The members of the Senate and the House of Representatives represent the people of the Netherlands. But how do these representatives of the people know what their voters want?
First of all, the voters express their political opinion by voting for a specific political party. Once elected, the representatives of the people will make sure that they remain well informed about what is going on in society. Each politician has his own way of achieving this.
Working visits and work placements
Politicians are open to the opinions of the people they represent, and of their voters in particular. MPs will keep in touch with their voters and a range of stakeholders, for instance by paying working visits, doing work placements and conducting surveys and hearings. Moreover, they deliver lectures and take part in discussions. Apart from this, many political parties have set up think-tanks, where MPs can debate issues with scholars, scientists and experts. Of course, anyone can take the initiative to make their opinion known to their representatives in Parliament, e.g. by contacting MPs by e-mail. People can also present a petition in writing to Parliament if they wish to draw attention to a specific subject. People who would like to put a subject on the agenda of the House of Representatives can launch a so-called citizens’ initiative. Read more about these possibilities at "The people's opinion matters".