People's Party for Freedom and Democracy
Learn more about People's Party for Freedom and Democracy
|Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie|
|Founded||24 january, 1948|
|Headquarters|| Thorbeckehuis |
Laan Copes van Cattenburch, 52 Den Haag
|Political Ideology||Liberalism, Conservative liberalism|
|International Affiliation||Liberal International|
|European Affiliation||European Liberal, Democrat and Reform Party|
|European Parliament Group||ALDE|
|Colours||Blue and Orange|
|See also||Politics of the Netherlands|
The People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) (Dutch: Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie) is a Dutch liberal political party. The VVD is the most vociferous supporter of private enterprise in the Netherlands—although supportive of the welfare state<ref>Hans Daalder, Ruud Koole (1988). “Liberal Parties in the Netherlands”, Emil Joseph Kirchner: Liberal Parties in Western Europe. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521323940.</ref>—and is often perceived a centre-right, free market or conservative liberal party<ref>Andeweg R.B. and G.A. Irwin Government & Politics in the Netherlands 2002 Palgrave p. 48</ref>, in contrast to the progressive, social or left-liberal D66. The VVD currently participates in the Third Balkenende cabinet.
 Party History
The VVD was founded in 1948 as a continuation of the Freedom Party, which was a continuation of the Liberal State Party, a pre-war conservative liberal party. They were joined by liberals from the social-democratic PvdA, led by Pieter Oud. The liberals from the PvdA were members of the pre-war social liberal VDB, who had joined the PvdA in the post-war Doorbraak-movement. They were unhappy with the social-democratic orientation of the PvdA.
Between 1948 and 1952 the VVD took part in the broad cabinets led by the social-democrat Drees. The party was a junior partner with only eight seats to the Catholic KVP and social-democratic PvdA, which both had around thirty seats. The party's leadership was in the hands of the respected former PvdA member Oud. The Drees cabinet laid the foundation for the welfare state and decolonization of the Dutch Indies. In the 1952 elections the VVD gained one seat, but did not join government. They were rewarded for their opposition in 1956, receiving thirteen seats. But they were still kept out of government until the 1959 elections, which were held early because of cabinet crisis. They earned nineteen seats and the party entered government together with the Protestant ARP and CHU and the Catholic KVP.
In 1963 Oud left politics, and he was succeeded by the minister of Home Affairs Edzo Toxopeus. Toxopeus lost three seats in the 1963 elections, but the VVD remained in government. Meanwhile internal debate developed. In 1962 some progressive VVD members founded the Liberal Democratic Centre (Liberaal Democratisch Centrum; LDC) which was supposed to moved the VVD in a more progressive direction. In 1966 many of the LDC-members left the VVD and joined the newly founded social-liberal party D66. In 1966 there was a conflict between the VVD-ministers and their Christian-democratic counterparts. The cabinet fell and without elections it was replaced by the social-democratic/Christian-democratic cabinet-Cals, which fell after a few months. In the following 1967 elections the VVD remained relatively stable and entered the Cabinet-de Jong.
In the 1971 elections the VVD lost one seat and their cabinet lost its majority. A cabinet was formed with the Christian-democratic parties, the VVD and the social-democratic offshoot DS70. This cabinet fell after a few months. Meanwhile a charismatic young MP named Hans Wiegel had attracted considerable attention. He became the new leader of the VVD: in 1971 he became the new fractievoorzitter, in 1972 he was appointed lijsttrekker. With Wiegel the VVD oriented towards a new political course, reforming the welfare state, cutting taxes etc. Wiegel did not shun from conflict with the PvdA and the trade unions. With this new course came a new electorate: working class and middle class voters, who because of individualization and depillarization were more easy to attract. The course was very profitable: in the heavily polarized elections of 1972 the VVD won six seats. The VVD was kept out of government by the social-democratic/Christian-democratic-Den Uyl. In 1977 the VVD again won six seats bringing its total to twenty-eight seats. When lengthy formation talks between the social-democrats and Christian-democrats finally led to final break the VVD formed a government with the Christian-democratic CDA, with only a majority of two seats.
