Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 08:10
MPs amend plans for referendum
MPs want to amend current referendum formats, launching the idea of a so-called advisory referendum, which is not binding. This referendum can be introduced until a corrective referendum, which is binding, has been voted on. This advisory referendum can also get a participation quorum. The ideas for these referenda came from the PvdA, D66 and GroenLinks on Tuesday night, proposing them to senator Ruud Koole, amongst others, of the PvdA. At the end of the week, they will come with a memo of how to go about these amendments. According to het Parool, Koole was "very happy." Koole, whose PvdA vote carries a lot of weight, did have some issues with the plan at first. He feared a situation in which citizens opt for an advisory referendum in future to avoid the responsibility of a binding referendum, in the hope that the cabinet won't dare to ignore the results anyway. He therefore did not want both referenda to exist alongside each other. Some other parties had questions as well. It would be difficult to pass these plans into the law immediately. An advisory referendum is rather easily realized, but a corrective referendum demands amendments of the Constitution, and that is always a hefty undertaking. A 'preliminary reading' must first pass through parliament, then come the elections, and then the amendments have to be accepted by two-thirds of parliament members. The 'temporary' of an advisory referendum would have to be flexible. The government is remaining neutral in this case. Minister Ronald Plasterk does not think these referenda will be an axe to the roots of democracy, but he also doesn't believe them to pose as a miracle cure in all political issues. Voting on these proposals will be next week Tuesday.