Another electoral gain for Spanish Party for the Animals
PACMA, the Spanish Party for the Animals, has had another
success in the elections last Sunday. However, despite the many votes,
the party did not win a seat in the Spanish Parliament due to Spain’s
lop-sided electoral system. However, according to opinion polls, PACMA
will win two seats in the European Parliament. PACMA is part of a
growing political movement of parties for animal rights in European
countries who have joined forces in the run-up to the European
PACMA obtained 326,045 votes last Sunday, compared to 286,702 votes in 2016. PACMA’s increase in votes is another success in the international political movement for animal rights and environment: worldwide, parties for animals are growing and the Netherlands, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Australia all have elected representatives for animal rights.
Unfair electoral system
Despite the high number of votes obtained during the elections, it was not enough for PACMA to win a seat in the Spanish House of Representatives. An unfortunate result of Spain’s electoral system, that uses 52 constituencies with election thresholds of a minimum of 3%. The size of the districts or constituencies varies widely. Constituencies with relatively few inhabitants are placed at an unfair advantage when it comes to the ratio between the number of votes and the number of representatives. Especially rural areas are overrepresented in this system.
For example, a party in Madrid needs 100,000 votes to get a seat in the House of Representatives, while in the rural region of Soria a seat will take only 25,000 votes. That means a vote in Soria counts for 4 votes in Madrid. This system explains why a party like Navarra Suma (N+) with only 105,306 votes has still won two seats in the House of Representatives while PACMA, with more than twice that number of votes, did not win any seats.
This overview shows five parties with less votes than PACMA that have still won seats in the Spanish House of Representatives
Animal Politics EU
On 26 May, PACMA will participate in the European Parliament elections. These elections do not use an electoral threshold, nor the district system described above. That means PACMA will stand a fairer chance to win a seat during the European elections. According to opinion polls, PACMA will even win two seats in the European Parliament.
For years, PACMA has been working behind the scenes with its sister parties from all over the world. Eleven parties for animal rights and a fair and sustainable society are working together in this year’s European Parliament elections. Operating under the name “Animal Politics EU”, they have launched a collective manifesto. In addition to the Spanish PACMA, the movement includes Partij voor de Dieren (Netherlands), Djurens Parti (Sweden), Partito Animalista Italiano (Italy), Parti Animaliste (France), DierAnimal (Belgium), Animal Party Cyprus (Cyprus), Partei Mensch Umwelt Tierschutz (Germany), EOP (Finland), Animal Welfare Party (United Kingdom) and PAN (Portugal).
The movement expects a big election win in the upcoming European elections in May.