Today is the local elections for Amsterdam, and I get to vote. In fact I got to vote three times; once for the city council, once for the supervisory board, and once in a referendum on development of Elandsgracht. Add to that the fact that there are 26 parties plus a couple of independents and you can see that I’ve had a busy day.
This is what one of the voting forms looked like.
You really do need to do some research before you get to the voting booth. I used the ‘kieskompas‘ to narrow down which party to vote for, it asks you your views on various issues of importance, a total of thirty questions. It then plots your position against the policies of the parties. Here’s my result – apparently I’m neither left nor right (in Dutch politics) and I’m only slightly progressive.
There are quite a few parties in the circle that apparently match my views, including “CU” which is the Christian Union, which bases its policies on the bible. This might be as accurate as a Buzzfeed quiz.
I went back and looked at the issues I found most important, and choose a party based on that, once in the voting booth I then looked down the list for any names that weren’t Dutch. Given that I don’t know any of the candidates it’s as good a way of choosing a candidate as any.
According to a poll conducted by Dutchnews, expats and foreigners in Amsterdam are choosing D66 this year. I spoke to a Dutch friend who said that for D66 is the party most likely to attract well-educated people with a social conscience, and I guess that matches a lot of expats living here.
The turnout is expected to be low, but in the four major cities there could be a change in who leads the council, in Amsterdam it’s between PvdA and D66, (centre left and centre right, both somewhat progressive), PvdA is the incumbent and probably suffers because of that. In The Hague the contest is more interesting; the socially progressive libertarian D66 and the anti-immigration “Partij voor de Vrijheid” (Party for Freedom). That’s one I’ll watch with interest.