Matthew Olson Roy is voting in Luxembourg parliamentary elections for the first time this year. He shared his perspective on the poll with Delano. Photo credit: Sean Olson-Roy
American author of the book “Humonstromous”, set in the Mullerthal region, Matthew Olson-Roy made Luxembourg his home in 2011 and gained his citizenship at the beginning of the year.
“Luxembourg has experienced tremendous growth since we moved here, so all the problems that accompany a growing population have come to the fore: housing availability, accessible education, mobility, environmental protection. For me, these are the most pressing issues in Luxembourg,” says Olson-Roy.
If he could pick three things that he would like the new parliament to do, it would be to provide a comprehensive plan to switch Luxembourg to 100% renewable energy by a specific date; to develop a strategy to provide affordable housing for families with a particular focus on making sure that larger homes go to families who need them, not just those who can afford them; and, a push to fix the hodgepodge application of digital rights across EU member states so that digital products enjoy the same freedom of movement for the consumer as physical products, regardless of outdated territorial distribution rights.
Important issues versus political fluff
Olson-Roy has been struck by how difficult it can be to get a clear presentation of a party’s platform:
“This is not a language issue since I can read Luxembourgish. Some parties are very good at presenting a clear case for how they would govern and what changes they would implement. Others really make their constituents work to filter out the important issues from the political fluff. Then there are the parties that have a difficult time with Luxembourgish spelling and flags. Anyone who wants to be my ‘Stëmm fir Lëtzebuerg’ might want to get the Luxembourgish details right.”
The biggest decision for Olson-Roy, who lives in Luxembourg City, is whether or not to cast all his votes for a single party or to split them between parties he would like to see in a coalition government. He says:
“At the moment, I am leaning heavily toward the DP. I support their efforts to make the options for primary and secondary schools reflect Luxembourg’s diverse population, and hope to see an even greater expansion in the availability of learning disability support for those populations.”
“I agree with the steps they have taken to separate church and state. For the most part, their transportation plan is moving in a direction that I support as well.”
Other issues he is considering include more support for cultural programmes, family-centred urban development, further European integration, flexible business hours and greater support for the use of Luxembourgish at the national and EU level.