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analysis of the speech from the throne 2020: A woolly speech

This speech from the throne was a little less woolly than last year's, you might think. Gerard Breeman and Arco Timmermans know that for sure. Breeman and Timmermans from the Institute of Public Administration have been analysing the speech from the throne for years. Just like Tuesday 15 September 2020. Within two and a half hours (!) they make a very thorough analysis of the entire text. Based on years of experience and a very extensive dataset they can do this piece of professional work so quickly.

Timmermans tells incidentally that the dataset contains all the speeches from the throne since 1945 and that they also have many similar speeches from abroad at their disposal, all coded according to a clever approach. By the way, the wooliness index indicates the percentage of the speech from the throne that does not directly describe a policy intention. Rutte is good at that. Last year, the speech from the throne was the woolliest speech from the throne since 1945.

In addition to this wonderful index, they also look at which themes are more or less discussed in the speech from the throne. This is important because if the speech from the throne pays attention to a specific subject, it is high on the political agenda. This year this

was no real surprise, because public health was mentioned the most. What was special, however, was the attention paid to the environment. Breeman says that the theme of the environment easily disappears into the background and is therefore not mentioned when the economic situation is a bit disappointing. Our current economic decline apparently has no effect on the position of the environment on the political ladder, last year there was a lot of attention for the environment and now again.

In addition to a few other analyses, they also look at whether the themes in the speech from the throne still fit in with the coalition agreement. In the speech from the throne, much more attention was paid to welfare and macroeconomics than in the coalition agreement. Of course, this is due to the current coronation crisis that has turned the entire political agenda upside down. Breeman and Timmermans show many graphs with sharp insights about this speech from the throne. So, we can say with academic certainty that the current speech from the throne was woolly and yet far removed from the coalition agreement. Of which we take note.

analysis of the speech from the throne 2020 (in Dutch)

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