Waaromkiesjij.nl for the Dutch elections

It is difficult, if not near-impossible to have a political discussion with strangers — let alone with those who have a vastly different opinion. As mentioned, these barriers, both geographical or based on demographics, have always existed but it seems as if ‘the Internet’ neglects to seize the opportunity when it comes to inclusive politics.

People on Facebook flock together with like-minded people. Sure, there is a little room for discussion, but a well-intended comment underneath a shared article often invites a misinformed reply, a racist slur, an anti-semitic remark, a sexist ‘joke’, and so on. There is no discussion when no one expects you to listen — you don’t get points (likes) for listening.

We therefore needed to create an online platform that connects random voters with different political tastes together, all in less than a minute, with the opportunity to easily switch topics and discussion partners. The concept for WaaromKiesJij.nl, roughly translated ‘WhyDoYouVote.nl’, was born.

Critical success factors

Waaromkiesjij.nl generated a lot of media attention across the country. After one month, more than 70.000 statements where discussed in roughly 35.000 online discussions between people affiliated with 25 different political parties. In the week leading up the elections, two live events where held in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, where people could engage in 'live' political speeddating. These discussions were filmed and published in cooperation with Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad. Check out one of the videos below (Dutch):