Immigrant candidates win personal votes in Dutch election

Following local elections on March 3, 2010, Radio Netherlands Online profiles the increasing success of candidates of an immigrant background in earning personal votes. While the phenomenon is not unusual, particularly in local elections, it appears to have happened on a larger scale during the recent elections, as in “every major city, and many medium-sized cities in the provinces, candidates of immigrant background have jumped ahead of their colleagues”.
During an election voters may cast a ballot for their preferred party, or opt instead to vote directly for a candidate within a party. Thus within the proportional representational system, given a high enough popularity among preference voters, a candidate can potentially be elected regardless of their standing on a party’s candidate list.

French Immigrants Eye Parliament

By Hadi Yahmid PARIS – French of immigrant background are running in large numbers in the country’s cut-throat legislative race, hoping to be represented in the 577-member legislature to have their voices heard. “Candidates of immigrant background are highly tipped as possible lawmakers in an unprecedented way in French history,” candidate Malika Ahmed told IslamOnline.net on Saturday, June 2. “It is high time for French of immigrant background to have strong representation in parliament.” Ahmed is running as an independent for the June 10-17 election in the constituency of Seine Saint Denis, north of Paris. She ran for parliament for the first time in 2002. “This is the second time to run for the seat,” she said. She is one of many immigrant candidates running this year for the polls.