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Dutch elections

6 April 2018

Government ignores clear ‘No’ from the people

The government is refusing to make serious adjustments to the ‘Sleepwet’, the proposed law extending the powers of the security services, despite the clear no in the referendum on the issue. The SP agrees that our secret services must be able to pursue concrete suspicions of terrorist activities, but not with the collection of random data from innocent people. Interior Minister Kajsa Ollongren has renewed her promise that the security and intelligence services would apply the law with caution, but has refused to remove their right to collect random data in the ‘sleepnet’. This undermines any faith in government promises and completely ignores the voters’ ‘no’.

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15 February 2018

Mark Rutte wants to know all about you, but doesn’t want to listen to your views

What will Interior Minister Kajsa have seen when she looked in the mirror this morning? A politician belonging to centrist liberals D66 who has sold her soul to have her own ministry?  Or one of Prime Minister Mark Rutte's hench(wo)men, who wants to deprive citizens of a democratic right, without people being given any chance to have a say in the decision? In 1848, the first liberal premier Johan Rudolf Thorbecke introduced direct elections, while under a later liberal premier, Pieter Cort van der Linden, in 1917, we saw the introduction of universal manhood suffrage.  Today, however, liberal Prime Minister Mark Rutte wants to abolish a democratic right, by putting an end to referenda. Rutte is not prepared to defend the measure himself in Parliament; the job will be left to his right-hand woman, Kajsa Ollongren. This is a dark day for democracy, a day on which citizens will be deprived of a democratic right. And why? What have people done wrong? We said 'no', in a referendum on the European Union-Ukraine Association Agreement. Just once, we said 'no' to our own government; against the interests of the multinationals and of the Europhiles in Brussels. Just once, we said ‘no’ on behalf of our own democracy, so we must now be punished. That's why an end must apparently be put to the referendum as quickly as possible.

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30 January 2018

SP Congress in militant mood: Not for the few, but for each other!

“The future is not for predatory capitalism, but for the people. The future doesn't belong to the market, but to us. Together we will fight for a world where it isn't the interests of the few which count, but those of us all.” This was the theme of Lilian Marijnissen's speech to the SP Congress, her first since she became the party's leader late last year.

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1 November 2017

Roemer: 'Not for multinationals, but for each other'

SP leader Emile Roemer addressed Parliament today, giving a detailed critique of the new government’s policies and continuing to outline those of the SP and the left opposition. Naturally enough most of this critique concerned domestic policies, but Roemer also touched upon a number of matters with an international dimension.

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26 March 2017

More inspiration from Amersfoort than from Rome

It was a fortuitous coincidence: the ceremony in Rome on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the foundation of the EEC, and the SP party council in Amersfoort, occurred on the same weekend. I was really happy that I had not gone to Rome but was instead at the party council where we looked at last week's general election. I was pleased not only because of the constructive discussions and Emile Roemer's inspiring speech, but also because the media always give a misleading account of what occurs at SP meetings.

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17 March 2017

Roemer: ‘SP voters, thanks for your confidence. I'm ready for the next fight'

Foto: Nynke Vissia

On March 15th 2017, the Dutch parliamentary elections resulted in 14 seats for the SP, of which 6 are new entries into the parliament. The party is now the largest one on the left.

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20 February 2017

Seize the power!

Summary of the SP election manifesto for March 2017

Foto: SP
The Netherlands has more millionaires than ever before, yet more than a million people can't afford to pay the costs of the health care they need. The difference between the big earners at the top and the rest of the population has been deliberately widened by this government. Prime Minister Mark Rutte has taken good care of directors and executives, of the banks and multinationals. In the wake of the crisis this elite is richer than it was before it. Yet for most people, vital services such as affordable care and social security, have only declined. Read more
17 January 2017

XXII SP Congress: Roemer kicks off election campaign with call for a progressive pact

Foto: SP

On Saturday 14th January more than a thousand SP members gathered in Tilburg for the party’s twenty-second congress. On the same day, in an interview with national daily Algemeen Dagblad (AD), party leader Emile Roemer called for a pact between progressive parties and ruled out going into any ruling coalition with the VVD, the right-wing element in the present two-party government. Roemer told AD that “in saying this I am giving you a guarantee that we will not help the right to form a majority”. His aim is to persuade other parties to join him in isolating the VVD, which unlike its Labour Party coalition partner is performing respectably in the polls. “When people vote for a left party they expect left policies,” he said.

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12 December 2016

The rule of law is not a campaign tool

Foto: SP

On Friday I decided not to react to the guilty verdict in the trial of Geert Wilders, the far right leader arraigned for leading a chant calling for Moroccans to be deported. As a politician in a democracy it isn’t your place to comment on the judicial power. We do after all have a separation of powers in the Netherlands, and however tempting it may sometimes be, it behoves us to keep our views to ourselves.

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