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Dutch general election 2012

The Netherlands is a parliamentary democracy with two chambers: the lower house of parliament, or Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal, with 150 seats and the senate, or Eerste Kamer der Staten-Generaal, which has 75 seats.

On September 12 the Netherlands will elect a new lower house of parliament. All Dutch nationals aged 18 or over are eligible to vote. On Monday September 17, the Electoral Council will officially determine the overall result of the election. On Tuesday September 18, the old House of Representatives will be officially dissolved, and thereafter the House will convene with its newly elected composition.

Key Issues
This year's election campaign has been dominated by a number of key issues, including:

 The budget deficit and compliance with EU regulations in general
 Possibly raising the pension age (one of the main issues that led to the dissolution of the previous government)
 How to stimulate the floundering housing market
 Whether redundancy laws should be changed
 Healthcare spending

In total 21 political parties are participating in the September 12 vote, but 10 of them are not currently represented in the national government.

Even if you don't have Dutch nationality and are therefore not eligible to vote in the upcoming election, you can still learn more about Dutch politics and find out which elections expats may be eligible to vote in, and figure out which Dutch political party is most aligned with your personal views and see how your opinions compare with others' by answering the Stemwijzer (in English!) and / or Kieskompas questionnaires.

The official parliamentary website has more information on the 2012 elections and general information about the election process.

Carly

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Carly Blair

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