Limburg politicians most absent from Provincial States meetings

A polling station for the Dutch provincial elections in 2015
A polling station for the Dutch provincial elections in 2015Photo: Ellywa/Wikimedia Commons

Of all State members in the Netherlands, the members of the Provincial States in Limburg were most often absent during meetings in the past four years at 7.6 percent. Absenteeism was least in the Provincial States of Gelderland and Noord-Brabant at 3.5 percent, according to research by NOS and the regional broadcasters into the attendance lists of the past administrative period. 

Limburg governor Theo Bovens told NOS that he is pleased that the absenteeism in the province decreased, from 9.2 percent in 2011-2015 to 7.6 percent in 2015-2019. "States membership requires a great deal of work and in most cases members of the States also have an ordinary job alongside the States membership. I find that the absences are legitimate. There is no structural absenteeism", he said. 

Nationally the absenteeism at Provincial States meetings dropped from 5.4 percent to 4.9 percent. The previous Provincial States administrative period had many "ghost members' - people who had a seat but never showed up. Noord-Holland in particular struggled with this. But as the ghost members largely disappeared in this past administrative period, absenteeism in Noord-Holland dropped from 8.9 percent between 2011 and 2015 to 4.2 percent between 2015 and 2019.

Nationally five States members were absent ten or more times, all due to long-term illnesses. Some of them were replaced for that reason. 

Looking at the political parties, members of animal party PvdD were the most loyal meeting attendees over the past administrative period. On average, the Provincial States met 40 times during the past four years. PvdD State members were absent less than once. Members of regional parties and one-man factions were absent most often,  these eight State members were absent a total of 23 times. SGP/CU members were also absent almost three times per person in the past period. 

The Provincial States elections, during which the Dutch Senate is elected, is happening later this month.