A Special Majority Cabinet? Supported Minority Governance and Parliamentary Behavior in the Netherlands

Simon Otjes 1  and Tom Louwerse 2
  • 1 Groningen University – Documentation Centre Dutch Political Parties, Groningen, Netherlands
  • 2 Trinity College Dublin – Department of Political Science, Dublin, Ireland
Simon Otjes and Tom Louwerse

Abstract

This article studies how the presence of the supported minority government Rutte-I affected patterns of legislative behavior. On the basis of the literature on minority cabinets, one would expect that during supported minority cabinets parliamentary parties cooperate more often across the division between coalition and opposition than under multiparty majority cabinet rule. Examining almost 30,000 parliamentary votes between 1994 and 2012, this study finds that on a host of indicators of coalition-opposition-cooperation, there was less cooperation “across the aisle” during the Rutte-I cabinet than during any cabinet before it. We explain this with reference to the encompassing nature of the support agreement as well as the impact of the cabinets’ ideological composition.

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