The most important day in four years is almost upon the Dutch. Election day is coming. This time’s more unpredictable, divided, and exciting than ever. And yet, there are always those who choose not to vote. It’s not illegal not to. But for those who believe in democracy, voting is one of the benefits it brings to make our lives better. Choosing a representative government is a right not everyone has. So here are a few pointers to get out of the house and into the voting booth on March 15th.
Nothings else matters
An argument often heard when asking people why they didn’t vote is ‘My vote won’t matter anyways’. But during the last elections in 2012, 25% of all eligible voters didn’t vote. That comes down to over 3 million people. So it’s safe to say 25% is enough to change the government. Of course not everyone is going to vote for the same party, but you get the idea.
Another frequent one is ‘No party represents what I think’. Which may very well be true, but there might be a party that is against everything you stand for. Or your preferred politician may stand no chance in the elections. Odds are, more people feel that way. In that case you could decide to cast a strategical vote against a party, by supporting a party that you see as a better alternative to another. It’s not waterproof, but when enough people do the same, it just might change the outcome to your liking.
Take control over your future
Research shows that some demographics are more likely to vote than others. 1 in 3 persons aged 18-35 don’t vote, largely because it just doesn’t really interest of affect them yet. However, at each election there are at least some points that interest a certain demographic. Instead of focusing on what you don’t care about, focus on what you do care about, like finding a job, or staying there. Luckily there are a lot of initiatives to inform young people and to get them to vote. This way, the people who actually are the future, have a say in what it will look like.
Even though the Netherlands is a tiny nation, we have a disproportionally large impact on European and global affairs. So whatever happens here will affect the rest of the world in some way. This is one of the reasons every vote matters so much. Being able to vote is a privilege not everyone enjoys. Which is exactly why anyone who has the ability to vote can make a difference. Whatever party you vote for, green, red, right, or left, go out and cast it.