Olaf Paulus van Pauwvliet, Liesbeth Jongkind, and Eltine Kampen have spent several evenings debating online with potential Wilders voters (Photo: Peter Teffer)

By , euobserver.com

It was a big shock to Olaf Paulus van Pauwvliet when he found out that two of his friends were planning to vote for the Party for Freedom (PVV), of the anti-Islam and anti-EU politician Geert Wilders.

“They live in a nice affluent suburb, and are never bothered by Muslims – if you should be bothered by Muslims in the first place,” said Paulus van Pauwvliet.

Their political disagreement led to an “unpleasant” conversation, because he did not respect his friends’ opinion. “If your opinion is not based on knowledge and fact, then I do not respect that,” he said.

The incident was the main reason for Paulus van Pauwvliet to join a group of Dutch citizens who want to prevent Wilders’ party from becoming the largest in Wednesday’s (15 March) elections. Instead of protesting or canvassing for a rivalling political party, the volunteers decided to seek out potential PVV voters and try to persuade them with facts. Further reading…