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18/1 Palestine at the Jewish Historical Museum

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17/1 PvdA Oost against fewer districts

16/1 Committee: 7 districts by 2010

15/1 Soldiers may attend Afghanistan debate after all

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14/1 Youth for Christ to republish vacancies

13/1 Paintings of the Zuidas

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11/1 Social cohesion initiative raises eyebrows

10/1 Fewer districts in 2010

10/1 Zuidas: People feel that we are losers

9/1 Fun on the ice - but not for all

9/1 Supermarket coupon fraud thwarted

9/1 I Amsterdam must remain exclusive

8/1 Use term Apartheid in every discussion

8/1 No city kiosk in Amsterdam yet

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7/1 Fatima Elatik to run Zeeburg

7/1 Municipal managers to return to shop floor

4/1 Police: take photo of strange people

3/1 Gaza protest criticises politicians

1/1 Thousands to protest against attacks on Gaza

1/1 Mustapha Laboui leaves district council


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Partisan support for the homeless

14 March 2007 - Ron Kat, who works at a centre for the homeless, tries to convince his clients to vote PvdA. However, they prefer SP, VVD and Geert Wilders’ PVV.

(see also: guide to political parties)

“The people we take care of have one thing in common with the frightening outside world: they receive a voting pass”, writes Kat in a letter to the editor of the local PvdA website. In order to promote the use of this pass, Kat puts up a large poster of PvdA party leader Wouter Bos in the counselling room every time there is an election.

“Let me be clear on this: people who are dependent on centres for the homeless have every reason to vote PvdA. Amsterdam has pretty good facilities for the homeless, thanks in part to the PvdA”, he explains.

At last week’s provincial election, Kat’s efforts did not have the intended effect. Many homeless people did not think it was worth the effort to turn out to vote. Those who did had a preference for SP, VVD or PVV, although the latter party did not participate in this election.

According to Kat, the PvdA needs better marketing.

In a comment, Lonneke Lodder of GroenLinks questions whether a social worker should campaign for one particular party. She suggests that a more objective attitude would do more credit to his profession.

Incidentally, the Amsterdam Municipality calculated last summer that there are 2,630 homeless people in the city. It is therefore unlikely that this group would have a decisive impact on the election outcome, especially if they are little inclined to turn out to vote.

However, Kat says that it is about more than just the homeless: “in this city tens of thousands of people are sitting at home receiving social benefits, who have given up hope and who do not vote traditional (Social-Democrat) parties anymore”.


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