‘De Tweede Kamerleden en de regering moeten ons als volwassenen beschouwen.’ | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 135, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163



In contrast to petitioning in the Netherlands during the nineteenth century, petitioning after 1945 has received little attention. This article explores the perception of petitioning among supplicants and politicians by presenting a case study of requests addressed to the House of Representatives during the 1960s. It argues that different views of what was reasonable caused disagreement over the role of petitioning. Supplicants interpreted the right to petition as an invitation by the parliament to take part in political discussions. However, MPs both in and outside the parliamentary petitions committee appeared ambivalent, seeming to appreciate popular input but also paternalistically questioning this form of participation. This tension, rooted in the way citizens addressed the assembly, provoked debate on the role of the Ombudsman. By showing that petitioning influenced parliamentary procedures, this article re-evaluates the impact of petitioning on postwar parliamentary politics.


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