A near doubling for the Dutch Party for the Animals in local elections
The Dutch Party for the Animals – the first political party for animal rights, nature, and the environment in the world to be elected to parliament – made big gains in the municipal elections last week. As a result, the international political movement for a sustainable and animal-friendly world has grown to nearly 190 elected representatives worldwide.
The Party for the Animals won in almost all municipalities where it had representation in the council already. In several large cities, the party won almost 10% of the vote and in various municipalities the number of seats doubled. In addition, the party came in strong in no less than 15 new municipalities. "This fantastic result shows that many people are fed up with the fact that nature, animal rights, and the environment are constantly sacrificed for the short-term interests of humans," party leader Esther Ouwehand says.
Since its election to parliament in 2006, the Party for the Animals has consistently put animal and human rights, nature, and the environment on the political agenda, putting forward concrete proposals for the radical system change needed to end the immense animal suffering in the current food, fashion, and recreation industries, and to address the climate and biodiversity crisis.
The steady growth of the party shows that more and more voters recognise that a fundamental change of course is needed to keep the Earth liveable for current and future generations of people and animals. Since 2006, the party has won more seats in every consecutive election. As a result, it now has 6 seats in national parliament, 3 seats in the senate, 19 in regional administrative bodies and, since last week, no less than 63 seats at local level. The Party for the Animals also holds one seat in the European Parliament and is an important driver of a more animal-friendly and sustainable European agricultural policy.
As a party for action, it also succeeds in exerting more influence than can be expected purely based on its number of seats. The Party for the Animals brings activism into the political arena to 'wake up' other political parties. "Being a catalyst, mobilising people and exerting influence, that's what we want," according to former party leader and founder Marianne Thieme. And successfully so: more and more parties appear to adopt the party’s viewpoints.
Internationally, too, the Party for the Animals’ example is increasingly being followed, with the party collaborating extensively. Over the past 20 years, 20 political parties for the animals have been established worldwide and almost 190 representatives have now been elected at national and local level - besides the Netherlands, representatives of animal rights parties also govern in Germany, Portugal, France, the United Kingdom, and Australia. "Team Planet is growing", says Esther Ouwehand, "and that is very encouraging news!".