The Hague is ruled by you, the citizen
The municipal elections are coming closer and closer. For you, as citizen of The Hague, the Munipal Debate will take place on Wednesday 7th of March to inform you as good as possible. What are the main tasks of municipal councils? Are you wondering which parties are participating in The Hague? Well, it is time for you to read more!
Why is the supply of student rooms so limited in my city? Should shops be allowed to open their doors on Sundays? Where could an asylum centre best be placed? Who thinks that the Dutch House of Representatives has the most influence on your daily life, is wrong. The municipal elections, which take place on the 21th March, are far most suitable to change things that affect your daily life.
By Michael Kunst
In general, the attendance for local elections is lower compared to the national elections. Isn’t that strange? Policy changes at the local level are generally accomplished quicker than national policy changes. Since a few years, the municipality has been responsible for affairs such as social support, youth services and the implementation of the Participatiewet. That is why Han Busker, chairman of the Dutch labour union FNV, has an urgent message: “It is important to vote. Please don’t stay home: your, as citizen, are the boss in your municipality!”
The municipal council is the legislative body of the municipality. The council creates laws and controls the executive body, which is the municipal coalition. This coalition consists of one mayor and several aldermen. Aldermen are chosen by the municipal council. The council also has the power to dismiss aldermen when they don’t do their job well or when they lose the trust of the council. The number of members of a municipal council is based on the number of citizens within a municipality.
Dear The Hague residents in my timeline: Your vote matters! All EU citizens and residents, registered for 5 years or more are eligible to vote during the municipal elections of March 21st! No need for citizenship! @D66DenHaag is a great option ;-) https://t.co/x39QcQgqf2— Marieke van Doorn (@DemLovLib) 16 februari 2018
The mayor is chairman of the municipal coalition and the municipal council. His most important task is the responsibility for public order. Because of this task, the mayor is also the head of the police staff within his municipality.
The battle of The Hague
The municipal council of The Hague currently consist of sixteen parties and 45 council members. Beside the well-known national parties, such as PvdA and VVD, there are also local parties in the council. One of those ‘locals’ is even member of the municipal coalition: the Haagse Stadspartij (The Hague City Party). The additional members of the municipal coalition are D66, PvdA, VVD and CDA.
A recent poll of the upcoming elections in The Hague, performed by I&O Research, shows that the current coalition could possibly have a hard time upcoming. Only the VVD might get more seats than it has now, according to the poll. The other parties lose seats or remain the same. One of the local parties, called Groep De Mos, receives a notable score of 4 seats.
Issues in The Hague
According to I&O Research, there are clear themes that attract most attention of the citizens in The Hague. Security and crime play the most important role, with 37% of people putting this issue at one in their top three. Young citizens (18-34 years old) rank differently. For them, getting an affordable home and education are the most important issues in the city.
Confidence in the local politicians of The Hague is positive. Less than one out of five citizens have no confidence in members of the municipal council. Over 40% responds positive by saying they trust local politicians. Additionally, citizens in The Hague say they vote primarily on parties, which means their vote is not based on specific persons within a party.
The Hague’s locals
The most influential local political party in the municipality currently is the Haagse Stadspartij. The party is a member of the municipal coalition; they are one of the executives. Mostly, political parties at the local level are founded because of dissatisfaction about the established (‘national’) parties. The Haagse Stadspartij was founded in 1998 because of this reason and became an important actor in the city. Since 2014, they have been the biggest local party in the municipality, having 5 out of 45 seats. So, do not be distract by ‘well-known’ names of the national parties too much. Have an eye on the locals as well!
I&O Research – Op naar de gemeenteraadsverkiezingen
FNV – Han Busker: “Jij bent de baas”