- Labour Party (Netherlands)
Partij van de Arbeid
Leader Job Cohen Party Chairperson Lilianne Ploumen Leader in the Senate Marleen Barth Leader in the House of Representatives Job Cohen Leader in the European Parliament Thijs Berman Founded 9 February 1946 Headquarters Partijbureau PvdA
Herengracht 54 Amsterdam
Youth wing Young Socialists Think Tank Wiardi Beckman Foundation Ideology Social democracy,
Political position Centre-left International affiliation Socialist International European affiliation Party of European Socialists European Parliament Group Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats Official colours Red Senate House of Representatives States-Provincial European Parliament Website http://www.pvda.nl/ Politics of Netherlands
The Labour Party (Dutch: Partij van de Arbeid, PvdA), is a social-democratic political party in the Netherlands. Since the 2003 Dutch General Election, the PvdA has been the second largest political party in the Netherlands. The PvdA was a coalition member in the fourth Balkenende cabinet following 22 February 2007. On 20 February 2010, the party withdrew from the government after arguments over the Dutch role in Afghanistan, leading to the 2010 Dutch General Election. The Labour Party is currently in opposition to the governing Rutte cabinet.
- 1 Party history
- 2 Ideology and issues
- 3 Representation
- 4 Electorate
- 5 Organisation
- 6 References
- 7 External links
The Labour Party (PvdA) was founded on 9 February 1946, through a merger of three parties: the Social Democratic Workers' Party (SDAP), the minor left-liberal Free-thinking Democratic League (VDB) and the small social-Protestant Christian Democratic Union (CDU). They were joined by individuals from Catholic resistance group Christofoor and the Protestant parties Christian Historical Union (CHU) and Anti Revolutionary Party (ARP).
The founders of the PvdA wanted to create a broad party, breaking with the historic tradition of Pillarisation. This desire to come to a new political system was called the Doorbraak. The party combined socialist ideals with liberal, religious and humanist ideas. However, the party was unable to break pillarisation. Instead the new party renewed the close ties that SDAP had with other socialist organisations (see linked organisations). In 1948 some liberal members, led by former VDB leader Pieter Oud, left the PvdA because they were unhappy with the socialist course of the PvdA. Together with the Freedom Party, they formed the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), a conservative-liberal party.
Between 1946 and 1958, the PvdA formed coalition governments with the Catholic People's Party (KVP), and combinations of VVD, ARP and CHU. The KVP and the PvdA together had a large majority in parliament. Since 1948, these cabinets were led by PvdA Prime Minister Willem Drees. Under his leadership the Netherlands recovered from the war, began to build its welfare state and Indonesia became independent.
After the cabinet crisis of 1958, the PvdA was replaced by the VVD. The PvdA was in opposition until 1965. The electoral support of PvdA voters began to decline.
In 1965 a conflict in the KVP-ARP-CHU-VVD cabinet made continuation of the government impossible. The three confessional, Christian-influenced parties turned towards the PvdA. Together they formed the Cals cabinet. This cabinet was also short lived and conflict ridden. The conflicts culminated in the fall of the Cals cabinet over economic policy.
Meanwhile, a younger generation was attempting to gain control of the PvdA. A group of young PvdA members, calling themselves the New Left, changed the party. The New Left wanted to reform the PvdA: they believed the party should become oriented towards the new social movements, adopting their anti-parliamentary strategies and their issues, such as women's liberation, environmental conservation and Third World development. Prominent New Left members were Jan Nagel, André van der Louw and Bram Peper. One of their early victories followed the fall of the Cals cabinet. The party Congress adopted a motion that made it impossible for the PvdA to govern with the KVP and its Protestant allies. In response to the growing power of the New Left group, a group of older, centrist party members, led by Willem Drees' son, Willem Drees Junior founded the New Right. In 1970, it was clear that they lost the conflict within the party and left, founding the party Democratic Socialists '70 (DS70).
Under the New Left, the PvdA started a strategy of polarisation, striving for a cabinet based on a progressive majority in parliament. In order to form that cabinet the PvdA allied itself with the social-liberal party Democrats 66 (D66) and the progressive Christian Political Party of Radicals (PPR). The alliance was called the Progressive Accord (PAK). In the 1971 and 1972 elections, these three parties promised to form a cabinet with a radical common program after the elections. They were unable to gain a majority in either election. In 1971, they were kept out of cabinet, and the party of former PvdA members, DS70, became a partner of the First Biesheuvel cabinet.
