How can the same government be so innovative all of a sudden?

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When 33-year-old Natasja Dipai saw on Thursday what VVD, D66, CDA and ChristenUnie would do to continue ruling in Rutte IV, “I felt like a knife had been stabbed in my back.” “This is the same coalition that has shown us over the past two years that it cannot help us,” she said. We are 47,000 people who have declared themselves victims in the case of benefits – Dipai is one of them.

It seems, says Kristi Röngen, the victim who asked VVD leader Mark Rutte in a February election debate why he had not resigned, as if The Hague forgot where the whole political crisis started: the question allowances. Earlier this year, Rutte-III came across the report of the parliamentary inquiry, which concluded that Saleh’s parents had committed “unprecedented injustice” on the part of the government.

Since then, this issue has been seen as the definitive formulation of a political culture in which citizens have come to stand up against the government, where politicians have not paid attention to the implementation of the rules they have set. , from covering ministers to the dismissal of deputies, strong political relations within the coalition and the House of Representatives which have been stripped of its power of control. In fact, the whole political system has gone adrift.

That needs to change, party leaders said in unison in the spring.

Will it be different?

Negotiators pledged on Thursday afternoon that training negotiations between political leaders who have worked together for the past four years would be a “fresh start”. The alliance agreement could become less fragile; The debate can be left to the House of Representatives. But whistleblower Johan Remix warned Thursday at his closing press conference of the consequences of forming a new majority government. “If the treasuries can count on the majority in advance, it is because of the ease with automated driving, we have the majority. And that’s not good for the political process.

The attempt to make Rutte-III Rutte-IV follows a political logic. Rutte’s VVD became the most prominent in the March elections. He then spoke falsely about the “position elsewhere” to Peter Umtzigt, then a member of the CDA, but remained after the censorship movement and was quickly rehabilitated. First through its coalition partners, then through GroenLinks and PvdA – parties which see or have seen the bearer of Rutte’s old political culture, but which also wanted to reign with it.

In this political logic – we must hold out our hands, we cannot ignore each other – the negotiation of a fourth government under Rutte with the same composition of his party as his third, is an explicable consequence of a formation in which all other options have been crossed out.

“How can causalists solve problems? A parent asks Rongen for benefits. “If the same government comes back, it won’t change our situation much,” says Depay. “Rutte got away with it. It seems that the issue of allowances has become an afterthought, as if it is over.

Also read this analysis: Now that the training has finally started, there really is nothing to lose


But for Dipai, that’s not the case at all. Her suffering continued throughout Rota’s time. It all started in 2010 with a letter in which three thousand euros of benefits were recovered – Dipai could not prove that it was not her, but the nursery that was wrong, because the nursery did not want to provide of documents. Its tax debt was initially 30,000 euros and now stands at 65,000 euros. On top of that, around 40,000 euros in other debts were added, “because with debts you become debts,” she says – loans from friends and banks to pay off other debts and to survive. First, Depay and her husband lost their impounded car, then their job, then their house, and finally each other. Depay had a stroke, due to the tension she believes is half-paralyzed, so her husband has returned to care for her and her children. They fight together again.

But it turned out Thursday afternoon that it could take years before all the victims in the benefits case are compensated. In addition, it turned out that officials had already read a memo from 2017 warning against the illegality of collecting allowances – the existence of the document has been denied for years.

Beast Leviathan

This week, political leaders were again talking about the need for a new culture of governance. but how? It is still not clear what change they made in thinking about the relationship between government and citizens – “managerial culture” risks becoming a vague and universal term.

In addition, political parties last week chose the “safe” option of a majority government, which by definition is guaranteed adequate support in the House of Representatives. An experimental minority cabinet that Detective Remix favored was rejected precisely because it would make more room in the House of Representatives.

Also read this analysis: Running the D66 suddenly makes it possible to restart the Rutte III

In addition, the potential challenge of Rutte IV is greater, at least if the parties are to address the issues widely identified in government performance. How do they intend to shape the relationship between citizens and government in a way that does not create a new alternative question? In fact, this is the essence of a liberal society: how to protect a citizen from the absolute power of the state? National ombudsman Rainer van Zutphen said on Friday that for citizens this possibility is “much smaller than I thought”. Norwegian Refugee Council. Once identified as a fraudster, the unlucky one, that is, who sees the government against him, must fight the brutal Leviathan.

Preferably, the parent benefits Dipai who no longer follows the policy. “But I have to do it because it is about the future of my family. We need to keep talking about the allowance issue so that they continue to feel the pressure to fix it. “


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