The Political Class in Advanced Democracies

By Jens Borchert; Jürgen Zeiss | Go to book overview

fewer experienced MPs willing to play according to the rules. Especially the latter fact, the inexperience of LPF MPs and also of LPF cabinet ministers led to many internal quarrels. Members of the parliamentary party accused each other of abuse of power, the parliamentary leader of the LPF group was replaced and after several months, two LPF representatives left the parliamentary group and formed an independent party group. Inside the cabinet a similar situation happened with two LPF ministers accusing each other openly of power abuse and mismanagement. All this led to a very premature fall of the cabinet Balkenende, after being 87 days in office. Another consequence of the unexpected huge loss of the “purple parties” was the resignation of many former cabinet ministers and junior ministers from the parliamentary group. Since many of them were known with the general public, all these former government ministers had been placed high on the lists of candidates, and were thus, elected to Parliament. A majority of them, however, had no intention to stay another 4 years in Parliament and announced their resignation. This, of course, caused a debate in the media on the deceit of electors and blemished the “purple parties” even more.

In the end, the wave of reform that swept through Parliament under the “purple cabinet” did not last long. Before the 1994 election, the relationship between cabinet and Parliament could be described as static: a monistic relationship between government and the governmental parties, which were very disciplined as far as voting in Parliament was concerned. Bills submitted by the cabinet were sometimes amended, but almost always passed Parliament. Under the “purple cabinet” parliamentary behavior did change. The VVD parliamentary group and, less often, the PvdA and D66 parliamentary parties, did not automatically follow their own cabinet members, and several times the cabinet failed to gain a majority for its plans. Much more often than used to be the case, roll calls were necessary, and it seemed that the traditional split between government and opposition parties was not so clear-cut anymore and that Parliament was gaining influence again. But, with the Parliament that started in 2002 these “new” relations ended and again MPs obediently voted according to their role: government party or not. In addition, the electorate became confronted with MPs of the LPF parliamentary group accusing and fighting each other. Despite of all the pressures and debates on institutional reform Parliament has yet not succeeded in regaining trust and involvement of Dutch citizens.


REFERENCES

Andeweg, Rudy B. (1992). “Executive-Legislative Relations in the Netherlands: Consecutive and Coexisting Pattern”. Legislative Studies Quarterly, 17: 161-82.

—— and Irwin, Galen A. (2002). Governance and Politics of the Netherlands. New York: Palgrave.

Berg, Johannes Th. J. van den (1983). De toegang tot het Binnenhof: de maatschappelijke herkomst van de Tweede-Kamerleden tussen 1849 en 1970. Weesp: Van Holkema.

Dittrich, Karl, and Andeweg, Rudy B. (1982). “De mythologie van het meerderheidsdenken”. Socialisme en Democratie, 39: 324-32.

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The Political Class in Advanced Democracies
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Political Class in Advanced Democracies iii
  • Acknowledgements v
  • Contents vii
  • List of Figures ix
  • List of Tables x
  • List of Contributors xii
  • 1: Professional Politicians 1
  • References 22
  • 2: Australia 26
  • References 43
  • References 64
  • 4: Canada 67
  • References 82
  • 5: Denmark 84
  • 6: Finland 107
  • References 121
  • References 139
  • References 161
  • 9: Great Britain 164
  • Conclusion 183
  • 10: Ireland 187
  • 11: Israel 203
  • References 220
  • References 242
  • References 257
  • References 276
  • 15: New Zealand 278
  • 16: Norway 298
  • References 317
  • 17: Portugal 320
  • 18: Spain 336
  • References 349
  • 19: Sweden 352
  • References 371
  • 20: Switzerland 374
  • References 411
  • Subject Index 416
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