Jan Marijnissen

Jan Marijnissen

Infobox Officeholder
name = Jan Marijnissen

imagesize = 220px
caption = Jan Marijnissen in 2006
office = Parliamentary leader of the Socialist Party
term_start = 5 May 1994
term_end = 17 June 2008
predecessor = "None"
successor = Agnes Kant
birth_date = birth date and age|1952|10|8|df=yes
birth_place = Oss, Netherlands
nationality = Dutch
party = Socialist Party
otherparty = Communist Unity Movement of the Netherlands
religion = Agnostic
spouse = Mari-Anne Marijnissen (m. 1976)
children = Lilian Marijnissen (b. 1985)
residence = Oss, Netherlands
profession = Welder
website = [http://www.janmarijnissen.nl/ www.janmarijnissen.nl]

Johannes Guillaume Christianus Andreas "Jan" Marijnissen (Audio|Nl-Jan Marijnissen.ogg|Jan Marijnissen) (born 8 October 1952) is a Dutch politician. He is the chairman of the Dutch Socialist Party since 1988. He is a member of the Tweede Kamer since 1994.

He was a member of the Communist Unity Movement of the Netherlands (Marxist-Leninist) in the early 1970s until in 1972 he became a member of what is now the Socialist Party. He worked as a benchman and welder (1974–1985). He was a member of the city council in Oss (1976–1993), a member of the Provinciale Staten in North Brabant (1987–1989), and the political and parliamentary leader of the Socialist Party (1994–2008).

Under his leadership, the Socialist Party became the third largest parliamentary party with the Dutch general elections in 2006. In 2008, he resigned as political leader of the Socialist Party because of health reasons.


Marijnissen has been the chairman and leader in the parliament for the SP since 1989 onwards. Marijnissen is said to appeal to the 'common man', because of his use of simple language. His appeal is also explained by some observers by his capacity of presenting himself as a valid, more social alternative for the PvdA, which moved into a more centrist third way direction by advocating welfare reforms under the leadership of prime minister Wim Kok and his so-called Purple Cabinets (1994-2002).

Critics of Marijnissen call his leadership style authoritarian, because he is presumed to have a tight grip on his party. They also disparage his stubborn, traditional leftist defence of the Dutch social security system despite pressures of globalisation. Some critics call Marijnissen a left-wing populist.

Marijnissen was born on 8 October 1952 in Oss. After leaving school shortly before the exams, he worked in a number of factories in and around Oss. He then trained as a welder, working for ten years in the metal industry. Meanwhile he helped founding the SP in Oss and, in 1975, became the Netherlands' youngest councillor ever. He remained a councillor until 1993, playing a leading role in many campaigns, such as against polluting discharges. The SP's council representation in Oss has grown at every local election and is, as of 2005, the biggest stronghold of the Socialist Party in the Netherlands. Nicknamed "The Wizard of Oss", after his hometown, he became famous when he turned out to be one of the main architects of the Dutch vote that rejected the European Constitution in June 2005.

In 1987 Marijnissen became the party's first ever provincial assembly member, in North Brabant. A year later he became the SP's national president. Under his leadership the party has been transformed from "a federation of local branches" into a party with a clear national programme, nationally-organised activities and a national profile.

Since 1994, when the SP made the breakthrough which brought it into the national parliament, Marijnissen has been chairman of the party's parliamentary group. After gaining 2 out of the 150 parliamentary seats during this first breakthrough, support for him and his party has risen slowly but continuously. After 4 years of being in parliament, his Socialist Party went under his lead from 2 to 5 seats during the national elections of 1998, which was followed by a growth towards 9 seats in 2002. In 2003, after the 87 days term of Balkenende I, the Socialist Party didn't manage to gain more seats than the year before and stayed at the same level with again 9 out of 150 seats. Although there was a slight rise in number of people who voted for the SP compared to a year before, a few weeks before the elections the polls suggested the SP might double.

After the 2004 elections a conflict arises between Jan Marijnissen and Ali Lazrak, when the latter refuses to conform to an agreement that requires all SP-politicians to donate part of their wages. Lazrak accused Marijnissen of dictatorial behavior, an attempt to settle the argument fails and Lazrak leaves the fraction on 2 February 2004.