In the 1981 elections the VVD lost two seats and its partner the CDA lost even more. The cabinet was without a majority and a CDA/PvdA/D66 cabinet was formed, which fell after a few months. In 1982 Hans Wiegel left politics to become Queen's Commissioner in Friesland, he was succeeded by Ed Nijpels. In the 1982 elections Nijpels' VVD won ten seats, bringing its total up to 36. In entered government with the CDA again under CDA-leader Ruud Lubbers. The cabinet began a program of radical reform of the welfare state, which is still implemented today. The VVD lost nine seats in the 1986 elections but the cabinet nonetheless retained its majority. This was blamed on the person of Nijpels, who stood down as leader of the VVD. He was succeeded by Joris Voorhoeve. In 1989 the CDA/VVD cabinet fell over a minor point. In the subsequent elections the VVD lost five seats, leaving only twenty-two. The VVD was kept out of government. Voorhoeve was replaced by the charismatic intellectual Frits Bolkestein.
Bolkestein's VVD was one of the victors of the 1994 elections: they won nine seats. It formed an unprecedented government with the social-democratic PvdA and the social-liberal D66. The so-called purple cabinet led by Wim Kok. Like many of his predecessors the VVD-leader Bolkestein remained in parliament, his political style was characterized by some as "opposition to one's own government". This style was very successful and the VVD won seven seats in the 1998 elections becoming the second party in parliament with thirty-eight seats. The VVD formed a second Purple cabinet with the PvdA and D66. Bolkestein left Dutch politics in 1999 to become European Commissioner. He was replaced by the social-liberal Hans Dijkstal.
In the heavily polarized 2002 elections, dominated by the rise of Pim Fortuyn, the VVD lost fourteen seats, leaving only twenty-four. The VVD nonetheless entered a cabinet with the CDA and the populist LPF. Dijkstal stood down, he was replaced by the popular former minister of finance Gerrit Zalm. After a few months Zalm "pulled the plug" out of the VVD/CDA/LPF-cabinet.
In the 2003 elections the VVD won only four seats, making a total of twenty-eight. The party expected to do much better, having adopted most of Fortuyn's proposals on migration and integration. The VVD unwillingly entered the VVD/CDA/D66-cabinet with Zalm returning to the ministry of Finance. He was replaced as partyleader by Jozias van Aartsen, former foreign minister. On September 2nd, 2004, VVD MP Geert Wilders left the party after a dispute with parliamentary chairman Van Aartsen. He has chosen to continue as an independent or een-mansfractie in the Tweede Kamer. In 2006 the party lost a considerable number of seats in the municipal elections, prompting parliamentary leader Jozias van Aartsen to step down. Willibrord van Beek was subsequently appointed parliamentary leader ad interim. In the subsequent party leadership run-off Mark Rutte was elected as the leader, beating Rita Verdonk and Jelleke Veenendaal<ref> NRC Handelsblad 31 May 2006 Link Dutch language</ref>.
The 2006 election campaign did not start of well, top candidate Mark Rutte was criticized by his own parliamentary party for being invisible in the campaign, and unable to break the attention away from the duel between current christian-democratic prime-minister Jan Peter Balkenende and Wouter Bos of the Labour Party. However, the VVD's campaign started relatively late.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> The election polls show a loss for the VVD; old VVD deputy prime-minster Hans Wiegel blamed a poorly ran VVD campaign for this, caused by the heavily contested VVD leadership run-off between Mark Rutte and Rita Verdonk earlier in the year. Verdonk has her eyes on the deputy-minister post, while cabinet posts are normally decided upon by the political leader of the VVD, Mark Rutte.<ref>Template error: argument title is required.</ref>. On election day, the party received a vote total enough for twenty-two seats, a loss of six seats. When the official election results were announced on Monday 27 November, 2006, preferential votes became known as well, showing that second candidate on the list Rita Verdonk obtained more votes than the VVD's top candidate, Mark Rutte. Rutte received 553,200 votes, Verdonk 620,555.<ref>(Dutch)Template:Cite web</ref> This lead Verdonk to call for a party commission that would investigate the party leadership position, as consequence of the situation of her obtaining more votes in the general election than Rutte, creating a shortly-lived crisis in the party.<ref>(Dutch)"Verdonk wil onderzoek naar leiderschap VVD", Elsevier, 2006-11-28. </ref> A crisis was averted when Rutte called for an ultimatum on his leadership, which Verdonk had reconcile to, by rejecting her proposal for a party commission.<ref>(Dutch)"Verdonk haalt bakzeil over leiderschap VVD", Elsevier, 2006-11-29.</ref>
The VVD a merger of the Party of Freedom and Freethinking Democratic dissenters within the PvdA. In this name, both tendencies, classical liberalism ("Freedom") and social liberalism ("People's Party"; "Democracy") are represented. Although a liberal party, the VVD did not openly call itself "liberal", mainly because of the still lingering "negative" connotations of liberalism derived from new policies developed during the Great Depression and War.
