Pechtold: don't ignore Wilders

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The House of Parliament should not ignore Geert Wilders, but should debate with him, Alexander Pechtold has said. The D66 leader thinks that ignoring the PVV also ignores the voters, when a debate with them is more important, he writes in an opinion piece for de Volkskrant.

The D66 is also taking a stand against future collaboration with the PVV, as other parties, such as the VVD, have done as well.

Just like these other parties in the House of Parliament, the D66 is ruling out a coalition with the PVV. But the voters, who are mostly socially conerned, must not be excluded from debate. "Not to lower myself to Wilders' use of language, but to keep exchanging arguments", Pechtold says.

Contrary to the PvdA, who suggested they would no longer support any proposals of the PVV, Pechtold is not ruling out supporting proposals. Wilders' anti-Moroccan rants on election evening, and his apparent delighting in hearing his public chant their approval of his views, were a "disgusting sight", Pechtold said.

This is still a democracy, however. Pechtold warns that Wilders' crossing of a moral boundary does not justify his party's exclusion from politics. "Then we in fact deprive them of democratic rights. As a democrat, I don't want to take that road", Pechtold said.