September has been quite a month. On the eve of the national elections, I had the privilege of having been invited to give a guest lecture on the recently agreed changes in the process of Dutch cabinet formation by Mordenate College, ‘a society that offers the best students of the Faculty of Law of Leyden University the opportunity to develop their talents to the greatest possible extent by supporting them morally, financially and scientifically’ (http://www.mordenate.nl/item.html&objID=1533).
Then, last Wednesday I took part in an expert meeting in Amsterdam organized by Network Democracy. Platform for Democratic Innovation (http://netdem.nl/) on the topic of how to enhance the transparacy of the legislative process, with outgoing Member of Parliament for the GreenLeft and freedom of information specialist Mariko Peters, among several others.
On Thursday, the Christian student association ‘Franciscus Gomarus’ had invited me to give a talk on the state of the monarchy (http://www.vgsl.nl/). This topic is related to that of Dutch cabinet formation, in so far as the main change in the formation process concerns the Queen’s role. The evening also gave me the opportunity to debate the issue with the chairman of the New Republican Society, Anjo Clement.
Finally, last Friday I gave a presentation entitled ‘Tales of a polity in transition: the changing rules for Dutch cabinet formation in perspective’ before a distinguished group of foreign diplomats, during a seminar on ‘Democracy III/The quicksand of Dutch politics’ organized by ADFU/Cercle Diplomatique (http://www.adfu-international.nl/). Other speakers during the seminar, which took place in the Hague, included Mrs. Nebahat Albayrak, outgoing Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives (and member of the Labour Party).