Two parties on verge of breakthrough? states in its last poll that two parties are over the half-seat mark and just might get enough votes for a full seat: Lijst 17 and the Pirate Party. (Remember: although the Dutch system is pretty easy on small parties, they have to win one full seat all by themselves. Half-seats don’t count.)

I already blogged about the first, which was initially called Lijst 0. It’s a student party set up by a youth broadcasting corporation, and while studying its site I got the impression it belongs on the left wing.

As to the Pirate Party, it is the Dutch branch of an international party aimed at reforming copyright in the digital age. (See also an English overview.) It was founded in Sweden and last year two Pirates were elected to European Parliament from there. In addition, they have one member in the town councils of Münster and Aachen (both Germany).

It won 2% of the vote in the last German national elections. Germany has an electoral threshold of 5%, but in the Dutch situation this score would net the party three seats. We aren’t there yet, but the party could very well win its first national parliamentary seat in the Netherlands, since the Dutch rules are so easy on small parties.

All in all I don’t think they’ll win a seat this time; the campaign is pretty much set. Nonetheless, the Pirate Party has appeared on the radar, and that might mean it could get into parliament next time. In 2003 the PvdD was in the same position: no seats, but a surprising amount of support. The animal rights activitsts built on that success and entered parliament in 2006.

And who knows, next time I might even vote for the pirates.

I haven’t yet added Lijst 17 and the Pirate Party to the polls page; I will do so when they score at least one seat in at least one poll. But time is running out.

<— New Politieke Barometer poll | Coalition poll —>

This is the political blog of Peter-Paul Koch, mobile platform strategist, consultant, and trainer, in Amsterdam. It’s a hobby blog where he follows Dutch politics for the benefit of those twelve foreigners that are interested in such matters, as well as his Dutch readers.


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