Hitting the campaign trail with DWARS

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It all began at the largest GA in the history of the Dutch Greens: one inspiring day which energized me intensely. And so, I offered my services to an enthusiastic volunteer, so as to actively contribute to the party campaign.

By Skip Anker, a DWARS-member campaigning for the first time

My first goal: go to a meet-up! I joined my local DWARS faction in visiting our local meet-up in the Southern part of the Netherlands. Lucky us: we got to sit in the front row, right behind Jesse Klaver, the leader that has enthused so many of us. I can hear the hearts of many Young Greens beating faster just thinking about it.

After the event, and even more inspired than before, I longed to experience campaigning up close. I subscribed to become an ‘Apptivist‘, which allows me to receive campaign information directly on my mobile phone. Thus, we try and fill social media with positive vibes. It’s a fun and easy method of keeping up with the latest election news.

Plus, the app is super useful to quickly interact with others. Most millenials use social media as their main news source, and this campaign cleverly plays into that trend. I believe it is incredibly important for young people to cast a vote on the 15th of March. Because politics concerns all of us, even if you don’t understand or care about it. By using social media, I strive to get more people to consider their vote. It’s our f*cking future, so it’s vital to vote for a party which defends your interests, both now ánd in the future.

“Politics concerns all of us, even if you don’t understand or care about it”

At long last, the time had come for me to do some serious campaigning: I was to go door to door. We gathered at the campaign joint on a Saturday afternoon. You could feel the solidarity in the air. The streets were covered in snow and slippery as hell, but we would not be stopped. We came up with our game plan over sandwiches: we’d pair up into groups of two and talk to people door to door. One quick campaigning workshop later, we hit the streets. It was quite scary, actually: ringing strangers’ doorbells to discuss politics isn’t something I’d ever done before. Fortunately, my partner had, and they introduced me into the fine arts of campaigning. Like greenhearted cat burglars, we spread out across town.

The aforementioned app formed the starting point for our door to door conversations, proposing questions and giving us insight into voter preferences. We listened to people’s concerns and opinions: an admirable manner of campaigning. At first, I experienced some awkwardness – it isn’t as easy as it sounds to just show up at someone’s doorstep. Nevertheless, I would highly recommend it looking back now. Connecting to others is highly necessary, especially now. Simply discussing matters which concern us all. You often hear about so-called polarisation, about people who’d rather fight than talk. It felt refreshing to share our worries, and come closer together as a result.

“Connecting to others, especially now”

That first meet-up swiftly turned into several events, and now I’m actively recruiting people to come to our last great meet-up in Amsterdam. There’s no escaping it for my family and friends: those who remain undecided need to be there. If only to experience this campaign vibe. The party and the volunteers exude such energy. Finally: a positive story to counteract all the negativity in the media nowadays. I can see people yearning for that, to not be afraid to show their ideals, to stand up for a better version of our beloved country. A country for everybody.

This article is part of the  OverDWARS Campaign series in collaboration with the Ecosprinter, which covers the road to the Dutch elections of March 15, 2017.

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