The state of Dutch democracy is uncertain. After last week’s elections, the stability of the political system appears guaranteed for the next couple of years. We cannot be sure, however, what will happen afterwards. This marks a change from the past.
Geert Wilders’ PVV Party believes that Islam is a totalitarian ideology and not a religion, and thus Muslims are not equally entitled to the same freedom of religion or belief as other believers. This view is incompatible with liberal democracy.
Polls for the general elections on 12 September indicate that it will prove difficult to cement a majority coalition in the Netherlands. Political fragmentation is increasingly destabilizing Dutch politics. Maybe electoral thresholds need to be considered.
The present Dutch cabinet crisis gives rise to difficult problems: how is the budget for 2013 to be settled with a crippled cabinet and upcoming elections? Professor Voermans argues that Dutch parliamentary history offers a precedent and some hope.