Pim Fortuyn List

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Pim Fortuyn List (Lijst Pim Fortuyn, LPF) is a defunct political party in the Netherlands.

Contents

Pim Fortuyn and his party

Pim Fortuyn began organising the party on February 11, 2002, the day after he had been dismissed as lijsttrekker by the Leefbaar Nederland party. The new party would have allowed him to take part in the May 15 parliamentary elections. Fortuyn was a forceful debater and a strong critic of the government of the day.

On March 21 the party announced its list of candidates, most of whom had no previous political background. The party's main political issues were:

  • Tougher action against immigrants who did not assimilate into Dutch culture
  • Stronger measures to fight crime
  • Less bureaucracy in government
  • Reduction of teacher shortages in schools
  • Shortening of waiting lists for hospital treatment

The immigration issue caused heated debates. Fortuyn was accused of being a racist; an accusation which he denied. He did not advocate deporting immigrants already in the country, nor closing all borders, though he did advocate setting an immigration quota that would prohibit Muslims from entering the country. In addition, he advocated revoking the first article of the Dutch constitution which prohibits discrimination if the exercise of that article would conflict with the freedom of speech. Although his statement could be interpreted as preferencing one fundamental freedom over another, it was widely understood as a plea against the Article 1 of the Dutch constitution itself.

The assassination of Fortuyn

Fortuyn was assassinated on May 6 [1]. Even though the assassin, Volkert van der Graaf, was caught immediately, some members of the LPF floated a vast array of conspiracy theories about who they thought were ultimately responsible for the murder.

However, the investigators of the crime could not find evidence that suggested the murderer had acted with others.

The 2002 elections, and participation in the first Balkenende cabinet

The party decided to maintain Fortuyn's candidacy for the elections, and delay naming a new leader until after the elections. The elections proved a great success for the LPF [2]. They won 26 seats out of 150, becoming the second-largest party in the House of Representatives. This was the best debut performances for a completely new party (as opposed to a party that was a continuation of an older party) in Dutch history. It is still unclear how many voters based their choice on political conviction and how many voted for the LPF because its leader had been murdered; many voters gave one or both reasons.

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