The AD headlined: 'Rutte and Kaag on a 'begging tour.' They will visit opposition parties this week to rally support for the budget plans. The opposition coffee is ready, but that's really all for now.
Until now, we have been accustomed to coalitions being able to count on a majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, barring exceptions.
But now after an enormous fragmentation that is different. Since Nilüfer Gündogan split from Volt, we have 20 factions in the House of Representatives.
Thanks to previous splits from the FvD in particular and defeats for the government parties during the Provincial elections (an insane undemocratic cascading election in which members of the Senate are appointed by the parties), the 4th Rutte cabinet within the Senate has to peddle with the opposition senators.
But that peddling may cost something: voter promises. Pledges to attract voters are squandered to the extent that they have survived the previous coalition talks. After all, in order to come to power, you have to negotiate. Negotiated previously made promises to its own supporters. That means that several election promises are broken in order to win a few others.
Besides the fact that this horse trading is not communicated with the grassroots, let alone that the own voters are asked whether they agree, queuing parties also have to endorse and even implement minority views of the coalition members. No one hears about this deception, under the guise of: there must be government after all, so give and take. That is nice democracy.
But now it is even more undemocratic, while precisely in view of the Alternative Constitution (AS) it seems to be going in the right direction. AS argues in favor of seeking a structurally varying majority for each subject in the House of Representatives alone. Not in the Senate. There should only be party independent legal experts within the AS system who do not constantly repeat or simply confirm the work of the House of Representatives. Senators should review laws for accuracy and feasibility and that they do not contradict existing laws.
Because what's going to happen now? With that cup of coffee Rutte and Kaag try to get parties other than the coalition to support the cabinet. And then even more voter promises are broken. Because for what belongs what. In exchange for support, the PvdA demands that the minimum wage be raised to € 14,00. That is not stated in any program of the coalition parties. Perhaps CU and D66 are not unsympathetic to this, it was certainly not an election point for the VVD.
Not even hypothetically, the SGP could demand that Sunday rest be restored in exchange for cabinet support. Shops closed, no parties, no fairs, but only the churches open. How could democracy if about 2% of the population get something like this through. They are possible demands of a party that constitutionally should not exist in a secular state, where church and state should be separated.
AS only applauds the fragmentation, hopes for even more factions, which means that it is hardly possible to form coalitions in the House of Representatives either. Then a varying majority is sought for the solution of each new problem or for each newly submitted bill. Then parties such as SP, PVV and FvD can also be important, while they are now excluded. That's pretty close to the concept of democracy.
The structure of AS (AS is not a political party, only a system with, among other things, multiple mini-referenda) is to bring citizens closer to decision-making. Now we color a circle in red once every 4 years, giving all parties in the House of Representatives a blank power of attorney, among other things to squander voter promises. The people should decide, because politics is about the interests of the people in the country. Citizens should then be involved in the decision-making process, through possible mini-referenda several times a year. And never again have (emergency) laws imposed by a few regentsque party elites who do know what is good for the 'plebs'.
That is why having a cup of coffee with the opposition is an emergency measure and certainly not a form of democracy based on conviction. It will be a cakeless cup of coffee from The Hague without democratic ambitions. It does not lead to a structural improvement of democracy. In fact, you can safely say that we will not live in a democracy even after that. The state now decides about the people, lays down everything about the citizens, now knows a lot about the 'subjects', while it is precisely the people who should determine in majority, should be in charge. The state should be there for the people, not the other way around. Bottom up instead of top down. Democracy instead of tyranny. Does the fate of our country depend on a weak brown cup of coffee?
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