Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Time to choose

It is 7th March, the date of the local and city elections. I am allowed to vote being a registered resident of Oost/Watergraafsmeer in Amsterdam.

There is a program on the internet you can use to help make your choice out of the nine local parties and about twenty city parties. It was fun to do and quite rigourous and although I already had an idea who I would vote for this test confirmed exactly what I thought, namely that I should vote for:

Amsterdam Anders/De Groenen ( Alternative Amsterdam/The Greens)

and that I should definitely not vote for the Socialists or the Christians (no surprise there then!).

The main areas of agreement between AA/DG and myself were as follows:

1 keep in sports fields and gardens IN Amsterdam
2 reduce traffic in Amsterdam and making it more difficult to get a parking permit (not that there is so much traffic in Amsterdam)
3 legalise all drugs*
4 no security cameras or ID cards (Don't Panic, it really isn't so dangerous out there)
5 no snooping on social security claimants
6 negative rent subsidies for high income earners in social housing
7 immigrant women should be given their own residence permit (and not be dependent on their husbands)
8 the city should be cleared of advertising on its streets (I'd love that)
9 art subsidies not just for commercial reasons
10 a plan to turn the Western port area into a garden city

Less in agreement about giving 16 year old the vote, creating a car-free prostitute area (???), and all sorts of stuff about social housing about which I know too little to have much of an opinion.

One thing though... just as you do not solve traffic problems by building more roads, you do not necessarily 'solve' a housing shortage by building more houses. In the last 40 years the population of Amsterdam has decreased and the number of housing units has increased, and now we have a shortage. (Why? because there are far fewer people per house than before).

* - if you think drugs are dangerous, then have you considered what bread van do to you - have a look - bread is dangerous

I think I might go this evening to party's election night party in town, although Fred says that they are likely to lose their only seat, so it might not be such a party.


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