Margit van Wessel (September 27, 2012)
The Dutch paliamentary elections The recent Dutch parliamentary elections clearly showed that political parties here do not have a stable support base. Many analysts agree that it’s high time to ‘rethink representation’. One idea is that representation is constituted in interaction, primarily between elites and citizens, with the media playing an important role of their own. Many Dutch citizens decided who to vote for during the final weeks before the elections, arguably at least for an important part on the basis of mass media communication during that period. But what communication? The way leaders presented themselves, running debate on singular political issues, polls, incidents (you lied again!). If this communication plays an important role in the political choices citizens make, what does that mean for citizen representation? Can we say that citizens are represented? Or are we in trouble on this front?
Margit van Wessel is assistant professor at the Communication Strategies Group. Read more about Margit on her personal page.