From 15 to 17 March, the ballot boxes open in the Netherlands, as the Dutch will elect their parliamentary representatives.
Both ALDE Party members in the Netherlands – VVD (Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie) and D66 (Democraten 66) – are in a caretaker government coalition at the moment together with the Christian conservatives of CDA (Christen Democratisch Appèl) and CU (Christenunie).
Prime Minister Mark Rutte is the lead candidate for his party VVD, with the party focusing on getting out of the COVID-19 crisis. Their aim is to leave the old dogmas behind and stand up for fair trade, entrepreneurs,and strong SMEs, which are crucial for a flourishing economy and strong government.
Prime Minister Rutte published a letter addressing his electorate in which he says:
“…But politics is not only about fighting the corona crisis and returning to all those ordinary things we miss so much. It is also about the future of our country… For a long time, working people benefited when companies were doing well. But many people did not feel the economic growth of recent years enough in their pockets. That must change, and for that we need to get off to a flying start…”
You can read the VVD election manifesto in full here (in Dutch).
D66 has put forward party leader Sigrid Kaag as their lead candidate, stating that it is time for the Netherlands to have its first female leader. Her party’s slogan for these elections is ‘A New Start’ with baseline ‘freedom for everyone, but nobody left behind’. D66 plans to invest up to 10 billion euro in education and childcare. The party wants to bridge the increasing gap among citizens, which has only grown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Party leader Sigrid Kaag explains why education and female representation is so important to her and D66:
“…children in underprivileged neighborhoods suffer from a language deficiency from an early age. We want to break this automatism to create a more equal society. Free childcare also means indirect support for the economy. If more parents, including women, can work, the economy will run better... We think we are tolerant and treat women and men equally. That is not the case. Look at my Twitter channel, you can see what misogyny is. This happens to a lot of women.”
You can read the D66 election manifesto here (in English).