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Libertarian, Direct, Democratic
Leader Jean-Marie Dedecker
Founded 2007
Headquarters National Secretariat
Bellevue 5
9050 Gent
Ideology Libertarianism,[1][2]
Conservative liberalism,[2]
Soft euroscepticism[3]
European affiliation Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists
European Parliament group European Conservatives and Reformists
Colours Blue and orange
Former names Cassandra
Lijst Dedecker
Chamber of Representatives Template:Infobox political party/seats
Senate Template:Infobox political party/seats
Flemish Parliament Template:Infobox political party/seats
Brussels Parliament Template:Infobox political party/seats
European Parliament Template:Infobox political party/seats
Website
www.ldd.be

Libertarian, Direct, Democratic (Template:Lang-nl), abbreviated to LDD, is a libertarian, conservative-liberal and right-wing populist[4] political party mainly within the Flemish part of Belgium. The Eurosceptic LDD is a member of the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists, and its single MEP, Derk Jan Eppink, sits with the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group in the European Parliament.

HistoryEdit

The party was founded in January 2007 by Senator Jean-Marie Dedecker as List Dedecker Template:Nowrap also 'LDD'). Dedecker had left the New Flemish Alliance to found the LDD after the Cassandra think tank judged in 2006 that there was room for a right-wing conservative-liberal movement in the Flemish Community, expressing the need for a "common sense party".

The party surprised commentators by winning five seats in the Chamber and one seat in the Senate in 2007, and eight seats in the 2009 Flemish Parliament election.[5] The party remained with only one federal seat after the 2010 election. It adopted its current name on 22 January 2011.

The party currently holds one seat in the European Parliament, one seat in the Belgian Chamber of Representatives, and seven seats in the regional Flemish Parliament.

PlatformEdit

The party's economic program is predominantly based on free market economics, neoliberalism, a pro-business and free enterprise mindset, limited government, a flat tax system, the reform of unemployment benefits and social security schemes, the fight against waste and corruption, and the overall reduction of red tape, regulation and bureaucracy.

Furthermore, LDD stands for the introduction of a binding referendum, the abolition of barriers for new political parties in Belgium and a tougher approach towards crime. The party also strives for a more independent Flanders. LDD is widely considered to be liberal on social issues, in spite of having a strong traditional conservative wing as well.

At the European level, the party allied itself with moderate Eurosceptics such as the British Conservative Party, the Czech Civic Democrats and the Polish Law and Justice, and sits on the European Conservatives and Reformists group in the European Parliament. LDD was initially expected to align themselves with the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party (ELDR) after an open invitation to this effect by ELDR chairwoman Annemie Neyts. Prior to joining the ECR group, LDD was also briefly courted by Declan Ganley's pan-European movement Libertas.

LDD opposes the cordon sanitaire that is used to keep the far-right separatist Flemish Interest from power, claiming that it is unsuccessful and undemocratic. Some critics even argue that the electoral success of LDD has hampered further growth of Vlaams Belang by virtue of attracting right-wing or protest votes that otherwise would have gone to Flemish Interest.

At a given point in 2008, LDD was also looking for a political joint venture in Wallonia with liberal economist Rudy Aernoudt as their partner in this endeavour. In 2010, talks were undertaken with the People's Party of Mischaël Modrikamen, which Aernoudt had helped co-found, about political cooperation, but with no tangible result.

ElectionsEdit

The 2007 general election was the first ever election contested by Lijst Dedecker. They met the 5% threshold for parliamentary representation, in spite of all pre-election polls dismissing the chances for the party. Analyses in the aftermath of the election showing that Lijst Dedecker was able to attract voters from across the political spectrum and from all political parties, led up to vicious attacks and groundless accusations of populism against the party. The party's scandal-loving style also added to this.

In the 2007 general election, the party won 5 seats in the Chamber of Representatives and 1 seat in the Senate. In the 2009 Flemish and European elections, Lijst Dedecker won a disappointing 8 seats in the Flemish Parliament and 1 seat in the European Parliament despite pre-election polls that had indicated a bigger share of the votes for Lijst Dedecker. On 25 June, one member of the LDD fraction crossed the floor to the Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats, leaving the LDD caucus with 7 remaining seats. [6]

After the 2010 general election, the party only returned one representative to the Chamber of Representatives.

RepresentationEdit

Federal ParliamentEdit

Chamber of representativesEdit

Flemish ParliamentEdit

European ParliamentEdit

Election resultsEdit

Federal ParliamentEdit

Chamber of RepresentativesEdit

Election year # of overall votes  % of overall vote  % of language
group vote
# of overall seats won # of language
group seats won
+/- Notes
2007 268,648 4.0 (#5) Template:Infobox political party/seats Template:Infobox political party/seats
2010 150,577 2.3 (#7) Template:Infobox political party/seats Template:Infobox political party/seats Template:Decrease 4

SenateEdit

Election year # of overall votes  % of overall vote  % of language
group vote
# of overall seats won # of language
group seats won
+/- Notes
2007 223,992 3.4 Template:Infobox political party/seats Template:Infobox political party/seats
2010 130,777 2.0 Template:Infobox political party/seats Template:Infobox political party/seats Template:Decrease 1

Regional parliamentsEdit

Flemish ParliamentEdit

Election year # of overall votes  % of overall vote  % of language
group vote
# of overall seats won # of language
group seats won
+/- Notes
2009 313,176 7.6 (#6) Template:Infobox political party/seats

European ParliamentEdit

Election year # of overall votes  % of overall vote  % of electoral
college vote
# of overall seats won # of electoral
college seats won
+/- Notes
2009 296,699 7.3 (#7) Template:Infobox political party/seats Template:Infobox political party/seats

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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Template:Belgian political parties Template:Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists