Party Patronage in the Netherlands: Sharing Appointments to Maintain Consensus
This chapter shows that Dutch political parties are actively engaged in influencing appointments in the public and semi-public sector. This can be explained by the Dutch tradition of consensus and coalition governments. Political parties are used to sharing power, and sharing appointments is part of that system. There is an (informal) system of distribution of appointments between political parties. Political parties have geared their party organization to this end. In the Dutch tradition, this system of distribution is considered to neutralize political differences and competition rather than to increase political power or reward active party members, which probably explains why (party) patronage has so far been assumed to be absent in the Netherlands.