In the 1972 elections, neither the PvdA and its allies or the KVP and its allies were able to gain a majority. The two sides were forced to work together. Joop den Uyl, the leader of the PvdA, led the cabinet. The cabinet was an extra-parliamentary cabinet and it was composed of members of the three progressive parties and members of the KVP and the ARP. The cabinet attempted to radically reform government, society and the economy, and a wide range of progressive social reforms were enacted during its time in office, such as significant increases in welfare payments and the indexation of benefits and the minimum wage to the cost of living.
However, it also faced economic decline and was riddled with personal and ideological conflicts. Especially, the relationship between Prime Minister Den Uyl and the KVP Deputy Prime Minister, Van Agt was very problematic. The conflict culminated just before the 1977 elections, the cabinet fell. The 1977 general election were won by the PvdA, but the ideological and personal conflict between Van Agt and Den Uyl prevented the formation of a new centre-left cabinet. After very long cabinet formation talks, the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), itself a new Christian democratic political formation composed of KVP, CHU and ARP, formed government with the VVD, based on a very narrow majority. The PvdA was left in opposition.
In the 1981 general election, the incumbent CDA-VVD cabinet lost their majority. The CDA remained the largest party, but it was forced to co-operate with the PvdA and D66 (the PPR had left the alliance, after losing the 1977 elections). In the new cabinet led by Van Agt, Den Uyl returned to cabinet, now as Deputy Prime Minister. The personal and ideological conflict between Van Agt and Den Uyl culminated in the fall of the cabinet just months after it was formed. The VVD and the CDA regained their majority in the 1982 general election and retained it in the 1986 general election. The PvdA was left in opposition. During this period, the party began to reform. In 1986, Den Uyl left politics, appointing former trade union leader Wim Kok as his successor.
After the 1989 general election, the PvdA returned to cabinet together with the CDA. Kok became Deputy Prime Minister to CDA leader Ruud Lubbers. The PvdA accepted the major economic reforms the previous Lubbers cabinets made, including privatisation of public enterprises and reform of the welfare state. They continued these policies in this cabinet. The cabinet faced heavy protest from the unions and saw major political conflict within the PvdA itself.
In the 1994 general election, the PvdA and CDA coalition lost its majority in parliament. The PvdA however emerged as the biggest party. Kok formed a government together with the conservative-liberal VVD and social-liberal D66. The so-called purple government was a political novelty, because the Christian Democrats had been in government since 1918. The first Kok cabinet continued the economic reforms, but combined this with a progressive outlook on ethical questions and promises of political reform. Kok became very popular prime minister. Kok was not a partisan figure, but combined successful technocratic policies with the charisma of a national leader. In the 1998 general election, the cabinet was rewarded for its stewardship of the economy. The PvdA and the VVD increased their seats, at the cost of D66.
The PvdA was expected to perform very well in the 2002 general election. Kok left politics leaving the leadership of the party to his preferred successor Ad Melkert. But the political rise of Pim Fortuyn frustrated these hopes. The PvdA lost the 2002 elections, and the party's parliamentary representation fell from 45 seats to 23. The loss was blamed on the uncharismatic new leader Melkert, the perceived arrogance of the PvdA and the inability to answer to the right-wing populist issues Fortuyn raised, especially immigration and integration. Melkert resigned as party leader and was replaced by Jeltje van Nieuwenhoven. The PvdA was kept out of cabinet. The government formed by CDA, VVD and the Pim Fortuyn List (LPF) fell after a very short period.
Meanwhile, Wouter Bos, State Secretary in the second purple cabinet, was elected leader of the PvdA in a referendum among PvdA members, being elected closely to Jouke de Vries. He started to democratise the party organisation and began an ideological reorientation. In the 2003 elections, Wouter Bos managed to regain almost all seats lost in the previous election, and the PvdA was once again the second largest party of the Netherlands, only slightly smaller than the CDA. Personal and ideological conflicts between Bos and the CDA leader Jan Peter Balkenende prevented the formation of a CDA-PvdA cabinet. Instead, the PvdA was kept out of government by the formation of cabinet of the CDA, the VVD, and D66, the latter being former allies of PvdA. In the 2006 municipal elections, the renewed PvdA performed very well. The PvdA became by far the largest party nationally, while the three governing parties lost a considerable number of seats in municipal councils.
