To ban the Quran? – some legal advise for Wilders

What do we need to ban the Quran

In their latest party programme, the Dutch Party of Freedom is proud to limit the seize of their programme to only one page. The content does not really come as a surprise though. However, I am still intrigued when I read a party’s desire to ban a particular religious book. It is the goal of the PVV (Party of Freedom) to ban the Holy Quran from Dutch soil. While this is nothing new, the popularity of this party is greater than ever.

Therefore, it seems a good idea to help mister Wilders with some legal advise in what he should do to actually ban this holy book by law

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The case of open trade – and why it is such a good idea

Open trade good idea

Free trade is a heatedly debated issue in politics and the media. The political sensitivity of the topic creates a maelstrom of arguments in favour and against open trade, in which statistics and arguments are thrown around without much second guessing or academic underpinning. Depending on the political colour of your newspaper, the media will choose to show you the pro’s or con’s of open trade. This even possibly results in the queer situation that
two newspapers (The Economist and The Guardian, on the 4th of January 2014) draw completely different conclusions on the functioning of the NAFTA on exactly the same date. While all this arguing and reasoning may have at the core some truth in it, I think we need to step back a bit to truly consider the real benefits of open trade.

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The case of open trade – and why it is such a bad idea

Open trade bad idea

Free trade is a heatedly debated issue in politics and the media. Those who oppose the idea of open trade between countries usually come up with the argument that comes down to something like this: ‘as a result of open borders, we lose jobs to those foreigners, and our factories are relocated elsewhere’. The suggested remedy is then that if borders are closed by upholding trade barriers, the jobs will come back, and the factories remain. Another often heard complaint is that so called regulatory competition will lead to a downward spiral: countries with the most flexible rules on product standards, labour regulations or environmental issues will attract most companies and be successful as a result of open trade.

As simple, safe and convenient as it sounds, such arguments are hardly convincing.

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The problem of democracy – and what we need to make democracy great again

DemocracyWhile democracy is often portrayed as a hard earned freedom and a prerequisite for being a well faring nation, it most certainly has a downside. Recently, we have seen plenty of examples in which democratic processes were used in a counterproductive way. For instance, the British referendum on the EU, the Dutch referendum regarding the association treaty with Ukraine, and the Republican nominee for the upcoming U.S. precedency can hardly be regarded as good examples of how democracy could contribute to better governance. Democracy in itself is not right nor wrong, it is the way people handle it that is. Constitutional protection and good citizenship should make democracy work.

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