Wilders calls for binding referendums on populist issues

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PVV leader Geert Wilders wants the Netherlands to introduce more and binding referendums in which citizens can have their say in policy. According to him, this is necessary because "time and again" the "political elite does exactly the opposite of what people want".

Wilders wrote this in an opinion piece in the Volksrkant on Thursday.

With these statements, Wilders is pointing to the sometimes fierce disagreements about the Netherlands sheltering asylum seekers. "The asylum crisis is a symptom of a far deeper malady", he wrote. "Namely a political elite that has lost touch with the people. Nowhere is it more evident than in the asylum debate. Most Dutch realize that mass immigration is not an enrichment but leads to loss of prosperity, security and identity."

Wilders wants the Netherlands to follow Switzerland's example. The country often holds referendums and maintains a form of direct democracy. "Dutch should get the chance more often to directly decide about their own fates in referendums." he wrote. "The Swiss are a proud and patriotic people who will never sell out the wills to Brussels. We can learn a lot from them."

The PVV leader calls the referendum on the association agreement with Ukraine on April 6th a "good start", but he wants referendums to be the rule, not the exception. "And binding, so the government has to consider the results."

Wilders believes that it is time for a clean sweep. "The present rulers have brought the Netherlands to the brink of collapse. The regime in The Hague is unworldly and no longer speaks on behalf of the people." he writes. "Once the Tweede Kamer is elected, politicians know today that they can do what they want uncorrected for four years and ignore the people. It is time to renew our democracy."

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