It was expected that the PvdA would do well in the upcoming 2006 elections, but the party lost the race for Prime Minister to the Christian Democratic Appeal after suffering a loss of 9 seats. The PvdA now held only 33 seats, losing many votes to the Socialist Party. The PvdA had previously distanced themselves from the idea of a voting bloc on the left. It did however join the fourth Balkenende cabinet in which Wouter Bos became minister of Finance. In the aftermath of the lost elections the entire party executive stepped down on 26 April 2007. On Saturday 20 February 2010, the Labour Party withdrew from the government after arguments over Afghanistan.
After withdrawing from the government, Wouter Bos announced he would leave politics to spend more time with his wife and two daughters. Then mayor of Amsterdam, Job Cohen, took his place as leader of the PvdA.
Ideology and issues
The PvdA began as a traditional social-democratic party, committed to building a welfare state. During the 1970s, it radicalised its program and included new issues, such as women's liberation, environmental conservation and Third World development. During the 1990s, it moderated its program, including reform of the welfare state and privatisation of public enterprise. In 2005, the party adopted a new program of principles, expressing a centre-left ideology. Its core issues are employment, social security and welfare, and investing in public education, public safety and health care.
Year HoR S EP SP Fractievoorzitter Lijsttrekker Cabinet Party Chair Members 1946 29 14 n/a 157 Marinus van der Goes van Naters Several Willem Drees, Jaap Burger, Marinus van der Goes van Naters, Dolf Joekes, Piet Lieftinck, Sicco Mansholt, Willem Schermerhorn, Koos Vorrink and Hein Vos Willem Schermerhorn (PM) Koos Vorrink 114558 1947 29 14 n/a 157 Marinus van der Goes van Naters no election Willem Schermerhorn (PM) Koos Vorrink 108813 1948 27 14 n/a 157 Marinus van der Goes van Naters Several Willem Drees, Marinus van der Goes van Naters, Dolf Joekes, Piet Lieftinck, Sicco Mansholt, Willem Schermerhorn, Koos Vorrink and Hein Vos Willem Drees (PM) Koos Vorrink 117244 1949 27 14 n/a 157 Marinus van der Goes van Naters No election Willem Drees (PM) Koos Vorrink 109608 1950 27 14 n/a 156 Marinus van der Goes van Naters No election Willem Drees (PM) Koos Vorrink 105609 1951 27 14 n/a 156 Leendert Donker No election Willem Drees (PM) Koos Vorrink 111885 1952 30 14 n/a 156 Jaap Burger Willem Drees Willem Drees (PM) Koos Vorrink 111351 1953 30 14 n/a 156 Jaap Burger no elections Willem Drees (PM) Hein Vos (interim) 112823 1954 30 14 n/a 180 Jaap Burger no elections Willem Drees (PM) Hein Vos (interim) 119561 1955 30 14 n/a 180 Jaap Burger no elections Willem Drees (PM) Evert Vermeer 124641 1956 34 22 n/a 180 Jaap Burger Willem Drees Willem Drees (PM) Evert Vermeer 142140 1957 34 22 n/a 180 Jaap Burger no elections Willem Drees (PM) Evert Vermeer 142849 1958 34 22 n/a 178 Jaap Burger no elections Willem Drees (PM) Evert Vermeer 137778 1959 48 22 n/a 178 Jaap Burger several Jaap Burger, H.J. Hofstra, Ivo Samkalden, Ko Suurhoff, Anne Vondeling and Joan Willems opposition Evert Vermeer 147047 1960 48 23 n/a 178 Jaap Burger no elections opposition Hein Vos (interim) 142853 1961 48 23 n/a 178 Jaap Burger no elections opposition Ko Suurhoff 138829 1962 48 23 n/a 207 Jaap Burger no elections opposition Ko Suurhoff 139375 1963 43 25 n/a 207 Anne Vondeling several Ko Suurhoff, Anne Vondeling and Joan Willems opposition Ko Suurhoff 138567 1964 43 25 n/a 207 Anne Vondeling No elections opposition Ko Suurhoff 142426 1965 43 25 n/a 207 Gerard Nederhorst No elections Anne Vondeling (VPM) Sjeng Tans 140389 1966 43 22 n/a 170 