Traditionally, King Willem-Alexander pronounced the Throne today. But where he normally presents the governments plans, this was thin content today. What does the speech about the formation process say?
“The void of the Throne speech today was really painful,” says political reporter Arjan Noorlander. “There was nothing to announce. This made it more of an annual review, something the king normally does at Christmas.”
An attempt at a handto by demissionary Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Noorlander sees the kings speech today. The text was largely written by the VVD leader. “He must try to break the impasse in The Hague. Very cautious there was a warning in it: we cannot continue with this formation forever.”
Rutte announced this week that — during the General Political Reflections — 1 billion euros will be distributed between the parties in the House of Representatives. Its about money that was initially intended for business. Noorlander calls the VVDs “bribe”, to force steps in the formation. “If these seven middle parties succeed in distributing the money later, his idea is that the collaboration will be fine over the next four years.”
Meanwhile, some parties are calling for new elections. There is only a practical problem, says Professor of State Law Wim Voermans. “It takes three months to prepare elections. So we should decide now to take new elections, then we can do it just before Christmas. Next year, the municipal elections will be held in March. And because you cant keep the election too close, you wouldnt be able to make new elections until May. So late, its very undesirable.”
Noorlander doesnt see new elections happen anytime soon. “Thats not something that falls into the Dutch tradition. The realization of talking to reach a majority is very big. We are the land of the polder model anyway.”
How can such a long formation be prevented in the future? Voermans says a new law for formation. A law that ensures tight deadlines: if the party (s) concerned fails to form a new cabinet in time, then there will be new elections. According to Voermans, such a system is already being used by thirteen countries in the European Union.
“This rule has two positive elements,” Voermans says. “First, an upward pressure on the formation. People have to move. Secondly, if it is nothing and there will be new elections, that voter can speak out about the formation process.”