On 22 November, it was exactly ten years ago since we were elected in the Lower House with two seats. Time to celebrate. We have celebrated by treating the other Lower House members to a piece of beautiful ‘pigs in the mud cake’. We have made a nice video about it which I would love you to see – it is in Dutch, but the images really don’t need any explaining!
A short history: on 22 November 2006, precisely ten years ago, the Party for the Animals first entered the Dutch Parliament with two seats. What a great moment that was, as well as a world first. Because never before had a political party – one that did not put people’s short-term interests centre-stage and that stood up for animal rights – entered the parliament. Since that day, eighteen other countries have established a sister party! In Portugal and Australia, the parties have also entered the (regional) parliaments. The Dutch Party for the Animals now has a total of 50 seats, distributed among the Senate and the Lower House, the provinces, water boards, municipal councils, and one seat in the European Parliament. So proud!
What have we achieved in the past ten years? Our party deals with the single issue politics of the traditional political parties, which all represent the particular interests of the people: a party for the poor, a party for the rich, a party for Christians, a party for humanists and so on. 365 days a year, we insist that we must banish this human-focused way of thinking and this primary focus on short-term economic interests, as in the long term, this will be at the expense of the welfare of people and animals, nature, wildlife and the environment. We are the only party with a planet-wide vision. I am incredibly proud to be the pacer in the marathon that inspires other parties to work harder towards animal welfare, nature, environment and climate.
The following are a few of our highlights and successes from the past 10 years:
- Party for the Animals tabled 41 motions during one debate. Lower House members were speechless.
- Growing opposition: Party for the Animals bought and saved natural site in the Netherlands.
- Party for the Animals makes the first Dutch Climate film: Meat the Truth.
- Establishment of the Animal Politics Foundation: political parties for the animals were founded all over the world.
- Import of hunting trophies of over 200 animal species was banned.
- Launch of contact point Gifklikker: anyone who experiences any inconvenience from agricultural toxins can contact this hotline.
- One Single Planet: a film offering solutions to preserve the liveability of our planet for future generations.
- Private member’s bill on Unstunned Ritual Slaughter adopted by an overwhelming majority.
- Sustainability has become a regular topic in the Dutch school curriculum.
We celebrated our anniversary with ample time, namely 75 minutes, to talk about our ideals during the debate on the budget of Economic Affairs. One of the main topics that evening was the transformation of Dutch agriculture. We are one of the countries in the EU with the smallest percentage of organic agricultural land. Time for Plan B.
Another success during the past week was the presentation of our ‘lijstduwers’: the Dutch term for a group of people, often well-known non-politicians such as artists and sports people, who are at the bottom of a party list during the Lower House elections. Our list includes 93-year-old artist Johan de Haas and 16-year-old schoolgirl Malou Herstel: the oldest and the youngest candidates on the Party for the Animals’ party list, both promoting the importance of Plan B for future generations! Remarkable.
We have also found a great number of opinion leaders, artists and scientists willing to act as ‘lijstduwers’. We are delighted with this broad support of leading public figures, as they help us to motivate Dutch voters to look beyond the name of our party. A recent opinion poll shows that 12 % of Dutch citizens are considering to vote for the Party for the Animals. We have a world to win. 😉
Kind regards, Marianne