Worldlog Week 04 – 2011

28 januari 2011

Last week I asked the minister of the interior and kingdom relations for clarification regarding possible irregularities during the Provincial State elections on 2 March 2011. Residents of the overseas Dutch municipalities of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba (the BES islands) are not allowed to vote as they do not live in a province. As a consequence, they can exercise no influence on the composition of the Upper House.

A constitutional amendment would be required to give the residents of the BES islands the right to vote in the Provincial State elections. The fact that BES residents have no indirect right to vote for the Upper House is not only in violation of our own constitution, it also contravenes the principle of equality as set out in international treaties. We consider it unacceptable that a group of Dutch citizens has no right to vote in these national elections. I suggested, as a possible solution, to include the BES islands with the main polling station in The Hague, as happens during the European elections and the elections for the Lower House. We shall see!

Last week I told you about the emergency debate that we requested regarding the refusal of state secretary Bleker to consider something other than the annual culling of eighty percent of all Dutch wild boars. We are pleased to let you know that Bleker no longer rejects the idea of a study into alternatives to the shooting of these boars. While we would prefer to see things moving along a little faster, we consider the state secretary’s promise to be a hopeful beginning.

Furthermore, I requested clarification from state secretary Bleker, the minister of the interior and the minister of safety and justice regarding the dispensation the province of Flevoland had granted for the use of artificial lighting and silencers for the shooting of foxes and rabbits. The use of dazzle lights, silencers, image intensifiers and audiovisual equipment are prohibited pieces of hunting equipment that cause the animals much stress. The province of Flevoland recently granted an exemption with the argument that the culling the foxes and rabbits was necessary in the interest of public safety. Fortunately, the district court of Zwolle-Lelystad ruled that this dispensation was wrong!

Concerned citizens in Russia have started a petition for national laws to protect animals. Animals in Russia are currently not protected under the law and this results in terrible animal abuse and serious animal welfare problems. Help the animals of Russia and sign the petition addressed to Premier Poetin!

Until next week,