Gerard Nederhorst No elections Opposition Sjeng Tans 134476 1967 37 22 n/a 170 Joop den Uyl Joop den Uyl Opposition Sjeng Tans 130960 1968 37 22 n/a 170 Joop den Uyl No elections Opposition Sjeng Tans 116736 1969 37 20 n/a 170 Joop den Uyl No elections Opposition Anne Vondeling 107005 1970 37 20 n/a 172+711 Joop den Uyl No elections Opposition Anne Vondeling 98671 1971 39 18 n/a 172+711 Joop den Uyl Joop den Uyl Opposition André van der Louw 96337 1972 43 18 n/a 172+711 Joop den Uyl Joop den Uyl Opposition André van der Louw 94229 1973 43 18 n/a 172+711 Ed van Thijn No elections Joop den Uyl (PM) André van der Louw 97787 1974 43 21 n/a 217+181 Ed van Thijn No elections Joop den Uyl (PM) Ien van den Heuvel-de Blank 103140 1975 43 21 n/a 217+181 Ed van Thijn No elections Joop den Uyl (PM) Ien van den Heuvel-de Blank 100524 1976 43 21 n/a 217+181 Ed van Thijn No elections Joop den Uyl (PM) Ien van den Heuvel-de Blank 95548 1977 53 25 n/a 217+181 Ed van Thijn Joop den Uyl Opposition Ien van den Heuvel-de Blank 109659 1978 53 25 n/a 254+161 Joop den Uyl No elections Opposition Ien van den Heuvel-de Blank 121274 1979 53 25 9 254+161 Joop den Uyl No elections Opposition Max van den Berg 118522 1980 53 26 9 254+161 Joop den Uyl No elections Opposition Max van den Berg 112929 1981 44 28 9 254+161 Wim Meijer Joop den Uyl Joop den Uyl (VPM) Max van den Berg 109557 1982 47 28 9 177+111 Joop den Uyl Joop den Uyl Opposition Max van den Berg 105486 1983 47 27 9 177+111 Joop den Uyl No elections Opposition Max van den Berg 101724 1984 47 27 9 177+111 Joop den Uyl No elections Opposition Max van den Berg 99347 1985 47 27 9 177+111 Joop den Uyl No elections Opposition Max van den Berg 100979 1986 52 27 9 177 Wim Kok Joop den Uyl Opposition Stan Poppe (interim) 103760 1987 52 26 9 262 Wim Kok No elections Opposition Marjanne Sint 101019 1988 52 26 9 262 Wim Kok No elections Opposition Marjanne Sint 96722 1989 49 26 8 262 Thijs Wöltgens Wim Kok Wim Kok (VPM) Marjanne Sint 96600 1990 49 26 8 262 Thijs Wöltgens No elections Wim Kok (VPM) Marjanne Sint 91784 1991 49 16 8 166 Thijs Wöltgens No elections Wim Kok (VPM) Frits Castricum (interim) 79059 1992 49 16 8 166 Thijs Wöltgens No elections Wim Kok (VPM) Felix Rottenberg 73807 1993 49 16 8 166 Thijs Wöltgens No elections Wim Kok (VPM) Felix Rottenberg 69464 1994 37 16 8 166 Jacques Wallage Wim Kok Wim Kok (PM) Felix Rottenberg 68053 1995 37 14 8 142 Jacques Wallage No elections Wim Kok (PM) Felix Rottenberg 64523 1996 37 14 8 142 Jacques Wallage No elections Wim Kok (PM) Ruud Vreeman (interim) 60907 1997 37 14 8 142 Jacques Wallage No elections Wim Kok (PM) Karin Adelmund 61720 1998 45 14 8 142 Ad Melkert Wim Kok Wim Kok (PM) Ruud Vreeman (interim) 61600 1999 45 15 6 154 Ad Melkert No elections Wim Kok (PM) Marijke van Hees 60621 2000 45 15 6 154 Ad Melkert No elections Wim Kok (PM) Mariëtte Hamer (interim) 57374 2001 45 15 6 154 Ad Melkert No elections Wim Kok (PM) Ruud Koole 58426 2002 23 15 6 154 Jeltje van Nieuwenhoven (interim) Ad Melkert Opposition Ruud Koole 57374 2003 42 19 6 197 Wouter Bos Wouter Bos Opposition Ruud Koole 60062 2004 42 19 7 197 Wouter Bos No elections Opposition Ruud Koole 61935 2005 42 19 7 197 Wouter Bos No elections Opposition Michiel van Hulten 61111 2006 33 19 7 197 Wouter Bos Wouter Bos Opposition Michiel van Hulten 61913 2007 33 14 7 114 Jacques Tichelaar No elections Wouter Bos (VPM) Lilianne Ploumen ? 2008 33 14 7 114 Mariëtte Hamer No elections Wouter Bos (VPM) Lilianne Ploumen ? 2009 33 14 3 114 Mariëtte Hamer No elections Wouter Bos (VPM) Lilianne Ploumen ? 2010 30 14 3 114 Job Cohen Job Cohen Opposition Lilianne Ploumen ? 2011 30 14 3 107 Job Cohen No elections Opposition Lilianne Ploumen ?