 Ideology & Issues
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</span> The VVD is a party founded on liberal philosophy <ref>VVD website statement Link English language</ref>, traditionally being the most ardent supporter of 'free markets' of all Dutch political parties, promoting fiscal responsibility, economic freedom, democracy and international cooperation, and in general committed to the idea of the welfare state. After 1971 the party became more populist, although liberal elements remain strong within the party<ref>Andeweg R.B. and G.A. Irwin Government & Politics in the Netherlands 2002 Palgrave p. 48</ref>. From this period on the VVD became more sceptical towards the current welfare state, advocating reform of the welfare state and lower taxes in order to increase economic growth. As such it supported neo-liberal reforms to the welfare state. Often political commentators and political scientists refer to the VVD as a conservative liberal party, in contrast to D66, which is perceived to be a more progressive liberal party. The recent leadership election was interpreted by many as a conflict between the liberal and conservative wings of the party, with Rutte, the 'liberal' candidate, winning from Verdonk, the 'conservative' or 'populist' candidate <ref>"Een Liberale VVD" in De Volkskrant June 1, 2006 accessible here</ref>. The election was rather close, with the votes nearly 50-50 split between Rutte and Verdonk. This enforced the image of the VVD as a conservative-oriented liberal party.
The most important principle for the VVD has always been individual freedom.
The principles of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) are outlined in the Liberal Manifesto ("Liberaal Manifest") and the election programs. The Liberal Manifesto details the principles and foundations of the party, and is a general outlook on the direction of the party. The election programs are more oriented to practicial politics.
 Liberal Manifesto
The last Liberal Manifesto of the VVD was published in September, 2005. It develops a broad outline around the themes of democracy, security, freedom and citizenship, along with a vision of the future of party's internal structure. Below some of the points from the Manifesto are presented:
- The Manifesto calls for a directly elected Minister-President, whereby voters can show their preference on the ballot.
- The question of (advisory) referendums is left open as a possibility.
- Mayors should be directly elected by the people.
- Commitment to the Four Freedoms of the European Union.
- A common policy on defense and security in the European Union is called for.
- The principle of non-discrimination should be given more importance than the exercise of religion.
- 'Social rights' are to be continued. These are not simple 'rights', but they also create an 'obligation'.
- Euthanasia is part of a person's 'right' to self-determination.
- Commitment to an open economy, with a 'regulated free-market', including Patents.
- Support for the freedom of contract. No nationally binding collective bargaining agreements.
- Minimize the option of dual citizenship.
- Social security should only be fully open for Dutch nationals. Migrants will have to integrate in order to become citizens.
 Election program
The next parliamentary elections in the Netherlands are in 2006. The VVD has setup a program commission chaired by BT executive Ben Verwaayen. The concept program was released on August 28, 2006. The members of the VVD had a final vote on the program on September 30, 2006. Some points from the program are:
- Keeping the social security age at 65.
- An across the board income tax reduction of 3%.
- Mortgage interest payments remain deductible.
- "Free" daycare for working people.
- 50% reduction of the inheritance tax.
In this table the election results of the VVD in Tweede Kamer, Eerste Kamer, Provincial 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. It also possible that the party leader is member of cabinet, if the VVD was part of the governing coalition, the "highest ranking" minister is listed. The membership of the VVD and the party chair are also included.
