Dossier: local elections

The number of people making the effort to vote for local elections is declining, even though these elections have never been more important. Municipalities are having a hard time financially since the crisis and tough choices need to be made. At the same time these municipalities are faced with a decentralization the scale of which The Netherlands has not seen before. From Januari 2015 onwards, municipalities are going to be responsible for youthcare, elderly care, care for the physically challenged, welfare and unemployment.

This declining trend in voter turnout is nonetheless not surprising: people have no idea what the choices are, what a municipality is responsible for and furthermore if it even really makes a difference what party holds the power.

At de Volkskrant we have made an effort to:

Show people what the municipalities are responsible for, how much money is involved and what has changed during the crisis

What the differences between municipalities are in the choices they make

Prove that it makes a difference what party people vote for, and what these differences are

Investigate the decentralization challenges municipalities are faced with and if they are up to the task

And, finally, research what the most important themes are in this year’s elections

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