Campaign Appearances

Election Campaigning
The Dutch are going to the polls tomorrow to vote for the party/prime minister to lead the country. We had an election not that long ago, but the shaky coalition that had been formed fell apart earlier this year. I’ll leave it to others to comment on whether they think the government formed this time around will last for long.

Political campaigning here in the Netherlands is nothing like it is in the US. Here, it’s a much shorter period and it’s not the same full-on barrage that I experience in the US. It’s only been the last couple of weeks that it has really become more obvious as the political parties — of which there are 22 — have been hitting the streets and squares to encourage people to vote for them. The next two photos were taken from inside the Stadhuis, looking out onto the Stadhuisbrug where a large number of the parties had gathered, including the PvdA, VVD, and Groene Links. PvdA has been particularly active around the city the past two weeks, with signs, balloons, and large groups of supporters out campaigning for them. According to the news, it seems like PvdA is the big challenger to the VVD, the current prime minister’s party.

Election Campaigning

Election Campaigning

One of the national television channels has been hosting a political program with some of the politicians being interviewed. The program is called 1 voor de Verkiezingen (One for the Election, with 1 also being the tv channel). They have set up a temporary studio in the square in front of Het Utrechts Archief. That’s the building pictured in the first photo. They’ve been there for at least two weeks. You can see the building in the first minute of the program that is available on the website, if you want to see it in action, so to speak. Whether you want to listen to Gert Wilders is also up to you.

Election Campaigning

There are posters and big trucks set up around the temporary studio, as seen above. Fortunately, most political posters are limited to designated billboards that go up in a few locations around the city. It’s a bit neater and cleaner than the million and one signs I was used to in the US!

I may not be able to vote in the Dutch elections, but I can still vote in the US elections. If you’re an American living overseas and want to vote this November, make sure you sign up to receive your absentee ballot so you can vote from abroad! Hurry! Time is running out.

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18 thoughts on “Campaign Appearances

  1. I am so grateful that political campaigns here in the NL are so short and so low-key! I wish it were the same back in Argentina, where by the time you actually get to vote, you feel absolutely fed up with the bombardment on tv, the street, etc.
    I guess that there in Utrecht you get to see more politicians and more campaigning in general than us here in Z.; besides the occasional posters and balloons, I haven’t seen anything else.

    • I wouldn’t have known about the tv program if we hadn’t gone to Het Archief, but I’ve seen groups of supporters in Neude in the past. Still, only for an afternoon. It sounds like Argentinian campaigning is similar to that in the US. Nightmares! I sometimes wonder if the often low voter turnouts are the result of burnout and a realization that you hate all parties!

      • I’d say that campaigning in Argentina is done very much like in the States, only probably dirtier in both, the figurative and the literaral sense of the word; and it is compulsory for everyone, so no matter how fed-up you are, you have to show up or present some sort of certificate that proves you were ill or too far away from your district or working, etc. A real party :S

  2. We were out and about in the weekend and the kids scored balloons from the various political parties on the streets so they were happy…

    … Himself and I will vote tomorrow and have discussed the pro’s and con’s of quite a few of the parties,, that said, neither of us have decided who are are going to vote for (but we did at least scratch a few parties off the list that we know we *don’t* want to vote for).

    This time around there is no clear cut party that strikes us as best… I suppose it will be a case of trying to choose the “least worst” option once we have the red pencil in our hands and the ballot papers in front of our noses in the voting booth.

    oooh.. I checked out the link … yes, VERY pleased not to have signs piled up with that here in NL !!!

    • I did see lots of balloons being carried/dragged around this weekend by the future voters. πŸ˜‰ I almost stepped on one, accidentally. It was for a party I wouldn’t vote for, but I’m glad I didn’t burst the kid’s balloon!

      No one seems to be sure who they’re going to vote for today, or at least, they’ve chosen at the last minute. One article said 1 in 5 were still undecided. Among my voting friends, the number seems higher!

  3. I’m also pleased that the whole election campaigning is relatively low-key over here. I’ve seen the drama and mudslinging surrounding the US elections on the news, and it looks so over the top! I’m also not 100% sure who to vote for yet, though I think I’ll stick with the same party I voted for in the previous election.

    • The US campaigning is non-stop and seems to last for longer and longer. It’s not just presidential ads on tv. It’s ads for everyone running for office, from local judges to state offices to president. It’s overwhelming and never with any real information.

  4. Just did the “stemwijzer” to see what the result would be: I should vote for either one of 2 parties that I already wanted to vote for in the first place. So no big help there…

  5. And you know what else I really like about our “boring and quite predictable” elections? Hard hitting journalists who ask the right questions and won’t let up until they’ve gotten an answer. Not to mention when a party is caught in a lie, they will face up and admit they were wrong with their claim.

    22 parties is a bit excessive though. I truly have absolutely no idea what to vote for tomorrow.

    • What? Journalists actually calling politicians out on lying? Nooooo! Surely no one does that?! πŸ˜‰ I loved a comment I read recently about when did journalists and fact checkers become two different things? Providing fair coverage shouldn’t mean simply having all sides represented and then letting them lie without any hint that what they say is factually wrong. It’s so frustrating!

      • Hee! It truly is one of the major differences I spot whenever I’m in the US, the US journos compared to ours. At times it’s almost offensive to the profession to call the former journalists.

        Sometimes you’d wish you could sic a Jeremy Paxman on an American official during this election.

        • I constantly wish I could sic Jeremy Paxman on every American official. He’s tougher with University Challenge students than most US journalists are with politicians.

          • sic Jeremy Paxman on every American official””

            YES !!!! (Jeremy AND Kirsty Wark! ) Officials (not matter what the country) wouldn’t know what hit them!
            I imagine it’s as close to being shredded as you could get without physical damage LOL

    • First off, glad to hear things are going well. Just a few more weeks! The plethora of voting stations, and the fact that you’re not limited to one specific station really is a great thing. The ones I went to in the US were primarily in school gymnasiums, but always in some part of my neighbourhood where I’d never been before. I think my voting station in NY was the only one where I actually passed it on my way too and from work.

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