The Dutch political landscape has traditionally been organized on a left-to-right continuum, with a progressive versus conservative opposition sometimes thrown in. But research by Groningen economists Maite Laméris, Richard Jong A Pin and Harry Garretsen on the ideology of Dutch voters demonstrates the need for other differentiating aspects. The left-right dichotomy is particularly outdated in terms of economic preferences. The results of their research appear today in ESB.
The Faculty of Economics and Business researchers show that the political ideology of Dutch citizens can be classified according to their views on four aspects: economic equality, market forces, autonomy and populism.The outcome of the upcoming elections, on 15 March, will depend on the extent to which political parties most successfully appeal to voters, and on the value attached by voters to each of these four issues. It is already clear, the researchers conclude, that Left and Right are ideologically outmoded concepts, which are too diffuse, especially when it comes to economic preferences.
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