Thursday, 18 March 2021

Liberals strengthen control in Netherlands

 Why do news outlets not use the correct words? "Centre right" and "centre left" are at best wishy-washy and at worst associate the beneficiaries of the descriptions with Toryism or Socialism respectively. 

The fact is that Mark Rutte's VVD, which has increased its representation in parliament as a result of this weeek's Netherlands elections, is a liberal party. D66, which has made gains surprising commentators, is a liberal party. If reporters wish to distinguish between them in UK terms, then VVD can loosely be characterised as economic liberals and D66 as social liberals. (Faint praise to euronews for getting D66 right at least.)

This is not an uncommon split in continental countries with fair voting systems. Liberal Democrats in England and Wales may well break up on the same lines if STV were introduced here. Such opening up of the other parties would be healthy, too. 

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