Drenthe poll: The population should be able to express themselves in the meantime

Romy Dekker wil een Drents referendum (Rechten: RTV Drenthe / Margriet Benak)

Polls Suggestion is an initiative from CaliCOcat, also known as patchwork. This organization wants people to be more involved in politics. “We see this as an opportunity to bridge the gap between politics and the people,” Decker explains on Cassata on Drenthe Radio.


When you think about specific topics, one of the topics for a referendum is infrastructure. Decker draws her inspiration from Bavaria, the German state where referendums are already being held. “Whatever I think of N34, I can imagine that people were unhappy with the process surrounding this doubling,” says Decker.

“It was a wonderful thing when they had a machine with which they could say, ‘Oh my God, there’s another way.'” According to CaliCOcat, it should also be possible to file a counter-proposal as in Switzerland. “I just don’t like a yes / no referendum.” Groningen Elde Airport could also be a topic. “When the people of Eldi say, we want to talk about the county’s support for the airport: Be my guest.”

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To get Drenthey’s referendum on the political agenda, Decker and his associates had to gather 400 statements of support. They collected it together digitally. “From all over the county. Now it’s up to the county council to say, ‘Oh my God, that’s a good idea and a nice addition to our mandate.'”

There is still no exact date for the presentation CaliCOcat may hold for the county council. What is certain is that it will take place at least before the summer holidays. “We will tell the member states how to think about this and that many residents agree with us. Explain why we do this and why this is an addition. Member states are the representatives of the people. Then it is up to them to take it.”

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Advisory referendum

The initiators’ plan is for the so-called advisory referendum, which is primarily advisory. The other alternative is a corrective referendum, in which policy must adhere to the outcome. Decker: “People might think: Consulting, what’s good? Well, it’s a great leverage. You need a good contact group to ignore an outcome like this.”

During the term of the board, a referendum could be organized regularly for Decker and initiators. This is not limited to the maximum in their plan. “This is up to the residents. It depends on the guidelines you put in place. You need x signatures for this. It’s important for us to have access to them.”

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