Legislative elections, which occur every five years, are just a few days away. Even if most expats will not be voting, there are still ways to get involved. Here’s what you can do:
Learn about the system
Luxembourg’s electoral system is likely different from that in your home country, so it is a good idea to learn something about it. Does the Grand Duke make the final decision in choosing the new president? Do political parties give you a turkey if you vote for their candidate? These are the questions you might ask your Luxembourgish colleagues.
Get to know the parties and their programs
Visit the parties’ websites, realize that many are only in Luxembourgish, quickly learn Luxembourgish, and learn about how they plan on addressing issues such as housing, transportation, and taxation – issues that affect everyone.
Familiarize yourself with the candidates
No matter where you live in Luxembourg, you have likely seen dozens of posters, each with a single smiling face, and dozens of other posters, each with dozens of smiling faces. In fact, during any given election season, every resident sees on average a total of 12,398 smiling faces. Spend time familiarizing yourself with all of them, and, ideally, memorizing their names.
Talk to candidates
The good thing about living in a country that is geographically modest is that candidates are often within an arm’s reach. In fact, it is estimated that every election cycle, two-thirds of Luxembourgers run for election. If you know any Luxembourgers, ask them if they are on the ballot. Chances are, the answer will be yes.
Inform candidates about the most pressing expat concerns
Even if many candidates do not directly address expat issues, that doesn't mean they don’t care. If you talk to a candidate, ask them how they will deal with topics such as the best place for authentic ramen, good venues to have birthday parties for hyperactive eight-year-olds with an interest in dinosaurs, and fun day trips in the region.
Discuss the elections with locals
If one thing is certain, it is that Luxembourgers love to publicly and unironically – without even a hint of bitterness – announce their party preferences. In fact, that is why they do not state their preferences on social media or with t-shirts, signs, and bumper stickers, such as voters sometimes do in other countries. That’s because they desperately want strangers to ask them. If you have Luxembourgish neighbors, show up unannounced at their door one day and demand to know for whom they are voting.
Read more at Wurst.lu.