March 15th of 2017 is the day Dutch citizens get to fulfill their duty and vote. Since my 18th birthday, I voted every election. And I was always pretty confident when it came to my decision. I knew what I wanted and I somewhat felt that I was making the ‘right’ choice. However, this year I feel lost…
First, let me say this; I am thankful that I was born and raised in a country where my fellow citizens and I can vote in, what I trust to be, honest elections. I am thankful for the chance to do my part in making sure the Dutch society keeps functioning in the best way possible. So, I take voting quite serious.
I never tied myself down to one party, however, usually I have a general idea of what party I want to vote for. I tend to vote left or center on the left- right- scale. That has not changed. However, party wise I have no idea who to vote for. I feel like the Dutch society, much like most western societies nowadays, stands at a precipice. So, my vote feels more precious than ever. For the first time, I feel a huge pressure. I do NOT want to make the ‘wrong’ choice. If that is even possible.
So, what is my problem? The problem starts here; I have a notion of what a party stands for. The parties that caught my attention, mostly because I heard them speak in different television programs, I take a closer look at. I make it my business to find out what their thoughts are on topics I find important. But this year I haven’t found a party that convinced me to vote for them (yet).
Also, every election I use the official voting guide (stemwijzer.nl). The way it works is pretty simple. Political parties fill in an online form with different statements on different themes. Citizens can fill in the same form and the result tells you what party best fits your views, right? I take this ‘test’ every time there is an election, but always disregard it. The test, to me, is flawed or feels flawed. I usually get a result that I don’t recognize myself in. This time was no different. After doing the test I got a party I would never vote for. Why? Because I don’t like what, I know, they stand for, based on their political program.
How do I decide what party I should vote for? Decisions, decisions…
So, last week, February 22nd, I was watching RTL Late Night (around 03.00 am on RTLXL.nl, since I can’t watch Dutch tv in Copenhagen), and Victoria Koblenko and Rudy van Belkom (initiator of Het nieuwe kiezen) were discussing the fact that our current way of voting needs an update.
And seeing how I’m facing the exact same issue they described, this is an initiative I can really get behind, hence me signing their petition. If you feel just as lost as I do, or if you are just frustrated with the current political climate and ways in which the citizens can participate, check out the website: https://hetnieuwekiezen.nl/#het-experiment.
With regards to this election, my search continues…
PS: Let me know what your thoughts are!