Today is election day for the municipal voting. Expats, as well as Dutch citizens are hopefully heading to the polls today to make their voices heard. As an EU citizen, G could vote, so I went with him, even though I can’t vote for another three years. I hated not being able to vote! I looked longingly at the booths while G was in there, lucky bastard! At least I’ll be able to vote when they hold the municipal elections again in four years.
Our polling place is at one of the school buildings just a minute’s walk from home. It’s a university-age school, though, and the voting room was a relatively small room on the ground floor, not the echo-y high-school gymnasiums in which I’m used to voting. We went just before noon and there was no waiting, no long line. It will be interesting to see what the overall turnout is. At least it has been a beautiful day, with the sun shining and the temperature not too cold. No excuse there not to vote, at least!
In response to Geert Wilders’ latest bit of idiocy, in which he wants to ban head scarves — we’re talking head scarves, not burquas — many people are planning on wearing head scarves into their polling place today, men, as well as women, as a form of protest against Wilders. If Wilders gets his way, no one will be able to wear a head scarf into a municipal building in Den Haag or Almere (the only two cities where his PVV party is on the ballot). I must admit, I thought about wearing one myself today, out of principle, even though I can’t vote and the PVV is not on our ballot here in Utrecht.
On a happier note, the first photo here is a picture of the dog who was waiting patiently while his owner went inside to vote. Such a good dog!
One of the local free papers we get is the Stadsblad, which is currently running a poll to gage the direction people are planning on voting this Wednesday in the municipal elections. It’s curious to note that the CDA and Christen Unie — the main parties that were in power until the government recently dissolved — are ranked at the bottom, with only De Groenen getting fewer votes. Curiouser is the fact that De Groenen have the rebuilding of the nave of the cathedral as part of their agenda. That would be the nave that collapsed in a storm in 1674.
It should be noted, of course, that this poll is for the municipal elections on Wednesday, 3 March, not for the national elections in June. Still, like midterm elections in the US, I’m sure these municipal elections will be closely watched to perhaps get an idea of the direction people are leaning. For those of you familiar with Geert Wilders and his PVV party, it should be noted that the PVV is only on a couple of ballots in the municipal elections and not on the ballot here in Utrecht. Thank goodness. Unfortunately, the PVV seems to be doing quite well in Almere.
You know how I was talking last week about voting and the upcoming municipal elections here in the Netherlands? Well, here’s a website that makes it pretty easy to figure out if you can vote in those elections. The answer for me is a big ol’ no, but it turns out that G can vote. Of course, we also figured that out last week when he got his voter registration card thingy in the mail.
The municipal elections are every four years, and for me to vote, I’ll have had to be a resident here for five years, so that means I will be able to vote the next time around. Jahoe (yahoo)! If you’re curious about the requirements, here’s a bit more information (in English) about the municipal elections and requirements for voting in them and standing for election.