In a telephone interview, Klappe said he was ‘super happy’ to find out that he had won. “Now I hope that students will also vote for the PvdA in the actual elections.” He himself admits there isn’t much of a chance of being elected to the council (in the latest polls, the PvdA is on course for four seats; he hopes they will reach seven). There’s still a possibility that he will be politically active though: he is one of eight candidates for the five seats available in the Hillesluis district committee. “Since I’m the only left-wing candidate there, I think I have a decent chance.”
In The Smartest Vote, potential voters could choose between the positions taken by a pair of student politicians on 22 specific issues. For each issue, the guide showed a photograph of both politicians with a caption underneath stating their position. In total, nine EUR student politicians on candidate lists representing various political parties took part. Of the 682 people who used the voting guide, 166 were given a recommendation to vote for Klappe.
Christel Monrooij of the Christenunie/SGP also did well: she came out as the best match for 120 participants. An honourable mention goes to Ryan of the local party Echt voor Ridderkerk, who received 108 recommendations. The candidate who reached the fewest potential voters was Leon Graveland of the CDA in Rotterdam with only 27 recommendations.
‘Rotterdam’s citizens are free'
The most popular position also came from winner Lars Klappe. His position on integration was: “Rotterdam’s citizens are free and everyone is allowed to join in. We will deal with anyone who attempts to deny others their freedom in our society.” This position garnered 588 votes. In contrast, the position taken by the PVV candidate Vincent Bosch “The Netherlands is full. We have to close he borders and assimilate those who are already in the country” was less popular and received only 94 votes.
A total of nine student politicians took part in The Smartest Vote: Christel Monrooij (Christenunie/SGP, 2), Vincent Bosch (PVV Tholen, 1), Lars Klappe (PvdA, 11), Elene Walgenbach (D66, 4), Burak Yildiz (SP, 6), Justin Bor (Groenlinks, 25), Leon Graveland (CDA, 14), Shelley Wilson (VVD, 24), and Ryan Ensign (Echt voor Ridderkerk, 9).