In Suriname, the Netherlands and Belgium, this position is often taken by well-known non-politicians such as artists, celebrities and sports people. They are officially a candidate, but they are put at the end of the party list (in an unelectable position) in a bid to attract more votes for the party and as a sign they endorse that specific party. In local elections, ordinary people who are well-known in the community might also act as lijstduwer.
Since these electoral systems use open list party-list proportional representation, votes cast to the lijstduwer add up to the total number of votes, and hence seats for the party. The candidate is not likely to become member of the elected body due to the low placement on the list, and generally rejects the position if they gather enough preference votes for a full seat (which they can claim within the Dutch system). There can be more than one lijstduwer. How many members on the list can be considered lijstduwer varies. In the more broad definition, candidates who are lower on the list than the number of seats a party is likely to win, are considered lijstduwers.
In Israel, which uses a closed list nationwide proportional representation system, the tradition of choosing elder statesmen and celebrities as candidates in the lowest places of the list also exists, but without a special term.
Notable lijstduwers in the Dutch general election, 2017
- People's Party for Freedom and Democracy: Maarten van der Weijden
- Labour Party: Foppe de Haan
- Christian Democratic Appeal: Wiljan Vloet
- GroenLinks: Ineke van Gent
- Forum for Democracy: Paul Cliteur
- Lijsttrekker, first candidate on a party's list
- "Who can vote and for whom? How the Dutch electoral system works". DutchNews.nl. 30 January 2017. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
- Soares da Silva, Augusto, ed. (2014). Pluricentricity: Language Variation and Sociocognitive Dimensions. Berlin/Boston: Walter de Gruyter GmbH. p. 139. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
Finally lijstduwer is a politician that is supposed to attract votes for his party
- Terry, Chris (11 May 2014). "The Netherlands – EU Parliamentary Elections". The Democratic Society. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
Sometimes parties put a lijstduwer (list-pusher) on the last place of their list. Often this will be a famous elder statesman of the party, a former PM for instance, or a well-loved celebrity. Generally lijstduwer’s do not actually want to be elected but they can help attract votes for their party.
- "Onze kandidatenlijst (Our candidates)". PvdA (in Dutch). Retrieved 17 March 2017.
- "נשיא, שר, משורר, רב: מי במקום ה-120? (A President, a Minister, a Poet, a Rabbi - who is in the 120th place?)". Ynet.
- "VVD-lijstduwer Van der Weijden gelooft in stimuleren en zelf doen". NOS (in Dutch). Nederlandse Omroep Stichting. 25 February 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
- "Foppe de Haan, lijstduwer uit het noorden". NOS (in Dutch). Nederlandse Omroep Stichting. 22 February 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
- "De politieke ambities van voetbaltrainer Wiljan Vloet". NOS (in Dutch). Nederlandse Omroep Stichting. 24 February 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
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