Uncertainty is the keynote as the people of The Netherlands prepare for a general election next Wednesday (29 Nov).
GV Barges on canal
SCU Sign (CPN)
SV Election posters on wall
SV People collect election leaflets
SV People around election stall & PAN TO youths with papers
SV Youths reading material (2 shots)
SV PAN FROM Poster TO people getting leaflets
GV PAN FROM Parliament TO rally in square
Initials SGM/1929 SGM/1938
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Background: Uncertainty is the keynote as the people of The Netherlands prepare for a general election next Wednesday (29 Nov).
The election became necessary with the breakdown of a five party coalition formed only last year. It included the so-called Confessional parties -- those with Roman Catholic or Protestant orientation -- the Liberals and the Democratic Socialists. The government lost its majority when the Democratic Socialists pulled out in protest against proposed changes in government economies.
Opinion polls forecast gains for the Labour party - the biggest single party in the Lower House - but its chances of forming a government are slim because the Confessional parties have said they would not co-operate with Labour and its allies.
Inflation has emerged as the most sensitive election issue.
It's estimated that something like one in three voters do not know which party to vote for. Another reason for uncertainty over the outcome is the presence of one-and-a-half-million new voters as a result of lowering the voting age from 21 to 18.
Fourteen parties are represented in all.
The Dutch electoral system is based on proportional representation and the house is elected for a four year term.