Tomorrow, Wednesday, 21 March 2018, the municipal elections take place in the Netherlands.
Hong Reijnders explains below what it’s all about.
What is a municipal council election?
The Netherlands is a democracy. Local residents choose who will represent them on the municipal council. These elections take place once every 4 years in the Netherlands. The largest municipal councils (of municipalities with more than 200,000 residents) have 45 members, the smallest councils (of municipalities with fewer than 3,000 residents) have 9 members.
Who may vote?
〇 Dutch citizens of 18 years and older
〇 EU citizens
〇 Non EU citizens who have legally resided in the Netherlands for at least 5 years
Where and when can you vote?
The municipal elections take place on Wednesday, 21 March 2018. There are 98 voting locations in Almere. Residents of Almere may vote in any of them. On this day nearly all the voting locations are open from 07.00 to 21.00 hours.
What must you take with you?
Your poll card, of course, as well as the required proof of identity (passport, driver’s license, ID card). The proof of identity may not have expired for more than five years.
About the Almere municipal elections
There are 16 parties contesting the 2018 election in Almere. They are the PVV, D66, PvdA, VVD, Leefbaar Almere, SP, GroenLinks, CDA, ChristenUnie, AP/OPA, Wij staan voor (WSTAV), Respect Almere, Almere Anders ’18 , GLP, Wonen Ondernemen Werken (WOW), Partij voor de Dieren(PvdD).
WATAV , WOW, GLP and PvdD are standing for the first time in Almere.
Almere’s population is 204,599 (as at 1 March 2018). The municipal council of Almere will therefore be extended from 39 to 45 councilors after the election.
Each party has its own ideas about the future of Almere. The most important issues are reflected in the overview below.
The most important issues
Political party > Most important issues for the coming four years (2018-2022):
Reference used: http://gemeenteraad.almere.nl/
PVV > Stop Floriade!, De-Islamizing Almere, lower rates and taxes.
D66 > Floriade supporter. Good work, good education and a good city atmosphere.
PvdA > Affordable living, right to work, right to good (health) care. Floriade supporter.
VVD > Security. At home, on the streets, and in public transport. Financially healthy, stimulating local business.
Leefbaar Almere > Careful use of funds, housing construction for vulnerable groups, improving green areas.
SP > Improved social housing, poverty reduction, community-controlled (health) care.
GroenLinks > A social, green, open Almere.
CDA > At home in Almere, combating neighbourhood disturbances, improving local (health) care.
ChristenUnie > Sustainability, future expectations for the youth, improving Almere’s livability.
AP/OPA > Equal treatment of senior citizens and youth, poverty reduction.
WSTAV, Wij Staan Voor Rijkdom in KLEUR > Equal treatment and opportunity for all, investing in youth and training.
Respect Almere > Tax reduction, Floriade stops, dog tax is discontinued.
Almere Anders ’18 > Wants to stop Floriade , additional housing construction.
GLP > Floriade , Health(care) & Welfare, Security. Satisfied if Floriade is stopped.
Wonen Ondernemen Werken > Accelerate council reorganization, housing construction, stimulate local job opportunities.
Partij voor de Dieren > Focus on people, fauna and flora. Stop deforestation. Make Almere really green.
The council chamber of Almere
(Photo: Gemeente Almere)
Local politics have a major effect on our daily lives. Do you like Almere? Are you always complaining about Almere? Do you want to play a role in decisions on Almere’s future?
Citizen of Almere and member of International Almere
Note: this article was originally written in Dutch by Hong Reijnders. It was translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs – www.courtesie.nl