October 29, 2006

Parliamentary elections in The Netherlands

On 22 November Holland is electing a new parliament. And as befits the Dutch of helping each other as much as possible with making the right choice, there are now not one but two election guides, where you can figure out what party you should vote for. (Unfortunately only in Dutch)

The "Stemwijzer" is a straightforward proces where you give your opinion on 30 policy ideas and then compares your answers to the party manifestos, which then yields a voting advisory.
(The Netherlands have a party list system, not single electorates, so policies are supposed to count more than personalities in the voting booth as you have no say over who gets elected individually to parliament. Parties get seats according to their percentage scores).
The Stemwijzer advised me to vote GroenLinks, which is a leftist green party. No surprise there.

The second guide is called "KiesKompas", which follows largely the same method - including the some of the same questions, but adds your opinions about individual party leaders, how you perceive their trustworthiness and rate their capability.
The result is less a direct voting advice but gives you a position on a double axis (left-right, progressive-conservative) and how close you are to the parties placed on the same grid. Clicking on the party name lists an interesting comparison of your answers with the party manifesto items.
My result here was closest to the PvdA (Labour).
They are great tools for citizens. I would recommend something similar should be set up here in NZ for the next election.

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