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Reader comment on item: Why I Stand with Geert Wilders
in response to reader comment: A short history of Dutch politics and a few comments on its constitution.

Submitted by Ed (Netherlands), Feb 10, 2011 at 18:02

I'm not getting into politics, I think we have some different and some similar views, but that's probably not very interesting for the audience here.

On your comments on the consitution: No real errors there, but still I would like to make some remarks.

What must be taken in (very) serious consideration however, is that Mr. Wilders is a member of parlement, and as such is also a lawmaker, and has special privileges as well as legal exemptions to say just about anything about anything or anybody. Mr. Wilders is not just any John Doe screaming about.

This is taken into consideration for everything mister Wilders says in Parliament. Every member of parliament is immune for what is said in parliament and can never be sued by anyone for any of it. However, to everything that is said in the media, blurted out on the campaign trail, Dutch law is applicable. I think that is a good thing. I wouldn't like to see Berlusconi-type immunity of our politicians.

I agree that the consitution doesn't so much lack freedom of speech but has a real problem internally where article 1 and 7 clash. And I also agree that this makes criticism of religion and religious people problematic.

All in all, this country looks like getting itself in very hot water. The whole legal community is up in arms about it and many others are very worried where this is all leading too.

I'm not so worried. I see no large or broad support for the Amsterdam court who forced the attorney general to take the case to court. Not in the legal community, nor amongst the public. Even avid political opponents of Wilders defend his freedom of speech and would not want to seem him jailed for his opinions. Even more so, the attorney general is pleading not-guilty on behalf of Mr. Wilders, even though there is pressure from the special-interest groups (anti-fascists, anti-discrimination, muslim organisations) that are behind the charges that are initially pressed. I'll eat my shoe if Wilders is convicted.

I do think that the Amsterdam court that did force the public prosecuters to take the case after it had thrown it out, should be in very hot water indeed. And yes, I do believe that these judges have their political convictions clouding their judgments. However I think the system is perfectly capable not to fall for these kinds of errors. There might be a lot going on in the Netherlands, but it's not Iran.


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