Party for Freedom
Learn more about Party for Freedom
| Party for Freedom - Group Wilders |
Partij voor de Vrijheid - Groep Wilders
|Political Ideology||Conservatism, Liberalism, Libertarianism|
|European Parliament Group||none|
|Colours||Red, White and Blue|
|See also||Politics of the Netherlands|
The Party for Freedom (Dutch: Partij voor de Vrijheid, PVV) is a Dutch conservative political party. It is led by Geert Wilders, who was the only representative in Dutch parliament of the forerunner of the party, the Group Wilders faction. The party won nine seats in the 2006 general election, making it the fifth largest party in parliament. It is not expected to partake in a coalition government.
The party's history starts with Geert Wilders' departure from the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) in September 2004. Wilders could not reconcile himself with the VVD positive stance towards a possible Turkey assession to the European Union, and left the party disgruntled.
Although the VVD would have expected Wilders to return his parliamentary seat to party, Wilders refused, and continued to sit in parliament as a one-man faction, Groep Wilders (Group Wilders).
In June 2005, Wilders was one of leaders in the campaign against the European Constitution, that was rejected by Dutch voters by 62%.<ref>"Dutch say 'No' to EU constitution", BBC News, 2005-06-02.</ref>
Bart Jan Spruyt, a director of the Edmund Burke Stichting, joined the party in January 2006, in order to formulate a party programme and to train its prospective representatives for the upcoming national election (then still scheduled for 2007).<ref>(Dutch)"Spruyt sluit zich aan bij Geert Wilders", Elsevier, 2006-01-04.</ref> Spruyt would leave the party in the summer of 2006 though, after the the party was unable to provide for a greater conservative movement behind it, and people like Joost Eerdmans and Marco Pastors were unwilling to join the party.<ref>(Dutch)"„Historische kans voorbij”", Reformatorisch Dagblad, 2006-08-17.</ref> After the 2006 elections, Spruyt said he wasn't surprised that the Party for Freedom won in the election, but he maintains that if the Party for Freedom sought this cooperation with Eerdmans and Pastors, the party would have won more seats, even enough so to help a possible CDA-VVD cabinet to a majority.<ref>(Dutch)"Spruyt: Negeren van Wilders onverstandig", Reformatorisch Dagblad, 2006-11-23.</ref>
The party for Freedom combines economic liberalism with a conservative programme towards immigration and culture. The party seeks tax cuts (€16 billion in the 2006 election programme), de-centralization, abolishment of the minimum wage, limiting of child benefits and government subsidies. Towards immigration and culture, the party believes that the Judeo-Christian and humanist traditions should be treated as the dominant culture in the Netherlands, and that immigrants should adapt accordingly. The party wants a halt to immigration from non-western countries. It is skeptical towards the EU project, and is against future EU enlargement with countries like Turkey.
The "Party for Freedom" (Partij voor de Vrijheid) was chosen to remind people of the Freedom Party (Partij van de Vrijheid), a Dutch political party founded just after the Second World War that eventually merged to form the VVD in 1948.<ref>(Dutch)"Groep Wilders wordt Partij voor de Vrijheid", Elsevier, 2006-02-23.</ref>
 Election results (2006-)
|Election year||# of total votes||% of overall vote||# of seats won|
 Members of the Tweede Kamer
- Geert Wilders - parliamentary chairman
- Fleur Agema
- Raymond de Roon
- Hero Brinkman
- Martin Bosma - party secretary
- Dion Graus
- Barry Madlener
- Teun van Dijck
- Sietse Fritsma
 External links
- (Dutch) Home page of Groep Wilders (in Dutch)
- Expatica - 'Turkey in the EU? Never!'
- Wikinews article on declaration of independence
- Group Wilders in the press
|Political parties in the Netherlands|
|Second Chamber:||Christian Democratic Appeal (41) | Labour Party (33) | Socialist Party (25) | People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (22) | Party for Freedom (9) | GreenLeft (7) | ChristianUnion (6) | Democrats 66 (3) | Party for the Animals (2) | Political Reformed Party (2)|
|First Chamber:||Christian Democratic Appeal (23) | Labour Party (19) | People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (15) | GreenLeft (5) | Socialist Party (4)| Democrats 66 (3) | ChristianUnion (3) | List Pim Fortuyn (1) | Political Reformed Party (1) | Independent Senate Fraction (1)|
|European Parliament:||Christian Democratic Appeal (7) | Labour Party (7) | People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (4) | GreenLeft (2) | Socialist Party (2) | Europe Transparent (2) | ChristianUnion/Political Reformed Party (2) | Democrats 66 (1)|