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The Neighbourhood Government
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by Futureconsult 28 Governance

Scenarios A & B in English

Part of our presentation will be about our experiences confronting people with scenarios about future local politics. The scenarios are based upon trends, several interviews and desk research. Though the scenarios are in Dutch, we prepared the next excerpts in English.

Scenario A. (The Neighbourhood government of) Tytsjerksteradiel III

This scenario has three main themes. Firstly, it addresses the new politics resulting from direct democracy. Secondly, it shows how the possibility of electing mayors for the first time can influence the Netherlands. The third subject the scenario will address is increased autonomy on neighbourhood level.

In 2008 Wouke Depla is the ´Elected Local Officer´or ´Neighbourhood Controller´ of the third neighbourhood of the Frisian county Tytsjerksteradiel. It´s an experimental neighbourhood with an autonomic position. A ´Digital Neighbourhood Decision Panel´ reflects the local votes on topics. External problems are getting less interesting. Local democracy prevails, national political parties are losing importance. The ´Pim Fortuyn´ trend in decreased national bureaucracy continues. 60% Of all decisions is taken locally, 30% on a European level. Lobbying is increasing in importance.

Scenario B. How time passes / Van oude dingen die voorbij gaan

In this scenario politics has ´skipped´ local and political levels. It tells the story of Director Adema of the "Regional Authority" Public Safety of the Dutch city of Zutphen. Public services are now regionally directed. Local councils ceased existing, Europe has replaced it on three quarters of all decisions. After the crisis in 2005 national governments overtook remaining local decisions. There were two reasons for that. Firstly, the relation between autonomy and codeciding was not in an equilibrium. Secondly, increasingly few people turned up at local elections.

What happened between now and 2008. The Dualisation Law did not ´stir up´ politics anymore. Lower House MP´s turned into regional advocates. Because low interest in local politics an emergency act of regional representation came into being. These regional authorities had an increasingly companylike attitude. The result is a more effective approach of policy matters. Deals, benchmarks and achievement contracts are the core of politics now. Lobbying has a regional platform.

Transparancy is total. This itself has become an argument for keeping local politics out of effect. Checks and balances are put in effect by a local Econometric Office.

You can download these documents as a *.pdf:
click here for Scenario A

click here for Scenario B

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