A record number of 37 parties will participate in the Second Chamber elections in March. And some of them, according to polls, are on the verge of the electoral threshold, such as Code Orange, VOLT and BIJ1. Parties taking part in the national elections for the first time and have the prospect of one or two seats. But do they add something new?
According to Laurens Dassen, leader of VOLT Nederland, there is a need for a new generation in politics, which eliminates the we/she thinking and short-term policy. VOLT focuses on European solutions for climate, digitisation and security. Dassen thinks that he can make a difference from the House of Representatives. “Then, together with Nilüfer Gündogan (Volts number two), I walk to the interruption microphone and ask the ministers: where is the European solution? How can we work together better?”
VOLT is a pan-European party and is now active in every EU country. According to Dassen, it is very necessary for the Netherlands to look more at European interests. “Often a contradiction is created in the Chamber, between the Netherlands and Europe. But the Dutch interest is often the same as the European interest.”
The former PVVer Richard de Mos hopes to enter the room with his new party Code Orange. Code Orange stands for ombudpolitics: greater participation for the citizen. The Moss: “They are local problems that are caused nationally. Such as a discount on municipal funds, which cuts waste policies and facilities.”
Code Oranje also wants to work with (old) ideas of D66, such as a binding referendum and an elected mayor. “These are all things that need to be dealt with by legislative proposals in the Chamber. They are D66 crown jewels they buried and never polished again,” says the Moss. “Its time for it to happen.”
But there is also a lawsuit against De Mos, for which he had to resign as deputy mayor and alderman in The Hague in 2019. The Public Prosecutors Office suspects him, among other things, of participation in criminal organisations and corruption. Not exactly a dream start for the leader and his new party? The Moss claims to be innocent. “There will be people who think, “Is this man to be trusted? But there will also be people who think: that man can be trusted one hundred percent.”
At 1 leader Sylvana Simons hopes to enter the Chamber with a radical left programme. “Any Dutchman who understands that the current system of exploitation and exclusion is welcome to BIJ1. We want to give anti-racism a prominent place.”
But does BIY1 add something new to established parties such as THINK? “We stand for a policy that always takes anti-racism into consideration. Not once a year during an anti-racist bat. And not because of so-called incidents, because they are not incidents.” In addition, she emphasises that THINK and other left-wing parties are not competitors of BIJ1. “I see a big ideological difference with these parties. But at the same time, we are partners who are fighting for the same interests.”
“Its about the marbles, the power”
Political scientist Joost van Spain conducts research into the emergence of new political parties. He notes that “by far the majority of new parties” did not make it. “Since 1948, 90 percent of the new parties have not reached a seat.” Successful examples are there, such as PVV, THINK, 50Plus and Forum for Democracy.
Code Oranje, BIJ1 and VOLT have scored well in other elections, European and municipal elections. Guarantee of national success, this does not mean anything. “In different elections, people often vote with their hearts, then they want to send a signal to politics. And in the Second Chamber elections, it is often about marbles, the power. Who will be the prime minister, who will form a government?”