AMSTERDAM – Jesse Klaver, the dynamic 30-year-old leader with the Dutch green party, has fought his campaign for Wednesday’s election as an American?Democrat, shaking the Netherlands’ tradition of low-key electioneering?by creating?a personality-led mass movement.
If the polls need to be believed, his?GreenLeft party will quadruple its amount of seats during the lower house, potentially propelling it in to a role in the next coalition government.
Yet Klaver’s ambitions don’t stop there. As support for your Labor Party plummets, Klaver is positioning?himself as being the new leader with the left, and even the actual possibility pm on the progressive coalition. That may sound preposterous for the party with simply four MPs. But Klaver told Newsman that was a “realistic” prospect.
“The other parties aren’t gaining momentum, it is extremely hard for those to win elections. I do believe we’re in a very good position to win,” Klaver said, from the?a scrum of fans and media with a recent campaign event.
“It’s a reaction to what are you doing during the international sphere. Folks are terrified of what is happening with Trump in the United States and Brexit from the U.K. and are generally looking for an alternative. Some hope, some inspiration, and alter. It is exactly what were.”
“My ambition is to complete a government without [current Prime Minister] Mark Rutte,” said Klaver. If the polls are borne out, the left-wing parties together simply do not need the numbers with the. Even greater likely is Klaver just might discover himself invited to shore up a center-right coalition, expected to decide between remaining true to his?party’s ideals and entering power the first time inside party’s history.
Klaver had his eye to the prize early.
He is definitely an oddly fortuitous figure: apart from his obvious knack for the job, his surname -?that means clover, a symbol of luck -?is just about the motif with the campaign. He was a lawmaker 2010, aged just 24, and won the party leadership in 2015, announcing immediately how the party’s campaign with the 2017 elections had begun.
The campaign strategy was designed by Klaver and Wijnand Duyvendak. The latter’s?career perfectly covers the party’s transition. Once?a radical activist, he was made to resign as the lawmaker in 2008 as he admitted he broke in the Ministry of Economic Affairs to steal plans to get a nuclear plant in 1980s. Now he leads an offer self-consciously modeled after that regarding U.S. Democrats, as a result of the software program useful to organize and speak to activists: Blue State Digital, a service founded by Barack Obama’s former digital strategist.
“Both Wijnand and Jesse were inspired because of the campaigs of Bernie Sanders, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The grassroots strategy for organizing,” said Marjolein Meijer, the party chairwoman. “This needed a translation as being the Netherlands sits dormant to your U.S. form of campaigning … We would have liked to begin within the very basics.”
It was Klaver’s idea to support “town halls.” To begin with, these meetings drew fewer?than 200 people. On the way, the name changed to “meetups,” so they grew, first drawing hundreds, then thousands. Previous meetings had only been to your party faithful, to discuss policy in more detail.
Klaver uses?the meetups to communicate?about his broad political vision, regarding “hope” “optimism” and “change” in rolled-up shirt sleeves and slacks.
The new, professional style has paid off. Since Klaver became leader, the party has gained 6,459 sign ups, a 3rd of those aged under 30. Donations almost doubled the party’s initial