Tweede Kamer - Rob Croes. Anefo. Nationaal Archief
Tweede Kamer - Rob Croes. Anefo. Nationaal Archief

Yearbook gems - The democratic ideal (2004)

As of now, our Yearbooks of Parliamentary History can be read again via our website. The volumes of the Parliamentary History Series are also available open access. Both are in Dutch. In the coming weeks, we will highlight a gem from our Yearbooks each week.

This week, an attempt to form a cabinet with PVV, VVD, NSC and BBB stranded after Pieter Omtzigt (NSC) left the negotiating table. The mutual divisions in the fragmented political landscape and some parties' positions on democracy and the rule of law give rise to concerned articles by academics and (former) politicians on the state of democracy. Concerns about the quality of democracy are not new. For example, in the opening article of the 2004 Yearbook of Parliamentary History: The Democratic Ideal, historian James Kennedy demonstrates how the essence of democracy has been viewed in the Netherlands since the introduction of the system of proportional representation in 1918 by means of two points of criticism. Firstly, he addresses the criticism that the multitude of mainly small parties would hamper the functioning of democracy and, secondly, he delves into the often-heard comment that parties are seemingly unable to respond effectively to 'the demands of the times'.

Read James Kennedy, 'Democracy as a governance problem Renewal efforts in Dutch politics since 1918', JPG 2004, pp. 12-21.

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