Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Liberal democracy in the UK and the Netherlands - LibDems and VDD - D66

In the Netherlands, the VVD part is a member of a very "conservative" government coalition between CDA-VVD with the support of the PVV. Some argue its the most conservative government in the Netherlands in 60 years.

The UK's Liberal Democrats are also in a coalition government in the UK (albeit without UKIP or BNP support).

In the Netherlands though there is another liberal democrat party, D66. Both VVD and D66 are members of ELDR and ALDE. So are the Liberal Democrats.

Which brings me to following thoughts:

The future of the UK's Liberal Democrats? The Dutch analogy-case.

There are 2 parties in the Netherlands that are members of the ELDR and ALDE: VVD and D66

The D66 (in its former name, Liberal Democratic Centre) spun off from the VVD, in 1962, formally in 1966 (hence the 66 in the D66).

The VVD was founded in 1948 and were joined by the Comité-Oud, a group of liberal members of the Labour Party (PvdA), led by Pieter Oud.

So the formation of the VVD resembles that of the UK Liberal Democrats by a merger of the Liberals and the SDP (which had spun off from Labour a few years earlier)!

In view of the cgov oalition of the LibDems with the Tories which was against what the grassroots of the partu wanted, maybe a split as in NL (in 1962/1966) is in the cards (of fate) for the LibDems too. Maybe. Maybe not. Only food for thought (call it an intellectual exercise if it makes you feel better about it).


  1. An interesting thought, however, unless the UK electoral law would change from FPTP to some for of proportional representation, this would be electoral suicide for the Liberal Democrats.

    However, in the Netherlands, with a fully proportional electoral system (to obtain one seat in the Dutch House of Commons with 150 MPs, you need to obtain just 0.67%, there is room for two liberal parties, where D66 on average obtained nearly 10% of the vote and the VVD nearly 20%.

    Daniel from Brussels

    1. Daniel,
      I agree with the difference in electoral systems point, but another factor is the IMO gap created between Tory-friendly LibDems and the rest (including Labour friendly ones), both between pols/party members and also (and especially) between the libdem voters.
      In any case, hard times ahead for the LibDems and the libdems.


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