|1948||8||3||n/a||37||Pieter Oud||Pieter Oud||Dirk Stikker||22175||Pieter Oud|
|1949||8||3||n/a||37||no elections||Pieter Oud||Dirk Stikker||21771||Pieter Oud|
|1950||8||3||n/a||49||no elections||Pieter Oud||Dirk Stikker||21271||Pieter Oud|
|1951||8||4||n/a||49||no elections||Pieter Oud||Dirk Stikker||26777||Pieter Oud|
|1952||9||4||n/a||49||Pieter Oud||Pieter Oud||opposition||30000||Pieter Oud|
|1953||9||4||n/a||49||no elections||Pieter Oud||opposition||35000||Pieter Oud|
|1954||9||4||n/a||50||no elections||Pieter Oud||opposition||30000||Pieter Oud|
|1955||9||4||n/a||50||no elections||Pieter Oud||opposition||unknown||Pieter Oud|
|1956||13||7||n/a||50||Pieter Oud||Pieter Oud||opposition||unknown||Pieter Oud|
|1957||13||7||n/a||50||no elections||Pieter Oud||opposition||unknown||Pieter Oud|
|1958||13||7||n/a||63||no elections||Pieter Oud||opposition||unknown||Pieter Oud|
|1959||19||7||n/a||63||Pieter Oud||Pieter Oud||Henk Korthals||35000||Pieter Oud|
|1960||19||8||n/a||63||no elections||Pieter Oud||Henk Korthals||unknown||Pieter Oud|
|1961||19||8||n/a||63||no elections||Pieter Oud||Henk Korthals||unknown||Pieter Oud|
|1962||19||8||n/a||64||no elections||Pieter Oud||Henk Korthals||unknown||Pieter Oud|
|1963||16||7||n/a||64||Edzo Toxopeus||Willem Geertsema||Edzo Toxopeus||30000||Pieter Oud|
|1964||16||7||n/a||64||no elections||Willem Geertsema||Edzo Toxopeus||unknown||K. van der Pols|
|1965||16||7||n/a||64||no elections||Edzo Toxopeus||opposition||30000||K. van der Pols|
|1966||16||8||n/a||65||no elections||Edzo Toxopeus||opposition||35000||K. van der Pols|
|1967||17||8||n/a||65||Edzo Toxopeus||Edzo Toxopeus||Johan Witteveen||unknown||K. van der Pols|
|1968||17||8||n/a||65||no elections||Edzo Toxopeus||Johan Witteveen||35000||K. van der Pols|
|1969||17||8||n/a||65||no elections||Willem Geertsema||Johan Witteveen||unknown||Haya van Someren|
|1970||17||8||n/a||80||no elections||Willem Geertsema||Johan Witteveen||38000||Haya van Someren|
|1971||16||8||n/a||80||Willem Geertsema||Hans Wiegel||Willem Geertsema||unknown||Haya van Someren|
|1972||22||8||n/a||80||Hans Wiegel||Hans Wiegel||Willem Geertsema||41536||Haya van Someren|
|1973||22||8||n/a||80||no elections||Hans Wiegel||opposition||68414||Haya van Someren|
|1974||22||12||n/a||131||no elections||Hans Wiegel||opposition||78759||Haya van Someren|
|1975||22||12||n/a||131||no elections||Hans Wiegel||opposition||82831||Frits Korthals Altes|
|1976||22||12||n/a||131||no elections||Hans Wiegel||opposition||87751||Frits Korthals Altes|
|1977||28||15||n/a||131||Hans Wiegel||Koos Rietkerk||Hans Wiegel||97396||Frits Korthals Altes|
|1978||28||15||n/a||118||no elections||Koos Rietkerk||Hans Wiegel||100510||Frits Korthals Altes|
|1979||28||15||4||118||no elections||Koos Rietkerk||Hans Wiegel||92341||Frits Korthals Altes|
|1980||28||13||4||118||no elections||Koos Rietkerk||Hans Wiegel||85881||Frits Korthals Altes|
|1981||26||12||4||118||Hans Wiegel||Hans Wiegel||opposition||92830||J. Kamminga|
|1982||36||12||4||157||Ed Nijpels||Ed Nijpels||Gijs van Aardenne||102888||J. Kamminga|
|1983||36||17||4||157||no elections||Ed Nijpels||Gijs van Aardenne||95528||J. Kamminga|
|1984||36||17||5||157||no elections||Ed Nijpels||Gijs van Aardenne||89120||J. Kamminga|
|1985||36||17||5||157||no elections||Ed Nijpels||Gijs van Aardenne||86821||J. Kamminga|
|1986||27||16||5||157||Ed Nijpels||Joris Voorhoeve||Rudolf de Korte||84617||J. Kamminga|
|1987||27||12||5||112||no elections||Joris Voorhoeve||Rudolf de Korte||76282||L. Ginjaar|
|1988||27||12||5||112||no elections||Joris Voorhoeve||Rudolf de Korte||68735||L. Ginjaar|
|1989||22||12||3||112||Joris Voorhoeve||Joris Voorhoeve||opposition||64554||L. Ginjaar|
|1990||22||12||3||112||no elections||Frits Bolkestein||opposition||59074||L. Ginjaar|
