Worldlog 13 February 2017
The Party for the Animals sets great store to our citizen’s privacy. Dutch politicians are currently working on a so-called “trawling law”, allowing the secret service to intercept internet communications. It is called a “trawling law” because this law allows the secret service to use a figurative trawl net to scan through the internet and, without justification, collect the personal data of Dutch citizens.
Under the pretext of counterterrorism, the so-called trawling method is implemented: large amounts of random data are collected and checked for patterns. The “trawling law” means that all citizens become suspects and their rights are restricted. Highly unnecessary, since research on terrorists has shown that these people were already on the secret service’s radar.
We believe that with the interception and monitoring of innocent people a critical boundary is crossed. Privacy ensures our safety and protects us against the state. When we give up our right to privacy, we give up an important part of our safety. A restriction of the rights of citizens should only be used as a last resort.
The fact that a majority of the Dutch Lower House has voted in favour of this law is most deplorable. With the Party for the Animals, I will continue to fight for the privacy and safety of our citizens. Moreover, a recent study showed that of all Dutch political parties, the Party for the Animals is the greatest defender of privacy in the Netherlands.
In view of the forthcoming general elections in March, the first debate between political leaders took place last week in Amsterdam. This debate was a very special one, as during this “party leaders’ rainbow debate” me and the other party leaders discussed issues concerning LGBTI.
We discussed whether we should allow legal protection against discrimination to be restricted, as some parties in the Lower House are currently suggesting. But we also talked about issues such as: how do we ensure a safe environment in school, and how do we deal with violence against LGBTIs? Should the Netherlands continue to support LGBTI movements in countries where the rights of LGBTIs are violated? Should the HIV prevention pill PrEP be covered by insurance in the Netherlands?
I consider it the government’s duty to ensure full integration of and equal rights for all groups of people that are discriminated against, such as women, ethnic minorities, and people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersexual (LGBTI).
In addition to the fact that representing minorities like LGBTIs is an important concern for the Party for the Animals, the debate was particularly special since the questions were asked by LGBTIs who are confronted with these matters themselves.
Many more debates will follow in the run-up to the national elections of 15 March and naturally, we have many other activities on the agenda. The introduction of our election programme for the 2017 national elections, Plan B, has been translated into all 12 languages on our website. Click here and select the language of your choice at “Languages”. The entire programme has been translated into English and can be found here.