In 2006, the 143 members of the Netherlands’ Electoral System Civic Forum (Burgerforum kiesstelsel) met to investigate various electoral systems for choosing members of the Parliament, and eventually to decide which system would be most appropriate for the Netherlands.
Problems and Purpose
Background History and Context
Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities
The Citizen’s Assembly about the electoral system was initiated by the then Minister for democratic reform, Alexander Pechtold.
Participant Recruitment and Selection
Methods and Tools Used
What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation
The 140 Members deliberated in three phases and were led by Jacobine van Geel, a Dutch television presenter. The citizens’ assembly operated independently. In a first phase, the participants were ‘schooled’ in electoral system design. In the second phase, the participants got input from the broader Dutch society. In the third and final phase, the citizens’ assembly crafted its advice. The two most prominent elements of the advice were:
- Introducing the possibility of voting for a party or a candidate (instead of the current system where Dutch voters were obliged to vote for a candidate) and abolishing the preference threshold. The percentage of voters voting for a candidate would determine what percentage of candidates would be elected based on their number of preference votes.
- Regarding the distribution of the remainder seats, specifically switching from a system of highest averages to a system of largest remainders.
Influence, Outcomes, and Effects
Analysis and Lessons Learned
This entry is based on:
- Paulis, Emilien; Pilet, Jean-Benoit; Panel, Sophie; Vittori, Davide; Close, Caroline, 2020, "POLITICIZE Dataset", https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/Z7X6GT, Harvard Dataverse, V1
Data was sourced from OECD (2020), Innovative Citizen Participation and New Democratic Institutions: Catching the Deliberative Wave, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/339306da-en.