Voting guides launch for Dutch parliamentary elections

Hilversum vote
Voters show up early to cast their ballots in Hilversum (photo: Gemeente Hilversum / Twitter). (A voting station in Hilversum (photo: Gemeente Hilversum / Twitter))

With the parliamentary elections coming up in the Netherlands on March 15th, various voting guides are launching to help voters decide on which party would best represent their interests. The two big guides, Kieskompas and Stemwijzer, both created a variant specifically aimed at young people who aren't very involved in politics or who are voting for the first time. There is also a guide aimed only at young people called Jongerenkieswijzer, NOS reports.

The largest and best known online voting guide in the Netherlands is , which went live on Monday. The Stemwijzer focuses on 10 themes. It consists of 30 statements for which you can vote "for" or "against". Based on your answers, the Stemwijzer gives you a ranking of the political parties that best suit what you believe. 

The Stemwijzer's 30 statements were designed to reach the widest possible audience. "The statements must be understandable to everyone, young and old", Casper Renting of Stemwijzer said to NOS. "It's challenging every time to get the right wording. On the one hand you don't want to use jargon too much, but sometimes you can't escape it. Politics can be a very complex story."

The Stemwijzer developed a separate online platform to help young people in particular. "For that we worked with 3FM and FunX" Renting said to the broadcaster. "It looks like the Stemwijzer, but it is about issues that are really relevant to young people." This guide is expected to launch today and can be accessed from 3FM and FunX's websites.

is launching on February 11th with two versions: the usual one with topics that are important to all Dutch and an app version that is aimed at young people. The app was developed in cooperation with BNN and focuses more on topics that are specifically relevant to young people. 

Kieskompas also has statements for you to agree or disagree with, but instead of just voting for or against you can decide on five levels ranging from "totally disagree" to "totally agree". Kieskompas includes significantly more statements and themes than Stemwijzer. "For all the themes we consulted focus groups, data, experts, stakeholders and social and traditional media. Everything to be as balanced as possible on our questionnaire." Andre Krouwel said to the broadcaster. 

After rating all the statements, Kieskompas will place you on a "political landscape" to show where you stand with regards to all the political parties.

The launches on February 15th. It opted for five topics that directly affect young people and also gives you statements to agree or disagree with in five options ranging from totally disagree to totally agree. The statements were compiled in collaboration with nine youth organizations and youth departments of trade unions. 

According to Caesar Bast of Jongerenkieswijzer, some topics have a high priority politically, but are difficult to explain to young people who aren't that involved in politics. "Therefore we chose five themes that fits with what young people are directly affected by", he said to NOS. "That's work, healthcare, sustainability, education and inclusion, for example discrimination in the labor market."

While the three voting guides are competitors, they have the same goal - to help Dutch voters make an informed choice.