The Dutch Political Reformed Party (SGP) and Passive Female Suffrage: A Comparison of Three High Court Judgments from the Viewpoint of Democratic Theory

Merkourios, Vol. 29, No. 77, pp. 29-41, July 2013

13 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2013

Date Written: July 24, 2013

Abstract

Traditionally, in the Netherlands the idea was that political parties were essentially private associations in whose internal affairs the state ought not to interfere. However, the case of the Staatkundig Gereformeerde Partij (Political Reformed Party, hereafter, SGP) has led to a political and public debate on whether this view can be maintained. This article examines the case of the SGP, particularly from the viewpoint of democratic theory. It eventually concludes that party regulation does not need to remain a taboo topic forever, even in the Netherlands, although with the SGP having recently changed its own constitution it may take a while until further provisions will be introduced. Care should be taken, however, that it does not lead to unnecessary infringements on the constitutional freedoms of minorities such as the SGP and its followers. After all, what is the point in pursuing non-discriminatory policies that are themselves discriminatory?

Keywords: Party regulation, freedom of association, freedom of religion, gender equality, passive female suffrage, democratic theory, European Court of Human Rights

Suggested Citation

Brink, Jaco and ten Napel, Hans-Martien, The Dutch Political Reformed Party (SGP) and Passive Female Suffrage: A Comparison of Three High Court Judgments from the Viewpoint of Democratic Theory (July 24, 2013). Merkourios, Vol. 29, No. 77, pp. 29-41, July 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2308349

Jaco Brink

Independent ( email )

Hans-Martien Ten Napel (Contact Author)

Leiden Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 9520
2300 RA Leiden, NL-2300RA
Netherlands

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