House of Representatives (Netherlands)

The House of Representatives is the lower house of the bicameral parliament of the Netherlands, the States General, the other one being the Senate. It has 150 seats, it sits in the Binnenhof in The Hague. Although this body is called the "House of Representatives" in English, this is not a direct translation of its Dutch name, the "Second Chamber" or more colloquially just the "Chamber". Rather than "representatives", members of the House are referred to as Tweede Kamerlid; the House of Representatives is the main chamber of the States General, where discussion of proposed legislation and review of the actions of the cabinet takes place. Both the Cabinet and the House of Representatives itself have the right to propose legislation. Review of the actions of the cabinet takes the form of formal interrogations, which may result in motions urging the cabinet to take, or refrain from, certain actions. No individual may be a member of both parliament and cabinet, except in a caretaker cabinet that has not yet been succeeded when a new House is sworn in.

The House of Representatives is responsible for the first round of selection for judges to the Supreme Court of the Netherlands. It submits a list of three names for every vacant position to the Government. Furthermore, it elects their subsidiaries; the normal term of the House of Representatives is four years. Elections are called when the government loses parliament's confidence, the governing coalition breaks down, the term of the House of Representatives expires or when no governing coalition can be formed. Anybody eligible to vote in the Netherlands has the right to establish a political party and contest elections for the House of Representatives. Parties wanting to take part must register 43 days before the elections, supplying a nationwide list of at most 50 candidates. Parties that do not have any sitting candidates in the House of Representatives must pay a deposit and provide 30 signatures of support from residents of each of the 20 electoral districts in which they want to collect votes.

The candidate lists are placed in the hands of the voters at least 14 days before the election. Each candidate list is numbered, with the person in the first position known as the lijsttrekker; the lijsttrekker is appointed by the party to lead its election campaign, is always the party's political leader and candidate for Prime Minister. Parties may choose to compete with different candidate lists in each of the 20 electoral districts, but as seats are allocated on national rather than district level, most parties have identical lists in all districts with candidates running nationwide. Only large parties have some regional candidates at the bottom of their lists. From 1973 until abolition in June 2017 it was possible for two or more parties to combine their separate lists to increase the chance of winning a remainder seat; this was known as Lijstverbinding / lijstencombinatie. Citizens of the Kingdom of the Netherlands aged 18 or over have the right to vote, with the exception of 1) prisoners serving a term of more than one year 2) those who have been declared incapable by court because of insanity 3) residents of Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten, unless they have spent ten years residing in the Netherlands or work for the Dutch civil service.

Eligible citizens resident in the Netherlands are able to vote if they are registered on a municipal population register. Eligible citizens outside the Netherlands can permanently register to vote at the municipality of The Hague, provided they have a current Dutch passport or identity card. A single vote can be placed on any one candidate. Many voters select one of the lijsttrekkers, but alternatively a preference vote may be made for a candidate lower down the list. Once the election results are known, the seats are allocated to the parties; the number of valid national votes cast is divided by 150, the number of seats available, to give a threshold for each seat. Each party's number of votes is divided by this threshold to give an initial number of seats equal to the number of times the threshold was reached. Any party that received fewer votes than the threshold fails to gain representation in the House of Representatives. After the initial seats are allocated, the remainder seats are allocated among the parties that received at least one seat, using the D'Hondt method of largest averages.

This system favours the larger parties. Since parties that received fewer votes than required to obtain one whole seat are not eligible for remainder seats, there is a de facto election threshold of 0.67%. This threshold is one of the lowest for national parliaments in the world, there are multiple parties winning seats with 2% or less of the vote. Any party that did not have seats in the House at the time of the election will have its deposit refunded if it receives more than 75% of the threshold. Once the number of seats allocated to each party is known, in general they are allocated to candidates in the order that they appear on the par

Zhou Minggui

Zhou Minggui is a Chinese major general in the People's Liberation Army. He earned the rank of Major General in July 2007, he was Deputy Director of the Political Department of Nanjing Military Region before he was placed under investigation by the PLA's anti-corruption agency. In May 2015, he was transferred to the military procuratorates. Zhou is the third highest-ranking officer. Born in Fenjie Town of Taixing, in Jiangsu province, in January 1957, he joined the People's Liberation Army in December 1976, joined the Chinese Communist Party. He served in various posts in Nanjing Military Region before serving as Director of the Political Department of the 12th Army in May 2008, he was promoted to Deputy Political Commissar in October 2006, served until June 2010. He was promoted to the rank of Major General in July 2007. In June 2010, he was appointed Political Commissar of the Joint Logistics Department of the Nanjing Military Region, became its Deputy Director of the Political Department, he was detained and put under investigation on suspicion of bribery by military authorities in January 2015 and was transferred to the military procuratorates in May 2015


"Rafstraumur" is a song written by Jón Þór Birgisson, Orri Páll Dýrason, Georg Hólm of Icelandic post rock band Sigur Rós. The song was recorded throughout 2012 and 2013 at the Sundlaugin Studio in Mosfellsbær, Iceland for inclusion on the band's seventh studio album, Kveikur; the record appears as the seventh track on the album. The record was released to radio on November 2013 as a promotional single for Kveikur. Sigur Rós' recording of "Rafstraumur" was remixed by Canadian electronic musician Cyril Hahn, was released as a single on October 21, 2013. A music video to promote the single was produced and created. Adapted from Kveikur liner notes