Libertarian, Direct, Democratic

Libertarian, Direct, Democratic (LDD).  LDD is one of Belgium’s newest parties, set up in 2007 by Jean-Marie Dedecker, formerly a Senator for the VLD before being expelled.

LDD began as ‘List Dedecker’ based around his singular personality. LDD’s ideology is modelled around Dedecker’s personality and was broadly a mashing of libertarian and right-wing populist themes. Dedecker’s party is exceptionally economically liberal, and favours direct democracy. The party is soft-nationalist, supporting much stronger devolution of power downwards. It is liberal on some moral issues, but has a tough approach on crime and immigration. The party is opposed to the cordon sanitaire around Vlaams Belang. Broadly speaking the party positioned itself between the VLD and VB, and its ideology has been compared to that of the late Dutch right-wing populist Pim Fortuyn.

LDD initially surprised commentators with its success, but Dedecker’s unpredictable personality hurt it, and the party’s vote has broadly been sucked up the N-VA juggernaut. The party was already falling from its early heights at the last Euro election in 2009, it won only 1 seat in the 2010 federal election. It is unlikely it will hold its seat this year.

LDD is a member of the European Conservatives and Reformists. Its single MEP votes with his ECR allies 92.4% of the time, making him broadly rather loyal by ECR standards.