Worldlog week 13 – 2014
With the campaign for the municipal elections, we have exciting and beautiful weeks behind us. Wednesday 19 March was the day: the Netherlands went to the polls. We gained 100%: from a representation of the Party for the Animals (PvdD) in 6 municipalities, we are now represented in 12 municipalities! We obtained seats in Amsterdam, Leiden, The Hague, Pijnacker-Nootdorp, Gouda, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Buren, Arnhem, Apeldoorn, Groningen and Vlagtwedde. In Vlagtwedde, we are as big as the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and in Amsterdam we won more votes than the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) 🙂
The outcome of the elections has shown an enormous increase in the number of voters that want to hold on to their ideals. Compared to last time, we won a lot more votes in the 6 municipalities where we were in the council already. This means we managed to reach an increasing number of people who do not choose short-term interests of people, but focus on compassion and sustainability. Moreover, in the national forecast, we also won 50 per cent compared to the elections in 2012.
To all active members in the 12 municipalities, to all candidates and to the Party Bureau of the Party for the Animals in Amsterdam: Congratulations and many thanks for all your efforts!
And, of course, I would like to thank all voters in the 12 municipalities for their votes on the only party that is not based on the short-term interests of its own species!
More good news from the Lower House. There will be a ban on the use of highly hazardous pesticides containing neonicotinoids. This poison is dangerous to bees and other pollinators, such as bumble bees, and plays a part in the massive bee deaths. A Parliamentary majority sided with us for a national moratorium on the use of this bee poison in agriculture and for sale to private individuals.
Neonicotinoids are relatively new pesticides that have a disastrous effect on bees. To illustrate, this substance is thousands of times more toxic than DDT. We have therefore fought against neonicotinoids for years. At the start of 2013, a motion of Esther Ouwehand for a European ban on this pesticide obtained a Parliamentary majority. Partly owing to this motion, the use of three types of neonicotinoid has now been curbed in the EU. However, the European measures leave most neonicotinoid uses unchanged: as much as 80% remains unaffected in the Netherlands. Whereas our country is in the top-3 of countries with the highest pesticide levels in agriculture and bee deaths are exceptionally high here!
This week, I asked Parliamentary questions about “crow day” in Drachten, organised by hunting clubs (WBEs). In a pamphlet, hunters are challenged to shoot as many living crows and jackdaws from the sky as possible to win “nice prices”.
Crows and jackdaws are included on the “national exemption list”, which means that land users may “fight” both animal species on their lands during the entire year in case of proven major damage. This last aspect is hardly ever proven independently. It is a travesty that hunters are permitted to unscrupulously blast birds from the sky in the breeding season and even make a contest of it too. These sorts of practices once again show that the conservation of nature ought not to be placed in the hands of hobbyists with guns.
Fortunately, crow day in Drachten has been called off in response to my Parliamentary questions. Good!
We are on the eve of the campaign for the European Parliamentary elections. I understand that the parties for the animals in Spain, Portugal, Germany and England will also take part in the elections. The rise of the Party for the Animals in Europe is unstoppable!