Livable Netherlands

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Livable Netherlands (in Dutch: Leefbaar Nederland, LN) was a Dutch populist political party. Livable Netherlands was the stepping stone for Pim Fortuyn's political career.


[edit] Party History

Historically there have always been parties in provincial and municipal legislatures that were independent from the national party system. In the predominantly Roman Catholic south of the Netherlands, the Catholic People's Party gained eighty percent of the vote in national elections, local and provincial groups of independents were organized.

During the 1980s, independent parties began to spread to other parts of the Netherlands. Some successful groups like Independent Rijswijk began to move towards a national movement. A congress for this purpose held in 1989 did not provide much result, although independent parties were still very successful in municipal elections especially in Hilversum and Utrecht.

In 1999, prominent media personalities Henk Westbroek and Jan Nagel, chairs of the highly successful Leefbaar Utrecht and Leefbaar Hilversum parties respectively, founded Leefbaar Nederland as a spin off from their local parties. Nagel became the party's chair. Nagel had previously been chair of the VARA, a broadcaster linked to the PvdA.

In 2001 the party's support and visibility began to increase. They came to be seen as an opposition movement against the Second cabinet Kok. In November 2001 Pim Fortuyn was elected as the party's lijsttrekker. On February 10, a few months before the election he was discharged because of a controversial interview published in the Volkskrant newspaper. Fortuyn subsequently organized his own party, the Lijst Pim Fortuyn. On March 10, the Amsterdam public prosecutor Fred Teeven was chosen as new lijsttrekker. In the elections of May 2002 the party won only two seats in the Tweede Kamer.

In the elections of 2003, self help guru Emile Ratelband was put forward by the party board as their candidate for the lijsttrekkers' position. Teeven, who had gained some recognition as MP, withdrew his candidacy for the position when a motion of no confidence was not supported by the party's congress. During a tumultuous congress, the twenty-two year old Haitske van der Linde, the daughter of TV personality Wubbo van der Linde and candidate of the party's youth movement J@L, was elected lijsttrekker. She was unable to hold on to the two seats the party held, and the party left parliament. Ratelband, who had formed his own list, was still less successful in the polls. The party tried to abolish itself, but there were not enough members present at the congress to do that, after which the party moved out of public perception. In 2006 the party announced that it would disband it self: it had a large debt from the Ministry of Home Affairs, who had lend them money for the 2003 elections, and had only a handful of paying members left.

[edit] Name

The term Leefbaar was turned into a political brand by the Leefbaar Utrecht and Hilversum parties; the founders tried to reproduce this success by taking over the name.

[edit] Ideology & Issues

The party was a populist party, oriented at democratizing society and solving several difficult political issues pragmatically. The party saw itself as a movement against the 'old parties' and especially those cooperating in the Kok II cabinet.

They had a ten point plan which included:

[edit] Representation

In this table the election results of the LN in Tweede Kamer, Eerste Kamer and European elections is represented, as well as the party's political leadership: the fractievoorzitter, is the chair of the parliamentary party and the lijsttrekker is the party's top candidate in the general election, these posts are normally taken by the party's leader.

Year TK EK EP Lijsttrekker Fractievoorzitter Cabinet
2002 2 0 0 Fred Teeven Fred Teeven opposition
2003 0 0 0 Haitske van der Linde not in parliament extra-parliamenary

[edit] Muncipal and Provincial Government

The municipal and local Leefbaar parties were not an official part of the party. Some of these parties, most notably Leefbaar Rotterdam were however founded around the same time hoping to gain from the same momentum. Many of these parties are represented in provincial and municipal executive and cooperated in several municipal executives. They were highly successful in the 2002 municipal elections, but lost much of their support in the 2006 municipal elections

[edit] Electorate

The party was supported by many independent voters, who no longer felt connected to a particular party.

[edit] Organization

[edit] Organizational structure

The highest organ of the LN is the congress in which every member can participate. It convenes once every year. It appoints the party board and decides the order of the First Chamber, Second Chamber, European Parliament candidates list and has the last say over the party program.

[edit] Linked organisations

The party's youth organisation was called (; J@L). The party published De Leefbaar Koerier (Livable Courier). The scientific institute of the party was called Foundation Scientific Bureau Livable Netherlands, which published De Fundering (The Foundation).

[edit] International Comparison

Internationally, Leefbaar Nederland may be compared to Forza Italia, a populist party centered around a prominent media personality.

[edit] External links


Historic political parties in the Netherlands
Catholic: General League, Roman Catholic People's Party, Roman-Catholic State Party, Catholic People's Party, Catholic National Party, Political Party Radicals, Roman Catholic Party Netherlands
Liberal: Liberal Union, Radical League, Free-thinking Democratic League, League of Free Liberals, Liberal Party, Economic League, Middle Class Party, Neutral Party, Liberal State Party, Freedom Party
Reformed: Anti Revolutionary Party, Christian Historical Voters' League, Free Anti Revolutionary Party, Christian Historical Party, Frisian League, Christian Historical Union, League of Christian Socialists, Christian Democratic Party, Christian Social Party, Christian Democratic Union, Reformed Reformed State Party, Reformed Political Alliance, Reformatory Political Federation, Evangelical People's Party
Communist, Socialist and Social-Democratic: Social Democratic League, Social Democratic Workers' Party, Communist Party of the Netherlands, Socialist Party, Revolutionary Socialist Party, Pacifist Socialist Party, Democratic Socialists '70
Other: Alliance for the Democratization of the Army, Peasants' League, Middle Party for City and Country, Alliance for National Reconstruction, National Socialist Movement, Farmers' Party, New Middle Party, Centre Party, Centre Democrats, General Elderly Alliance, Union 55+, Livable Netherlands
de:Leefbaar Nederland

nl:Leefbaar Nederland

Livable Netherlands

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