Socialist Party (Netherlands)

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Socialistische Partij
Image:SP nl logo 2006.png
Leader Jan Marijnissen
Founded 22 October 1972
Headquarters Partij Bureau SP
Vijverhofstraat, Rotterdam
Political Ideology Socialism
International Affiliation none
European Parliament Group UEL/NGL
Colours Red
See also Politics of the Netherlands

Political parties

The Socialist Party (SP, Dutch: Socialistische Partij) is a Dutch socialist political party. After the 2006 election, the Socialist Party became one of the major parties of the Netherlands with 25 seats of 150, an increase of 16 seats.


[edit] Party History

[edit] Foundation until 1994

The Socialist Party was founded in October 1971 as a Maoist party named the Communist Party of the Netherlands/Marxist-Leninist (Dutch: Kommunistiese Partij Nederland/Marxisties-Leninisties, KPN/ML). This KPN/ML was formed following a split from the Communist Unity Movement of the Netherlands (marxist-leninist) (Dutch: Kommunistische Eenheidsbeweging Nederland KEN(ml)). The issue that provoked the split from KEN(ml) was an intense debate on the role of intellectuals in the class struggle. The founders of KPN/ML, led by Daan Monjé, belonged to the 'Proletarian' wing of the KEN(ml), who did not want an organisation dominated by students and intellectuals. In 1972 KPN/ML changed its name to Socialistiese Partij (Socialist Party). In its early years, the Maoist SP had close links with the Communist Party of China.

The Netherlands
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The SP started to build an impressive network of local parties, with strong local roots. The SP had its own General practitioners' offices, provided advice to citizens and set up local action groups. It developed work within front organisations, for example a separate union called Arbeidersmacht (English: Workers' Power), a separate environmental organisation Milieu Aktie Centrum Nederland (English: Netherlands Environment Action Centre) and its own association of tenants, the Bond van Huurders en Woningzoekenden (English: League of Tenants and Seekers of Housing, BHW). Arbeidersmacht and BHW had been founded as KEN(ml) fronts, but taken over by KPN/ML at the time of the 1971 split. This work resulted in strong representation in several municipal legislatures, Gemeenteraad, notably in Oss and provincial legislatives Provinciale Staten, notably Noord-Brabant province.

The SP practises politics close to the people, especially to the working classes. This led to controversial publications. The booklet "Gastarbeid en Kapitaal" (Migrant labour and Capital), which was published in the 1980s, denounced the migration of foreign workers into the Netherlands. It was seen as a ploy of the capitalists to reduce the class consciousness of the proletariat. There was only one solution to prevent the factionalisation of the Dutch proletariat. Foreign workers were to adapt to Dutch society or move back to their own country. This provoked some local councillors to call the SP the Centrumpartij of the left.

The experience of working in legislatures however also moderated the SP. Since 1977 it attempted to enter the Tweede Kamer. The party failed in 1977, 1981, 1982, 1986 and 1989. In 1991, the party officially abandoned Marxism-Leninism, although this practice had ceased many years earlier.

[edit] After 1994

In 1994 the party's first members of parliament, Remi Poppe and Jan Marijnissen were elected. Its slogan was 'Vote Against' (Dutch: Stem tegen). In the 1990s, the major leftist party, the Labour Party (PvdA), moved to the centre, thus making the SP and the green GroenLinks viable alternatives for some left-wing voters. In 1998 the party was rewarded for its opposition to the purple government and it more than doubled its seats to five. In 1999 Erik Meijer was elected into the European Parliament for the SP.

In 2002 the SP, as only party on the left won seats. Now its slogan was 'Vote in Favor' (Dutch: Stem Voor). It nearly doubled to nine seats. This result was kept in the 2003 elections. Leading up to the 2003 elections, the SP was predicted to win as much as 24 (16%) seats in the polls. These gains failed to materialise however, as many potential SP voters chose to cast strategic votes for the Labour Party (PvdA), who stood a good chance of winning the elections. In the 2004 European elections its one seat was doubled to two.

SP'ers demonstrating in Brussels on 19 March 2005

In the 2005 referendum on the European Constitution the SP was the only left-wing party in parliament to oppose the European constitution. The party grew dramatically in polls but fell slightly after the referendum.

The municipal elections of 2006 saw a huge success for SP, more than doubling its total number of seats. This can in part be explained by the fact that the party participated in many more municipalities, but it can also be seen as a reaction to the so-called 'right-wing winter' in national politics. In a reaction to these results, Marijnissen declared that "SP has grown up today".

After the untimely end of Balkenende II and the minority government of Balkenende III, the SP gained 16 seats in the parliament after the 2006 elections, nearly tripling in size. With 25 seats, the SP became the third party of the Netherlands.

[edit] Name

The party was founded as the Communist Party of the Netherlands/Marxist-Leninist (Dutch: Kommunistiese Partij Nederland/Marxisties-Leninisties, KPN/ML) in 1971. In 1972 it adopted the name Socialistiese Partij, which was spelled in the progressive spelling of that era with -iese instead of -ische. In 1993 the party changed its name to the conventionally spelled Socialistische Partij.

[edit] Ideology and issues

Part of the Politics series on


Christian socialism
Democratic socialism
Libertarian socialism
Revolutionary socialism
Social democracy


Trade unionism
Utopian socialism


Class struggle
Equality of outcome
Proletarian revolution
Social justice

Key issues

Types of socialism
Socialist economics
History of socialism
Criticisms of socialism

People and organizations

List of socialists
First International
Second International
Socialist International

Politics Portal ·  <span class="noprint plainlinksneverexpand" style="white-space:nowrap; font-size:xx-small; {{{style|}"> |
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</span> The party has a democratic socialist ideology. In its manifesto of principals it calls for a society where human dignity, equality and solidarity are most important. Its core issues are employment, social welfare and investing in education, public safety and health care. The party opposes privatisation of public services and is the most vocal Dutch critic of globalization.