In February 2006 the party was polled on 9.5% of the electorate in the municipal elections. After the untimely end of Balkenende II and the minority government of Balkenende III, the SP won 16 more seats in the 2006 elections to a total of 25, becoming the third party of the Netherlands. Soon after, the party membership passed 50,000. [ [http://www.janmarijnissen.nl/2006/11/29/50000-2/ Jan Marijnissen verwelkomt 50.000ste SP-lid met taart en bloemen] . Downloaded 29 November 2005]

In 2006 a majority of Members of Parlement voted for his idea to build a National Historic Museum in the Netherlands. In 2007 the minister of Culture decided the city Arnhem would be its residence.

On 17 June 2008 Marijnissen announced his resignation als chairman of the SP fraction in the Tweede Kamer because of health reasons [http://www.trouw.nl/hetnieuws/nederland/article1015335.ece/Marijnissen_vertrekt_als_SP-fractievoorzitter Trouw, hetNieuws| nederland - Marijnissen vertrekt als SP-fractievoorzitter ] ] . However, he will remain a member of the Tweede Kamer and chairman of Socialist Party.

Personal life

Jan Marijnissen is married and has one daughter.

Marijnissen is also a fan of Dutch football club Feyenoord


*" [http://www.janmarijnissen.nl/boeken/samenleven-inhoud.stm Samenleven kan je niet alleen] " (You can't live together alone), SP, (1993). (ISBN 9-0801-7771-7)
*" [http://www.janmarijnissen.nl/boeken/tegenstemmen_inhoud.stm Tegenstemmen, een rood antwoord op Paars] " (Voting against, a red answer to Purple), (Amsterdam/Antwerp: L.J. Veen, 1996). (ISBN 9-0254-0860-5). This book is also available in English under the title " [http://international.sp.nl/publications/ Enough! A socialist bites back] ". In 2006 three new English chapters were added with summary's of conclusion in his latter books. In 2007 the book became available in Greece under the title " [http://www.monthlyreview.gr/antilogos/greek/ekdoseis/fullstory_html?obj_path=docrep/docs/ekdoseis/enough_marijnissen/gr/html/index Αρκετά!] ". (Athens: Antilogos, 2007). (ISBN 978-960-89490-4-1)
*" [http://www.janmarijnissen.nl/boeken/effedimmen_inhoud.stm Effe Dimmen! Een rebel in Den Haag] ". (Amsterdam/Antwerp: L.J. Veen, 1998). (ISBN 9-0204-5766-7).
*" [http://www.janmarijnissen.nl/boeken/delaatsteoorlog_inhoud.stm De laatste oorlog: Gesprekken over de nieuwe wereldorde] " (The last war), (Amsterdam/Antwerp: L.J. Veen, 2000). (ISBN 9-0204-6022-6). Co-authored with Karel Glastra van Loon. A series of interviews with experts as Lord Carrington, Sir Michael Rose, Hans van den Broek, Noam Chomsky, Rob de Wijk en Georgi Arbatov on international conflicts with special attention to the role of the Dutch in these conflicts.
*" [http://www.janmarijnissen.nl/boeken/schralerijkdom_inhoud.stm Schrale Rijkdom: De erfenis van acht jaar Paars] " (Poor Richness), (Ketch-up Press, 2002). (ISBN 9-0771-3301-1).
*" [http://www.janmarijnissen.nl/boeken/nieuwoptimisme_inhoud.shtml Nieuw Optimisme] " (New Optimism), (Aspekt, 2003).
*"Hoe dan, Jan" (But how, Jan?), (Amsterdam/Antwerp: L.J. Veen, 2005). Two Dutch journalist wrote a question/ answer style book about how Marijnissens' ideas could become reality.
*"Waar historie huis houdt" (Where history lives), (Rap, 2005). In addition to his plee for a National Historic Museum for the Netherlands, Jan Marijnissen reveales his interest in history and the importance of history to a land and its culture.


External links

* [http://www.janmarijnissen.nl/ Marijnissen's website and weblog] (in Dutch)
* [http://international.sp.nl/representatives/jan_m.stm SP on Jan Marijnissen] (in English)
* [http://www.politiekebarometer.nl/ Dutch opinion polls]

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