The Netherlands are a Constitutional monarchy. The most important part of parliament, the Tweede Kamer (Lower House), has 150 members, and is chosen once every four years by Proportional representation.
At the moment (1998-2002), the following parties have representatives in the Tweede Kamer, with the given number of seats
PvdA 45 Social Democratic VVD 39 right-wing Liberal CDA 29 Christian Democratic D66 14 left-wing Liberal GroenLinks 11 left-wing Green Party SP 5 Post-Communistic ChristenUnie 5 Christian SGP 3 right-wing Conservative Christian
Like a number of other European countries with proportional representation, the Dutch have always had Coalition governments. Since 1994, the governing coalition consists of PvdA, VVD and D66. Before that, for 80 years the CDA (or the parties that later joined to form the CDA) had been in the government, sometimes with the socialists (PvdA), sometimes with the liberals (VVD) as their coalition partner.