[edit] Representation

[edit] Leadership

Leader of the Lower House faction

1994-now Jan Marijnissen


2006: Jan Marijnissen
2003: Jan Marijnissen
2002: Jan Marijnissen
1998: Jan Marijnissen
1994: Jan Marijnissen
1989: Jan Marijnissen

[edit] Members of the Lower House of Parliament

Development of the number of seats in the Lower House, of the 150 available:

1994 - 2
1998 - 5
2002 - 9
2003 - 9
2004 - 8 (Ali Lazrak left)
2006 - 25

After the 2003 elections the party has nine representatives in the Lower House of parliament, on February 2, 2004 Ali Lazrak left the party whip:

  1. Jan Marijnissen, chairperson of the parliamentary party (fractievoorzitter) and the party organisation, MP since 1994.
  2. Agnes Kant, MP since 1994.
  3. Harry van Bommel, MP since 1998
  4. Jan de Wit, MP since 1998, before that member of Eerste Kamer. <ref>Parlement & politiek - Mr. J.M.A.M. de Wit. Downloaded 27 november 2006.</ref>
  5. Krista van Velzen, MP since 2002.
  6. Ewout Irrgang, MP since 6 october 2005, succesor of Piet de Ruiter.
  7. Ronald van Raak, MP since 2006, before that member of Eerste Kamer.
  8. Emile Roemer, MP since 2006.
  9. Renske Leijten, same.
  10. Paul Ulenbelt, same.
  11. Ron Abel, same.
  12. Sharon Gesthuizen, same.
  13. Jasper van Dijk, same.
  14. Sadet Karabulut, same.
  15. Nathalie de Rooij, same.
  16. Hans van Leeuwen, same.
  17. Fons Luijben, same.
  18. Paulus Jansen, same.
  19. Remi Poppe, MP 1994-2002 and since 2006.
  20. Arda Gerkens, MP since 2002.
  21. Rosita van Gijlswijk, MP since 2006.
  22. Henk van Gerven, the same.
  23. Marianne Langkamp, the same.
  24. Paul Lempens, the same.
  25. Hugo Polderman, the same

[edit] Members of the Upper House of Parliament

Development of the number of seats in the Upper House or Senate, of the 75 available:

1999 - 1
2003 - 4

After the 2003 elections the party has five representatives in the Senate:

  1. Tiny Kox, chairperson of the parliamentary party
  2. Anja Meulenbelt
  3. Ronald van Raak
  4. Tineke Slagter

[edit] Members of the European Parliament

Development of the number of seats in the Upper House, of the between 600 to 700 available:

1999 - 1
2004 - 2

SP MEPs are part of the faction European United Left - Nordic Green Left.

After the 2004 European Parliament elections the party has two representatives in the European Parliament:

  1. Erik Meijer
  2. Kartika Liotard

[edit] Local and provincial government

The SP provides no Queen's Commissioners or mayors. Dutch mayors and Queen's Commissioners are appointed by the Minister of the Interior; the SP opposes this procedure, and wants mayors to be elected by the municipality council. Nor is the SP part of any provincial executive, Gedeputeerde Staten. The SP is part of several municipal executives, Colleges van Burgemeester en Wethouders notably in Oss and Nijmegen.

[edit] Electorate

[edit] Organization

[edit] Organizational structure

The highest organ of the SP is the party council, formed by the chairs of all local branches and the party board, it convenes at least four times a year. The party board is elected by the party congress, which is formed by delegates from the municipal branches. The congress decides on the order of the candidates for national and European elections and it has a final say over the party program.

The official chair of the party board is Jan Marijnissen, who also is chair of the parliamentary party. In the Netherlands it is traditional to separate these two offices. The real leader of the party's organisation is the general secretary. The party board further consists of regionally and nationally elected members and the head of the party's youth wing and the editor of the party's magazine.

The SP is sometimes criticised for its allegedly hierarchical organisation. Critics claim not many things are decided within the national party, or even its local branches, without the consent of its leader Jan Marijnissen.<ref>Kagie R. De Socialisten, Achter de Schermen van de SP Mets & Schilt (2004) Amsterdam</ref>

The SP remains a very active in extra-parliamentary protest. Many of its members are active in local campaigning groups, often independent groups dominated by the SP, or in the SP neighbourhood centres, where the party provides help for the working classes.

Two Trotskyist entrist groups currently operate within the SP, Offensive and International Socialists. The SP decided not to allow membership of both the SP and the International Socialists. The similar but very small group Offensief is not considered a factor of power and its approximately 20 members are not banned.

[edit] Linked organisations

The youthwing is called ROOD, jong in de SP (English: RED, Youth within the SP; the word rood is officially written in capitals, but is not an acronym). The SP publishes the magazine the Tribune monthly (which was also the name of a historical CPN newspaper).

[edit] International organisations

The SP is a member of the European United Left. The party is unaffiliated with either the Party of the European Left or the Nordic Green Left Alliance.

[edit] Relationships to other parties

The SP has always been in opposition. On many issues the SP is the most leftwing party in parliament. Between 1994 and 2002 the PvdA had a conscious strategy to isolate the party, always voting against their proposals. The party however did cooperate well with GroenLinks.

[edit] References


[edit] External link

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)
de:Socialistische Partij

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Socialist Party (Netherlands)

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