Qual Quant (2014) 48:3253–3269
Types of motions as proposed in the Dutch House
Mariska Goeree · Roel Popping
Published online: 21 November 2013
© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013
Abstract This exploratory study provides an answer to the question what a coalition agree-
ment means for negotiation by political parties in the House and what consequences this has
for the motions submitted. Motions on environmental and immigration policy are compared
at the time of two different governments. Based on the coalition agreements we estimate
how much space for negotiation with regard to both issues and both periods is available.
On that basis predictions are made regarding the numbers of submitted and passed motions.
Moreover, a new classiﬁcation is introduced in order to be able to group motions based on the
intended purpose. Also predictions are made about this. The results show that, in line with
expectations, fewer motions are proposed on issues where the negotiation space is limited,
but this effect is not signiﬁcant. However, there are signiﬁcant ﬁndings with regard to motions
that have passed. Where negotiation space is smaller, fewer motions pass than with respect
to topics where the negotiation space is greater. As regards the different types of motions,
the research gives unexpected, but interesting, results.
Keywords Motion · Voting · Parliament
In election campaigns political parties promise a lot of improvements to their voters. Later on,
after the elections, the parties have to realize these promises. If a party becomes a member of
the governing coalition many of these promises have to become visible in the coming policy.
All promises at once is not realistic, because compromises with other parties are necessary.
But also when a party will become a member of the opposition, she will try to realize her
promises. This will be done by trying to make that what the party believes should not happen
will not take place. If this is not possible the party will in any way try to give policies a move
into the direction she desires.
M. Goeree · R. Popping (
Department of Sociology, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands