The recent Dutch general election got me thinking - WI the Netherlands decided to chose a different electoral system?

Following the so-called Pacification of 1917, the Netherlands changed its electoral system from FPTP to its current system, which uses a single, nationwide constituency under PR. The first election to use it was in 1918. Honestly, I didn't realise they Dutch have been using it for over a century until I looked that up.

However, Belgium has been using proportional representation even longer, since 1900. Indeed, Belgium was the first country to use PR for its general elections, in this case using the D'Hondt method (though it's been tweaked a little since then).

Unlike the Netherlands, Belgium uses electoral districts based around its internal subdivisions (currently its 11 provinces), with seats awarded based on population. IIRC, Israel is the only other country that uses PR* that does what the Netherlands does.

So, here is the actual question: WI - The Netherlands decided to do the same? Would the Dutch parliament still have a bazillion parties in it (Spain and Italy still managed to, but they have a lot more regional diversity), or would it be more like a Standard European Democracy(TM), like Germany, Norway, Sweden, and Belgium before 1970** etc.?

*Strict PR, that is. I am aware that New Zealand (which uses MMP) has a single nationwide top-up region for elections its parliament. I'm only considering voting systems that use PR to elect all members of that country's national legislature here
**I am aware that there are a fair few "ideologically similar, but split by nationality" parties in Belgium


A lot of the rules and culture of Dutch politics is based in the "pillarisation" of the Dutch society, which stood at the basis of the "great compromise" that led to the current political system.
While the effects of the pillarisation have lessend over time it is still there.

HJ Tulp

So you want the Netherlands to use it's 1917 districtsystem or the system Belgium uses right now?
So you want the Netherlands to use it's 1917 districtsystem or the system Belgium uses right now?
It can evolve over time.

Belgium in 1949 (map by our very own @Nanwe):


Belgium in 2019 (from wikipedia):


Though, if the number of seats gets ridiculously large (I'm looking at you South Holland), it can pull a Sweden, and split provinces into multiple districts.