|1991||22||12||3||116||no elections||Frits Bolkestein||opposition||55654||L. Ginjaar|
|1992||22||12||3||116||no elections||Frits Bolkestein||opposition||53755||E.J.J.E. van Leeuwen-Schut|
|1993||22||12||3||116||no elections||Frits Bolkestein||opposition||53390||E.J.J.E. van Leeuwen-Schut|
|1994||31||12||6||116||Frits Bolkestein||Frits Bolkestein||Hans Dijkstal||53465||W.K. Hoekzema|
|1995||31||23||6||207||no elections||Frits Bolkestein||Hans Dijkstal||53465||W.K. Hoekzema|
|1996||31||23||6||207||no elections||Frits Bolkestein||Hans Dijkstal||52355||W.K. Hoekzema|
|1997||31||23||6||207||no elections||Frits Bolkestein||Hans Dijkstal||52197||W.K. Hoekzema|
|1998||38||23||6||207||Hans Dijkstal||Hans Dijkstal||Annemarie Jorritsma||51585||W.K. Hoekzema|
|1999||38||19||6||182||no elections||Hans Dijkstal||Annemarie Jorritsma||48991||Bas Eenhoorn|
|2000||38||19||6||182||no elections||Hans Dijkstal||Annemarie Jorritsma||48092||Bas Eenhoorn|
|2001||38||19||6||182||no elections||Hans Dijkstal||Annemarie Jorritsma||47441||Bas Eenhoorn|
|2002||24||19||6||182||Hans Dijkstal||Gerrit Zalm||Johan Remkes||47441||Bas Eenhoorn|
|2003||28||15||6||138||Gerrit Zalm||Jozias van Aartsen||Gerrit Zalm||46391||Bas Eenhoorn|
|2004||27||15||4||138||no election||Jozias van Aartsen||Gerrit Zalm||44099||Jan van Zanen|
|2005||27||15||4||138||no election||Jozias van Aartsen||Gerrit Zalm||41861||Jan van Zanen|
|2006||27||15||4||138||Mark Rutte||Mark Rutte||Gerrit Zalm||40157||Jan van Zanen|
The VVD is part of the third cabinet Balkenende and supplies six ministers and four junior ministers (staatssecretarissen).
- Gerrit Zalm - Minister of Finance and vice-prime minister
- Pieter Winsemius - Minister of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment
- Hans Hoogervorst - Minister of Health, Welfare and Sports
- Henk Kamp - Minister of Defense
- Johan Remkes - Minister of Home Affairs
- Rita Verdonk - Minister without portfolio for Migration and Integration
- Henk van Hoof - Staatssecretaris for Social Affairs
- Atzo Nicolaï - Staatssecretaris for Foreign Affairs, especially for European Affairs
- Bruno Bruins - Staatssecretaris for Education, Culture and Science, especially for Higher Education and Science
- Melanie Schultz van Haegen-Maas Geesteranus - Staatssecretaris of Transport and Waterworks
 Members of the Tweede Kamer
After the 2003 elections the party has 27 representatives in the lower house of parliament:
- Frans Weisglas, Chairman of the Lower House of Parliamenty
- Mark Rutte fractievoorzitter
- Edith Schippers
- Willibrord van Beek
- Jozias van Aartsen
- Charlie Aptroot
- Hans van Baalen
- Eric Balemans
- Stef Blok
- Ineke Dezentjé Hamming-Bluemink
- Eske van Egerschot
- Laetitia Griffith
- Pieter Hofstra
- Paul de Krom
- Janmarc Lenards
- Ruud Luchtenveld
- Anouchka van Miltenburg
- Annette Nijs
- Gert-Jan Oplaat
- Fadime Örgü
- Ed van der Sande
- Anton van Schijndel
- Janneke Snijder-Hazelhoff
- Zsolt Szabó
- Jelleke Veenendaal
- Arno Visser
- Bibi de Vries
- Frans Weekers
 Members of the Eerste Kamer
After the 2003 Upper House elections the party has 15 representatives in the Upper House:
- Uri Rosenthal, fractievoorzitter
- Fred de Graaf, vice-fractievoorzitter
- Heleen Dupuis, fractiesecretaris
- Marbeth Bierman-Beukema toe Water
- Ger Biermans
- Nicole van den Broek-Laman Trip
- Ankie Broekers-Knol
- Dick Dees
- Jan van Heukelum
- Willem Hoekzema
- Elsabe Kalsbeek-Schimmelpenninck van der Oije
- Niek Ketting
- Paul Luijten
- Cees van den Oosten
- Paula Swenker
 Members of the European Parliament
After the 2004 European Parliament elections the party has 4 representatives in the European Parliament:
VVD MEPs are part of the European Liberal, Democrat and Reform Party.
