“The parliament benefits from granting more rights to a minority in the House of Representatives. A balance of power between government parties and opposition ensures more decisive policy and more open government.” The Enschede MP Pieter Omtzigt explained in words to this effect this morning in the TV program WNL on Sunday why he is submitting a proposal in the House of Representatives, together with JA12 and Volt, for an amendment to the regulations, which allows a minority of 50 seats to be request a debate.
A majority of 76 seats in the House of Representatives is still necessary to request a debate, to force the cabinet to be open, or simply to request more information on policy issues. According to Omtzigt, this means that the parliament cannot do its job. “The governing parties, together with parties such as ChristenUnie and SGP, form a majority in the House of Representatives and can therefore block everything.”
‘Abroad thinks the Netherlands is strange’
“They find that strange about the Netherlands abroad. In other countries, the rights of parties that occupy a minority position have been established. That means that they can exercise their task as representatives of the people in monitoring the government. That mechanism is hindered in the Netherlands.” Omtzigt said.
He expects that the new cabinet, which according to Rutte should be in place before Christmas, has learned nothing from old mistakes. “Rutte promised a cabinet with new impetus that would give substance to a new administrative culture with more openness between the cabinet and the House of Representatives. Well, the outgoing cabinet, which must also form the new cabinet, still excels in not sharing information. If I want to know how the new cabinet is being formed, I’d better listen at the VVD party congress, where more is said than in the House of Representatives.”
Omtzigt says that every month since the elections in March this year, attempts have been made to hold a debate about the state of affairs in the cabinet formation. “But the government majority keeps putting up new blockades. They stop everything.”
And that while it has now been nine months. “They say: you should not disturb a hen that is brooding. Well, a hen hatches its eggs in 21 days. And these people have been busy for 9 months,” said the politician from Enschede
Error upon error in corona policy
The sad thing, he says, is that we all suffer from it. “The energy they put into a new cabinet is at the expense of the efforts that must be made to conduct a good corona policy. But instead, they make mistake after mistake.”