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Dutch News

2 March 2014

According to research advisor Peter Kanne, in an essay in the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant, there is a large chance that Dutch voters will be even more disappointed after the upcoming elections. 'The transfer of tasks to the municipalities is irresponsible because it happens far too fast and at the same time there is €. 1.5 billion less budget.'


‘Most voters are disappointed, cynical or are just not interested in politics. Only 1/3 of the voters is interested in local politics.’ Peter Kanne, a senior research advisor of a Dutch market research agency, states that the coalition parties VVD and PvdA should actually hope for a low turnout at the local elections on March 19. It would hurt them less.  

 

The low turnout would also be a clear signal to the national authorities that something has to change in Dutch politics. At the moment it seems that less than 50% of the voters will cast their votes, which would be a record low.

 

This year the local elections are significant, because of the all the reforms in the care branch and the decentralisation plans, but according to the Peter Kanne the voter does not have to expect much. The transfer of care tasks from the national to the local government happens too fast and with too little funding.  

 

In an essay in the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant he sums up why he is disappointed in the Dutch political system and why he predicts things will go wrong: 

 

The care for elderly and handicapped is the main issue at March 19. The transfer of tasks from national to local government, valued 15 billion Euro, will give the municipalities 30% more work, but at the same time the number of cuts run up to 40%. 2/3 of the voters do not think the authorities will be able to reform the care branch and even at this moment insiders even judge the long term care and youth care as inadequate. 

 

Most voters are disappointed, cynical or is just not interested in politics. Only 1/3 of the voters is interested in local politics. And according to Kanne there is a large chance that the voters will be even more disappointed after the upcoming elections. Kanne: 'The transfer of tasks to the municipalities is irresponsible because it happens far too fast and at the same time there is €. 1.5 billion less budget'.

 

Local authorities become the implementation institute of the government, while the control on local politics is insufficient. And in these days it gets more and more difficult to find people that want to be active in local politics.

 

Dutch citizens that are confronted with new legislations like the new youth law and the participation law, do not have much faith that these tasks will be well executed from 2015. 2/3 think that the municipalities will fail.

 

Especially lower educated people will be confronted with the serious changes in the care

system, and they hardly realise what will lie ahead after the decentralisation. From the low educated people only 1/4 will definitely cast their vote.

 

Due to the reforms, decentralisation and new cuts the upcoming local elections are important, but very probably the turn out will be lower again. In an age of European unification, the Dutch voter loses faith in the political system.

 

Link:

Elections in the Netherlands background information

 




 

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