Flevoland deals with the most aggression against politicians

Flevoland deals with the most aggression against politicians. Likewise, the Dutch province has the highest percentage of politicians who have seen colleagues not comply with the rules. These conclusions appear on the back of the figures in twelve fact sheets per province. The sheets provide an overview of the current state of affairs when it comes to the safety and integrity of politicians. I&O Research is responsible for the figures, which is presented as the Integrity and Security Monitor 2022.

What is striking about the figures in the south of the Netherlands is that Limburg scores higher than the national average on aggression and violence against political office holders in the past twelve months. 51 percent of them have had to deal with it, compared to 48 percent nationally. 16 percent experienced the most recent incident as (very) serious, versus 14 percent nationally. Verbal aggression, threats and physical aggression were included in the incidents.

77 percent of the office holders from the province of Zeeland have seen colleagues not complying with the rules in the past year. Nationally, this was 79 percent. In the north of province Brabant and in Limburg, 82 percent saw that colleagues did not comply with the rules. 39 percent of the political office holders in Brabant have seen a fellow office holder act as an advisor or agent in a dispute between citizens and the government, compared to 33 percent nationally.

Half of the political office holders in the province of North Holland have experienced aggression or violence from civilians in the past twelve months. 13 percent experienced the last incident as (very) serious. 52 percent of the political office holders in the province of South Holland experienced aggression or violence from civilians in the past year, of which 15 percent experienced this as (very) serious.

85 percent of the political office holders in the province of North Holland have seen colleagues not complying with the rules in the past year. 48 percent of them indicate that there is a conflict with the interests of others. This is higher than the average in the Netherlands, namely 40 percent. In the province of South Holland, 76 percent of political office holders saw colleagues not complying with the rules in the past year. That is lower than the national average.

There are large differences between the two provinces in Central Netherlands. No less than 56 percent of the political office holders in the province of Flevoland have experienced aggression or violence from civilians in the past 12 months, of which 19 percent experienced the last incident as (very) serious. In the province of Utrecht, those percentages were 44 and 14 percent respectively.

The differences are also large when it comes to observed (suspected) integrity violations. Whereas in Utrecht, 72 percent of the political office holders have seen colleagues not complying with the rules in the past year, that percentage is 86 in Flevoland. In Utrecht, the percentage for the various behaviors is invariably (considerably) lower than the national average.

The percentage of the political office holders in the province of Gelderland who have been confronted with aggression or violence by civilians in the past 12 months kept pace with the national average, namely 48 percent, as does the percentage of (very) serious encounters, namely 14 percent. In the province of Overijssel, these percentages are somewhat lower, namely 46 and 11 percent respectively.

In the case of observed (suspected) integrity violations, the differences between the two eastern provinces are greater. Whereas in Gelderland, 73 percent of the political office holders have seen colleagues not complying with the rules in the past year, in Overijssel this was 84 percent. Gelderland scores lower than the national average on all behaviors. In Overijssel, scores are more often (slightly) above the national average.

The province of Friesland takes the crown in the northern provinces. In the past year, 49 percent of the political office holders have been confronted with aggression or violence by civilians, of which 12 percent experienced this as (very) serious. In the province of Groningen, these percentages were 47 and 14 percent respectively and in the province of Drenthe even 45 and 8 percent. 78 percent of the political office holders in Friesland have seen colleagues not complying with the rules in the past year. In Groningen, this was 73 percent and in Drenthe, 76 percent.

In short, I find all of these stats very alarming. The culture and mentality seem sick. The world seems dangerous and crazy. The Integrity and Security Monitor 2022 provides details of the nature of the violations and the integrity breaches, as well as if those breaches were properly reported or not. A lot of the issues were kept hidden.

Entire entourages and systems have not been working for a long time now and have been facilitating unacceptable behavior. It makes you wonder how a country can be governed in current structures and under these conditions. Likewise, what people are capable of. I wish that the great people in the world would act with the same amount of conviction as the bad people. Bad in terms of intentions, attitudes, and behavior. This world has a long, long way to go – one person at a time.

Source: as discussed with Wouter Boonstra, on the back of his article via Binnenlands Bestuur.