ABOUT DEMOCRACY AND EXPERTISE
Why Our Democracy Fails - End (6)
'Those voters do not determine the election results, but the people who count the votes' - Josef Stalin
The magical red box
Parts 1 to 5 examined the extent to which we live in a constitutional democratic constitutional state. My conclusion is already following. Today's democracy is a state in which a political caste imposes their form of democracy on the people.
Often they withdraw themselves from the laws they made and imposed
to citizens (Grapperhaus for example). The voter makes a box red and thus gives carte blanche to any politician. After all, during the vote it is unknown who will ultimately end up with power.
The elected politician again casts his vote on behalf of the voter in order to impose laws, regulations, taxes, restrictions on civil rights, wars, the functioning of banks and other service monopolies on the voter. Politicians claim that they can deduce from that magical red box that the voter automatically agrees with everything they wish to impose with his vote.
If you do not stick to the imposed rules, the political caste will enforce this with the means of power; fines, penalties, wiretapping, tracking of surfing behavior and email traffic, BOAs, police, prosecution, deprivation of liberty, the riot police, the army.
Because, they argue, you've made a box red, so you agree with everything we think is right. Even if you did not make a magical box red, you will have to conform to what politicians say is the will of the majority of the people. Even with an election turnout of less than 50 percent.
The reality is that by casting your vote you are simply guessing whether something important to you will be realized. That is why fewer and fewer people still see the usefulness of voting.
Problem 1 - Political parties supply all candidates for any political office. The number of available
candidates suitable for the complex substantive and administrative task is therefore exceptionally thin
There are approximately 32.000 political party members available for approximately 12.000 political office; little chance that a truly suitable candidate will be available for every political office. For example, politicians land in positions of which they know nothing about the content and / or have no idea how to lead the organization.
My suggestion - Substantively expert directors at all administrative positions.
We need proven successful managers, skilled in their field and not from political circles. How we get it is explained below. Managing content experts on the basis of the content and not on the basis of political sentiments, political correctness, the issues of the day, incidents or claimed, unsubstantiated priorities. We only find politicians in the parliament (Tweede Kamer). In this way, the duality between government and parliament is at least regained.
Problem 2 - The Hague mechanisms reduce the influence of the voter to zero
Because party bosses (party leaders, party leaders and even ministers) 'interpret' the results after the elections, it is never certain what a coalition will look like regardless of the voting ratio between parties. The clap of hands during the coalition formation means that also losing parties can come back to a cabinet and election promises are exchanged without the consent of the voter.
Moreover, the voter never knows which coalition agreement will result in this haggling. Certain parties are also loudly excluded from participation in the coalition before the elections. The voter therefore has no de facto choice or influence; he chooses blindly and hopes that it will turn out well.
My suggestion - Form a coalition including a coalition agreement in outline before the elections.
Each party should be represented in at least one, possibly two coalitions. A party can (partly) lose its own egg in every potential coalition and thus remain (perhaps) recognizable for the voter. The voter votes for a coalition with an outline coalition agreement. The winning coalition has the coalition agreement implemented by professionally expert administrators. The coalition gets seats according to the percentage of votes they got. The other seats are allocated percentage wise to parties that are not in the coalition.
By choosing a coalition, the voter generally knows what to expect. Not now.
Problem 3 - Cadaveric discipline in the House of Representatives is deadly for our democracy
99,999% of the coalition votes in the House of Representatives (source: Datagraver.nl) run strictly via the imposed party line. Conclusion: MPs are voting cattle.
They violate their oath of office and the Constitution, but apparently that does not matter. So the government always gets a majority for any proposal they put forward. Moreover, because the coalition always gets its way, opposition parties can actually stay away.
This leaves large groups of voters in the cold. Of what they consider important, something is rarely actually seriously considered, let alone realized. In a country where, according to politicians, everyone counts, that is downright abject.
My suggestion - Choosing a coalition with a coalition agreement.
The chance that an artificial coalition (Kok I and II with VVD / PvdA / D66, Rutte II with VVD / PvdA) can present a coalition agreement acceptable to the voter is small. The voter will reject such a coalition on that basis. Weird, incomprehensible coalitions that came about purely to form a majority can also ignore voters.
If the voter does not see through it, the voter will at least know what to choose. Not now.
The elected coalition may not have a majority in the House. This is not a problem under constitutional law. It forces the coalition to seek support from other parties, the opposition, in order to get a majority for every legislative and policy proposal. In this way the public and political debate is released, which is now structurally castrated by the cadaveric discipline. In this way, the citizens who did not opt for the ultimate coalition actually get a vote. That seems to me to be an optimal democracy.
