Officially: Koninkrijk der Nederlanden.
English: The Netherlands.
Seat of government: Den Haag.
Status: Democratic.
Structure: The parliament (Staten-Generaal) comprises the Tweede Kamer, elected by party-list proportional representation with a limited geographical component, which chooses the government, led by the prime minister (Minister-president), and the Eerste Kamer, chosen by the provincial legislatures (Provinciale Staten).
Governing parties: Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie; Partij van de Arbeid.
Head of government: Mark Rutte, VVD, prime minister.
Other parliamentary parties: Partij voor de Vrijheid; Socialistische Partij; Christen-Democratisch Appèl; Democraten 66; ChristenUnie; GroenLinks; Staatkundig Gereformeerde Partij; Partij voor de Dieren; 50Plus.
Assessment: Probably the world’s most liberal state. Elections in 2002 were marked by the assassination of and subsequent sympathy vote for rightist Pim Fortuyn; but the party of Fortuyn proved unable to function integrally without him, and the conservative government including it (led by Jan Peter Balkenende of CDA) was forced to hold new elections in 2003. Those elections showed gains for the three largest parties (CDA, PvdA, VVD), including a doubling of seats for the PvdA, and a huge loss for the Lijst Pim Fortuyn. The center-right coalition, led by CDA, had included the VVD and Democraten 66. D66 withdrew its support in 2006 after an asylum dispute involving parliamentarian Ayaan Hirsi Ali, leading to a resignation and reformation of the government. New elections were then held the same year, leading to a CDA-PvdA-CU grand coalition, still led by Balkenende. In 2010, the government collapsed with the withdrawal of PvdA, leading to new elections. In those elections, VVD secured a one-seat plurality over PvdA; the PVV, led by Geert Wilders, was third, and the CDA was fourth. Rutte became prime minister in a coalition with CDA and outside support from PVV. In a 2012 election, the VVD again secured a narrow plurality over PvdA, followed by PVV, SP, CDA, and D66. An election in 2017 saw a plurality for the VVD but the collapse of the PvdA, with the PVV advancing to second place.
FH: 1-1, free. Econ: 8.99 (10), full democracy.
Updated: 2017 March 23.