About thirty young Moroccans will go out in the upcoming weeks to try and convince Moroccan-Dutch to vote in the parliamentary elections. This is part of a campaign of the SMN (Dutch Moroccan Alliance) to increase turnout among this group. the campaign will start in the Hague on Saturday.
This article was prepared by the Islam in Europe blog - islamineurope.blogspot.com
The special promo-teams will go out particularly in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and the Hague. They'll organized dozens of gathering and will speak with those entitled to vote. The youth will visit community centers and schools to reach youth in their age group, but they will also go to the markets to speak with women.
As part of the campaign, SMN developed a special clip, which can already be found on YouTube and will appear on websites like Marokko.nl and Maroc.nl.
Turnout among Moroccan-Dutch has been pretty low until now. SMN says that during the municpal elections in March, 37% of those entitled to vote in this group went to vote. the national average was 53%.
"The notion that 'my vote also counts' doesn't exist enough," says SMN worker Najwa Lamnadi. "The goal of the campaign is mainly to inform Moroccan-Dutch about how important their vote is. For us it's about stirring the realization of the Moroccan community to take part in politics. That you can influence the composition of Parliament, and that parities that appeal less to them, could be made smaller."
The low turnout, according to the SMN, is due to the fact that some Moroccan-Dutch simply don't know how to go vote. That applies for example to first generation women, who are sometimes also illiterate. They don't always know that they could empower somebody to vote for them. Lamnadi: "They simply need a push in the right direction".
During the campaign the SMN will just try to get Moroccan-Dutch to go to the polling stations. The organization will not urge them to vote for specific parties.
Source: Telegraaf (Dutch)