1: In combined PvdA/PPR groups (estimate).
The PvdA is in the opposition since the formation of the Rutte cabinet
Members of the House of Representatives
After the 2010 election, the party has 30 representatives in the House of Representatives:
Members of the Senate
Following the 2011 Senate election, the party has 14 representatives in the Senate:
- André Postema
- Kim Putters
- Nico Schrijver
- Esther-Mirjam Sent
- Joyce Sylvester
- Janny Vlietstra
- Klaas de Vries
Members of the European Parliament
Municipal and provincial government
Three of the twelve Queen's Commissioners are members of the PvdA (Drenthe, Flevoland and Groningen). The party cooperates in seven States Deputed (Groningen, Friesland, Drenthe, Gelderland, Flevoland, North Holland and Zeeland).
100 of the 379 mayors of the Netherlands are members of the PvdA (September 2010). The best known of them is Ahmed Aboutaleb, mayor of Rotterdam. The party cooperates in many municipal executives, among others the big four (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht). The PvdA obtained 1,251 seats in the 2010 municipal elections (minus 7.66%).
Historically, the PvdA was supported by the working class. Currently the party is supported relatively well by civil servants, migrants, and the working class. The party has historically been very strong in the major cities, such as Amsterdam, and Rotterdam and in the northern provinces of Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe
The highest organ of the PvdA is the Congress, formed by delegates from the municipal branches. It convenes once every year. It appoints the party board, decides the order of candidates on electoral lists for the Senate, House of Representatives and European Parliament and has the final say over the party program. Since 2002, a referendum of all members has partially replaced the Congress. Both the lijsttrekker of the House of Representatives candidate list, who is the political leader of the party, and the party chairman, who leads the party organisation, are selected by such a referendum. In 2002, Wouter Bos won the PvdA leadership election.
The PvdA currently has 62,000 members. They are organised in over 500 municipal branches.
The Young Socialists (Jonge Socialisten, JS) is the youth organisation of the PvdA. It is a member of ECOSY – Young European Socialists and the International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY). They publish the periodical Lava.
Rood is the party periodical. It appears eight times a year.
The PvdA participates in the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy, a democracy assistance organisation of seven Dutch political parties.
During the period of strong pillarisation the PvdA had strong links with the social-democratic broadcasting organisation VARA Broadcasting Association, the Dutch Association of Trade Unions, and the paper Het Vrije Volk. Although pillarisation has weakened, the PvdA still has friendly relations with the largest trade union FNV and the leftwing broadsheet De Volkskrant.
Relationships to other parties
Historically, the PvdA has co-operated in cabinets with the Christian-democratic Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), Political Party of Radicals (PPR), Catholic People's Party (KVP), Anti Revolutionary Party (ARP), Christian Historical Union (CHU) and ChristianUnion (CU) parties and the liberal parties Democrats 66 (D66) and People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD). Between 1971 and 1977, PvdA was allied with D66 and the PPR. After 1977 until 1989, it was closely allied to D66. Since 2003, the relationship between the PvdA and D66 has considerably worsened, at first because PvdA was in opposition to the Second Balkenende cabinet which D66 had co-operated in.
During the governance of the second and third Balkenende cabinet, the Socialist Party and the GreenLeft were calling for closer cooperation with the PvdA, calling to form a shadow government against the Balkenende cabinet, PvdA leader Bos held this off.
- ^ Parties and Elections in Europe: The database about parliamentary elections and political parties in Europe, by Wolfram Nordsieck
- ^ Score 4.0/10 in 2003 Chapel Hill expert survey, see Hooghe et al. (2003) Chapel Hill Survey
- ^ Andeweg, R. B.; Galen A. Irwin (2002). Governance and politics of the Netherlands. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 51. ISBN 0333961579.
- ^ Merkel, Wolfgang; Alexander Petring, Christian Henkes, Christoph Egle (2008). Social Democracy in Power: the capacity to reform. London: Taylor & Francis. ISBN 0415438209.
- ^ http://books.google.co.uk/booksid=ZIoKqEYDUUC&pg=PA59&dq=joop+den+uyl+social+reforms&hl=en#v=onepage&q&f=false
- ^ http://books.google.co.uk/booksid=w2exQnhFNyYC&pg=PA235&dq=joop+den+uyl+reforms+social+security&hl=en#v=onepage&q=joop%20den%20uyl%20reforms%20social%20security&f=false
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