Dutch News

18 March 2014

One day before the Dutch local elections all the Dutch party leaders are out on the streets for some last campaigning. Apart from asking to vote for their party, they also ask the people to at least vote. There is a chance that the turnout tomorrow will be less than 50%, which would be a new record low. It is actually quite strange that there is such little interest in the elections while there is a huge decentralisation and cutback project ongoing, moving a lot of the responsibilities for especially care services from national to local level. But with a smaller budget.

It seems that the coalition parties VVD (liberals) and PvdA (social democrats) will be the losers of the upcoming elections, and that local parties and Democrats66 will win. Especially in the larger cities, like Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, where the PvdA often already has a majority since the end of World War 2. The Hague and Almere are the only two towns where the Freedom Party from Geert Wilders is running.

One of the reasons why there such a low turnout is expected is that the campaigning has been led by the national party leaders. Most of the debates on TV were dominated by the known faces of national politics. They even discussed national matters most of the time and some even refused to discuss the effects of the decentralisation of care services, which is the main issue. It is the question if the shift of care responsibilities is partly a way to cut back.



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