
- Previously 50PLUS (50+).
- Split from the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA).
- Group Nanninga belongs to JA21.