 Muncipal and Provincial Government
Provincial government<h4> The VVD provides three of twelve Queen's Commissioners, former party-leader Ed Nijpels is Queen's Commissioner in Friesland. The VVD is part of every college of Gedeputeerde Staten (provincial executive) except for Groningen In the following figure one can see the election results of the provincial election of 2003 per province. It shows the areas where the VVD is strong, namely the Randstad urban area that consists out of the provinces North and South Holland, Utrecht and (parts of) Flevoland. The party is weak in peripheral provinces like Friesland, Overijssel, Zeeland and Limburg.
|Province||Votes (%)||Result (seats)|
The electorate of the VVD historically consisted out of atheist and latitudinarian protestant voters out of higher and middle classes. This group still forms an important part of its electorate, but especially under the leadership of Wiegel the VVD has branched out to lower classes.
The highest organ of the VVD is the General Assembly, it is formed by delegates from the municipal branches. 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. Since 2002 the General Assembly can write out a referendum under all members. The lijsttrekker of the Second Chamber candidate list is expected to elected this way.
The chairman of all the branches form the Party Council, which advises the Party Board in the months that the General Assembly does not convene. This is important forum within the party. Some journalists call these chairmen the "party barons" of the party.
The current members of the party board are: <ref>Wie is wie: Hoofdbestuur, VVD Website</ref>
The youth-organization of the VVD is the Youth Organisation Freedom and Democracy (Jongeren Organisatie voor Vrijheid en Democratie; JOVD), which as a member of the Liberal Youth Movement of the European Union and the International Federation of Liberal and Radical Youth.
The education institute of the VVD is the Haya van Someren Foundation. The Scientific institute Prof.mr. B.M. Telders Foundation publishes the magzine Liberal Reveil every two months. The party published the magazine Politics! (Politiek!) quarterly.
The VVD is a member of the European Liberal, Democrat and Reform Party (ELDR), the party of Liberals and Democrats in the European Union, which is a component of Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. Internationally it is a member of the Liberal International.
The pillarization around the VVD has always been very weak. The broadcasters AVRO and TROS, and the news papers NRC Handelsblad and the Financiële Telegraaf are relatively friendly to the VVD. The employers' organization VNO-NCW has strong personal links with the VVD.
<h3>Relationships to other parties<h3>
The VVD has always been a relatively isolated party. The VVD cooperates on the European and the international level with the social-liberal D66. It has a long history of cabinet of cooperation with the CDA and its Christian-democratic predecessors.
- Jan van Zanen (chairman)
- Ina Adema (vice-chairman)
- Rogier van der Sande (vice-chairman)
- Gert Scholtes (secretary-general)
- Jan Dirk Smit (Treasurer)
- Niels Joosten
- Tila zur Lage-Simons
- Mark Dijk
- Marijke Tsoutsanis-v.d. Koogh
 International Comparison
The VVD is a more economic liberal party, committed to the free market, and is comparable to the German FDP. In its economic policies it is closer to the British Conservatives than the Liberal Democrats. In the United States it could be compared to centrist and liberal Republicans, like Lincoln Chafee and Rudy Giuliani, though its policy goals more closely resemble those articulated by Libertarians. In its support for free markets and national security, the VVD resembles the Republicans, where as in its support for freedom in personal matters, the VVD resembles the Democrats.
 See also
 External links
- People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) official site
|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)|
es:Partido Popular por la Libertad y la Democracia eo:Popola Partio por Libereco kaj Demokratio fr:Parti populaire libéral et démocrate (Pays-Bas) it:Partito del Popolo per la Libertà e la Democrazia nl:Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie no:Folkepartiet for frihet og demokrati pt:Partido Popular para a Liberdade e Democracia ru:Народная партия за свободу и демократиюsv:Folkpartiet för Frihet och Demokrati