Undemocratic

The referendum
The referendum about the Noord-Zuid line has taken place on June 25, 1997 - a Wednesday, therefore also a workday. Of the 123198 voters who showed up, 79861 voted against the plan. However, the referendum was subjected to a rule which states that in order for a No vote to be taken into consideration, more than 50% of the number of total votes from the last municipal election had to be obtained. That would have been 154935 No votes.

When you consider that that amount is larger than the total number of votes cast in the referendum, you quickly understand the absurdity of such a rule. If everyone who went to vote actually voted against it, it still wouldn't have been enough.

The 'No' comittee was granted 40000 guilders to promote their position. The city, on the other hand, spent  10 times as much on the Yes campaign, using TV commercials, programs and exhibitions at the Beurs van Berlage.

The secrecy
An Audit report on the safety of the contruction and operation of the proposed metro line was ordered by the City. Its results are kept secret, in spite of the repeated requests from the Bovengrondse to make them public, by virtue of the law on the transparency of government. The City's argument for keeping the reports secret is that the information it contains could be used by the bidding construction companies to drive their prices up. Wouldn't it be safer for us all if the construction companies knew what they were faced with?

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