News of: Wednesday, November 05 2008,

Historic American elections celebrated in Amsterdam

The American presidential elections were celebrated in several locations across town.

The biggest event (all 2200 tickets sold out for weeks) was in the Melkweg theatre, near Leidseplein. The Democrats Abroad had their party in the Boom Chicage comedy theatre, also at Leidseplein. For the occasion the entire building was decorated with flags and balloons in the American colours.

A large majority of the Dutch population is in favour of Barack Obama. Several opinion polls showed a majority of 75% to 90% in favour of Obama.
The polls also showed that many Dutch people think Obama is more liberal than he really is. For example, most Dutch people apparently thought Obama would be against the right to carry arms, against capital punishment and in favour of gay marriage - all of which are not true. (In Holland arms possession has always been illegal, capital punishment was abolished in 1870 and gay marriage was made legal in 2001).

On various Dutch tv channels there were special election shows, during the entire evening. The national tv channel had a special show during the entire night.

The special elections website, created by the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, was a huge success. About 3.7 million people visited the site, of which 2.5 million Americans.
With the site, people could determine which party they were in favour of, on the basis of the party programmes.