Learn more about Leefbaar Rotterdam
Leefbaar Rotterdam (Livable Rotterdam) is a political party in the large Dutch city of Rotterdam. It won the council elections of March 2002 due to the charismatic leadership of Pim Fortuyn. This made it the city's largest political party, a position held for 30 years by PvdA (Labour Party). Leefbaar Rotterdam started as a spin-off of the national party Leefbaar Nederland but is commonly seen as the local party of the LPF (Lijst Pim Fortuyn), the national party of Pim Fortuyn which was founded just after Pim Fortuyn was fired as lijsttrekker of the Leefbaar Nederland party in spring 2002.
The party consists of a large number of members that are new to politics and were attracted to Fortuyn's dreams of political change. The party attracts attention and criticism for the impolitic behavior of its members and its unconventional, sometimes right wing vision, especially on immigration and tolerance. This has resulted in numerous splits in the faction since 2002. Nieuw Rechts is an example of this.
In the municipal elections of 7 March 2006 Leefbaar Rotterdam lost 5%, dropping to 29,7% of their votes and PvdA gained 15%, making the latter the biggest party again, with 37,4% of the votes. Before the elections, Leefbaar Rotterdam declared it would not enter in a coalition with PvdA and several members even declared that, irrespective of the coalition, they would leave the council if PvdA would become the biggest party (which has happened).
Leefbaar Rotterdam's shrine is the recently erected statue of the defunct Pim Fortuyn which comes complete with Fortuyn's caniche dog which lies in downtown Rotterdam. This is a gathering point where the party's sympathizers come and meet on a regular basis and discuss contentious issues, often on a vituperative tone.