Local elections are coming up in Amsterdam on March The 19th. These are promissing to become the tightest elections in decades. The to main contenders are the social-democrat PvdA and the liberal-democrat D66. With few votes between them it is no holds barred back in the last days and weeks. So politicians have turned to Grindr, the popular gay dating app, to reach out to and connect with voters. Amsterdam gay (friendly) candidates of D66 have adapted their Grindr profile with the slogan ‘Am I going to have a date with you on March the 19th?’
These out and about politicians get several responses to this message: some people asking what they get in return for their vote (ie sexual services) and others more intellectually engaging in a conversation about local politics and LGBT issues. The campaigners claim that the near by function of Grindr makes it possible to reach out and connect with voters in the immediate neighborhood, making local politics more local than ever before.
This novel action in political campaigning has taken The Netherlands by storm. Several regional and national news media (update: now also international media – Reuters)have picked up on this novel way of niche campaigning. So what do you think? Is 2014 the year of Grindr campaigning and the start of Grindr politics?