Problem 4 - The absolute omnipotence of the executive over the legislative and judicial branches
Together with the government (executive power), the House of Representatives forms part of the legislative power. Because of this cadaveric discipline in the House of Representatives (99,999% votes via the party line), the government is chasing each
bill effortlessly through the House. These are then almost never fired by the Senate, which has to approve them.
Between 2016 and 2019, the Senate discussed about 880 bills. Only 5 did not make it to the finish line. That is 0,56%. (Source: firstekamer.nl)
The judiciary is also completely dominated by the government. Not only through the laws they make that the judge must adhere to, but also because literally every judge is appointed by
the government through strictly political lines. What do you mean independent judge?
Specifically, no more than ten party bosses (party leaders, party leaders, possibly ministers) put MPs of the coalition (75 persons +1 is a majority) under pressure and determine what happens in the Netherlands!
Democracy? Trias politicas, divided power between legislator, executor and judge? How do you mean? It's a complete travesty, anathema.
My suggestion - Directly choose who will join a board post.
Directors are democratically elected from and by people in the field. Right to vote and to stand for election by the discipline and for the discipline. For example, the ministers and state secretaries of
Justice come from the field of law chosen by people from the field; professors, legal science professors, their students, lawyers, and so on. At least they still have
(some) insight into what is going on in the profession, know the developments, know where the shoe pinches.
They vote directly for a person and unlike now, they vote blindly for the first person on a voting list. Lawyers who are members of a political party and / or lawyers with (former) official position do not have the right to vote or to stand as a candidate due to a potential conflict of interest.
In the same way, administrators can also be elected for the other ministries. Think of education staff who elect a minister, the financial advisers and accountants for Finance, people in
the social sector for their industry, fishermen and farmers, you know what I mean. In all cases, legislation can benefit qualitatively from the director's substantive expertise.
The mayor and the King's Commissioner are also directly elected by the citizen. And since these are board positions, the same applies as for other board positions; proven management quality and professional expertise in at least one portfolio they receive. Politicians or (former) civil servants with connections in politics are not eligible.
The Senate, public prosecutor (Public Prosecution Service), members of the Council of State, Social Economic Council, Court of Audit and all other advisory bodies are also elected. All these posts
are now filled in via strictly political lines and fished from that tiny pool of no more than 32.000 candidates. I think that pond with potentially good, content expert drivers with proven
management capacity is much, much greater and that a lot of talent is now unused.
To prevent citizens from endlessly going to the polls, voting can be done in the way that provincial councils now elect the Senate, the multi-stage election.
In short, no longer politicians, but administrators with an expertise in content in a management position. The election can take place via several stages and are of a higher democratic quality than the current situation where people vote blindly for any politician.
This way of choosing solves a number of problems. Firstly, the party loyalty that is now enforced in the House of Representatives against their own ministers and / or coalition no longer plays a role. The debate is not
a trick for the stage and sending a failing minister away becomes easier.
In this way the duality between executor (government) and controller (House of Representatives) takes shape and form again. A duality that now only exists on paper.
Second, the quality of legislation will improve a lot. Substandard or politically opportunistic bills from the coalition in the Lower House will be torpedoed in terms of content by the substantively expert minister. Bills proposed by a minister are no longer drawn up through party political lines and must be supported by the majority of the House.
And legislation introduced by a minister himself will probably also be of better quality due to his expertise. Letting go of crappy legislation on the unsuspecting citizen is much less likely.
Problem 5 - The unreliable government
The way it is now put together, the General Administrative Law Act ensures that citizens almost always draw the short straw when they are not in agreement with a government decision. Even if the citizen is proved right by the highest administrative court, the government can endlessly make the same decision again.
The abuses within municipalities, provinces and ministries are deep-rooted and widespread. See above part 5. The balance of power between citizen and state is deeply disturbed. That is why it comes political-official
device is almost always unscathed, regardless of how often or to what extent citizens have been misled, content is misunderstood, how much tax money is wasted.
And, failing politicians simply end up in the next administrative or other fun position through the back door. Because that's the way the circuit works.
My suggestion - Directors become jointly and severally liable.
Entrepreneurs have entrepreneurial risk. If an entrepreneur misses out, he has to worry about it himself. Often both financially and personally. This will also apply to administrators and senior officials. The Pikmeer judgments now stand in the way of this. Reporting is no longer the preserve of fellow board members or parliament, as is the case now. The system is like football: twice yellow is red.
