Dutch Liberals scared of Queen
There have been many incidents. Not a long a go it became public that the royal family gave direct orders to the intelligence service, without the responsible minister even knowing about it. Not generally know but a long time practice is that the Queen even has her own shadow cabinet and every Monday prime Minister Balkenende goes to her “working” palace to speak through the current affairs of the country. She also can order any minister to her palace to let him or her explain his or her actions. There is much more to tell, but I think this shows that she is certainly not only ceremonially figure. Queen Beatrix and her son Willem Alexander the heir to the thrown, have already said several times that they are not interested in a pure ceremonial role.
After the murder on Theo van Gogh the royal family wrote in a letter to the family of Theo van Gogh that they did not had time to attend the funeral. But a day after the funeral they could be seen at all kind of multi culture events. That same week, the queen was even giving rewards to ‘liberal’ Muslims. Who in the press blamed Dutch sociaty for the circumstances that lead to the murder of Theo van Gogh. The royals seem to be one of the staunchest supporters of the multicultural society (See also: Royal Support for Muslims)
The queen does not change her political agenda, but the Dutch politicians do not feel comfortable with the low legitimacy the have. Trust in the government has never been so low. Many political parties are rewriting their manifesto’s. Also the Dutch liberal party (VVD) recently wrote a new liberal manifest. But now newspaper AD reports that the writers of the new liberal manifest wanted to propose the removal of the political power of the Queen. But they did not include it in the manifesto, because they where afraid it would get to much media attention.
“They did not dare to touch the monarchy. About god, the Queen and the tax deduction for house owners you don’t talk as politician” says a prominent liberal (VVD) parliamentary. The liberal (VVD) has always supported the monarchy for practical reasons, does it sound within the liberal leadership.
In parliament there has always been a large majority of political parties who say they are against the monarchy, but in practice they support it for political reasons. Traditionally the more leftwing parties always said they were against the monarchy. Take for example the social-liberal D66, they always made a big point about constitutional reforms and their former leader, Thom de Graaf, proposed 6 years ago to make the queens role purely ceremonial. But now they are in the government they stay silent. Although, Thom de Graaf, is now special minister for constitutional reform in the current administration. The tiny D66 has only a few minister posts in the administration, but made Brinkhorst whose daughter married a Royal prince (3th in-line), minister again. Not surprisingly Brinkhorst said after the murder on Theo van Gogh that Hirsi Ali her movie Submission was a provocation.
At the time of the 2002 election the poles indicated that Pim Fortuyn was, with more than 25% of the votes, to become the biggest political party and that would most likely make him the next prime minister of The Netherlands. Fortuyn had already promised that he as Prime Minister would give Queen Beatrix a pure ceremonial role. But that is all history now, he was assassinated a week before the elections.
Royal support for muslims
Minister submission is provocation