Freedom in the World
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Freedom Rating (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Civil Liberties (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Political Rights (1 = best, 7 = worst)
The People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy narrowly won parliamentary elections in June 2010 and formed a minority coalition with the Christian Democratic Appeal party. In order to guarantee a voting majority, the coalition agreed to accept support from Geert Wilders’ right-wing Party for Freedom, necessitating the inclusion of several anti-immigration measures in the new government’s policy statement. Meanwhile, public support for Wilders’ party, as well as a growing number of incidents targeting minorities, raised concerns of an increase in societal discrimination.
The Netherlands is an electoral democracy. The 150-member lower house of parliament, or Second Chamber, is elected every four years by proportional representation. The 75-member upper house, or First Chamber, is elected for four-year terms by the country’s provincial councils. Foreigners residing in the country for five years or more are eligible to vote in local elections. The Netherlands extended voting rights to Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles for the first time in the June 2009 European Parliament elections.