Caught lying or withholding information or avoiding answering questions in Parliament or answering too late? Yellow card! Twice yellow, is red. For fraud, corruption, forgery,
nepotism, etc., etc., immediately red. The same for the top officials. If you insult your position of trust, there is an appropriate punishment. Red card means dismissal and automatically joint and several liability for it
all (wage) costs incurred and damage suffered.
If applicable, criminal prosecution is started immediately. In short, driver risk just like entrepreneurial risk. That seems quite strict, but it is certainly not. Citizens are unceremoniously punished disproportionately for the smallest crimes. See fine amounts on the OM site and compare them with other countries. Administrative ignorance or cover-up affairs can affect entire population groups or industries very severely and for a long time.
Flanking measures, my suggestions
A number of accompanying measures are needed to prevent excesses as much as possible.
• Prevent abuse of power - Abuse of power increases the longer drivers sit. That is why no director has been sitting for longer than a maximum of two times four years. If an interim resignation is required, the maximum of two board periods applies. After that they can no longer be elected to any administrative position or parliament. The same goes for representatives of the people.
• The will of the people directly applied - Binding referendums locally, regionally and nationally.
• Protection of civil rights - The establishment of a constitutional court, elected democratically as described above.
Task 1 - Guiding the writing of a new Constitution in the way as in Iceland when citizens wrote a new Constitution interactively with each other.
Task 2 - Testing existing laws against the new Constitution, especially those laws where civil rights may be violated.
• Independence of the judiciary - The establishment of a lay jury in the judiciary, as is customary in the Anglo-Saxon countries. The judge guards the proceedings, the jury determines guilt or innocence. This guarantees independence in the judiciary and counterbalances the massive dominance that the prosecutor (Public Prosecution Service) now has in the courtroom.
• Blank voting is possible and can lead to invalid elections - When voters cannot choose a coalition that is acceptable to them, they can vote blank. If the number of blank votes is greater than that of any coalition, the parties must do their homework again. This prevents underhand manipulations in the coalition formation. A process that the voter has no influence on at the moment.
• Preventing cadaveric discipline by breaking the power of party bosses - Data can be used to deduce the voting behavior of representatives of the people. When figures show that there is cadaveric discipline within the coalition, the percentage of seats of that party is reduced and the party's leadership denies all direct and indirect access to or influence on any political circuit in any way.
Is democracy a good system, they asked Winston Churchill. Not according to him, but of all systems it was the least bad. That is a weakness pur sang. We have had a more or less democratic government in the Netherlands for about four hundred years. But our constitutional democratic rule of law is deeply, deeply ill.
I have tried to uncover a number of fundamental causes of the many abuses in the political administrative Netherlands. Before that I did a lot of source research, learned about constitutional and administrative law, made use of the knowledge of others, and was able to fall back on solid research work by third parties.
Have I read everything? No, that's impossible, but I did rely on solid, reputable and reliable sources. And I've tried to word it in such a way that you don't need a degree in law or political science to understand it. It is normal for a product or service to be constantly improved. However, nothing comes of administrative renewal (source: denederlandsegrondwet.nl). I have tried to give some impetus to some
of the fundamental problems.
Are my suggestions blissful? No, definitely not. There is certainly a bargain. Especially those who have an interest in the current system will no doubt burn off all my suggestions. Without a doubt, my ideas can be improved, supplemented, further developed or refined. The current political caste, however, insists that the current system is working fine. That is true, but only for themselves, of course.
Do my proposals solve everything? No of course not. There are drawbacks to every system. That is okay as long as we want to recognize them, as long as we do not try to hide them under the politically correct carpet, but look for constructive solutions together in open conversation. This is no longer the case in any way.
The current state of affairs in the Netherlands is increasing the pressure on the political caste and many people are thinking about how things can be done differently. From people who just use their common sense to people with three titles to their name. People from every possible walk of life. The diversity is enormous, but they have one thing in common; they are sick of the regime of the current political-administrative caste.
Unfortunately, many stories end with "And then an elephant with a big snout came and blew the story out." The incumbent political caste will resist such a drastic upheaval, a revolution in the administrative Netherlands, if you like. That is true even of any minor change that potentially limits their power. Politics is always, always and exclusively about power. Not who is right, but who is right. It does not matter whose interests are harmed, how the 'facts' are presented, what must be covered up, who must be bought off or put under pressure.
That must change. That can be different. The Netherlands deserves better.
I wish you all wisdom,
This was the last column in Karel Nuks' six-part.
See previous parts here: