Worldlog Week 09 – 2011

4 mars 2011

This Worldlog contains a retrospective of this election week. We're waiting with bated breath to see if the government coalition of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD)/the Christian Democratic Alliance (CDA) with passive support from the Party for Freedom (PVV) will have the opportunity to push their policy through the Upper House too. In the Netherlands, a coalition has a majority in the Upper House at 38 seats. The coalition managed to win 37. The only way to achieve a majority is with the support of smaller parties, such as the Reformed SGP with one seat. The definitive distribution of seats will be announced on 23 May. We therefore have to wait a few more months but we remain hopeful that the coalition will not be able to gain a majority.

It's a shame that we took part in the elections in ten provinces but only won a seat in seven of them. We did not win a seat in the provinces of Overijssel, Zeeland and Limburg despite favourable polls prior to the election. Many voters were probably infected in the last few days before the election by the thought that the election would be a fight between the left and the right and would concern national issues instead of provincial ones. But we managed to hold onto our seat in the Upper House and I'm pleased about that!

Bram van Liere, our future member of the provincial council in the province of North-Holland in front of the provincial government building in Haarlem.

Everyone worked really hard on a fantastic and highly visible campaign. We managed once more to get a lot of people thinking. The other parties took on our topics of mega stalls and nature, which is something we very much encourage. We are the pacers in this marathon which can be a thankless task. But in the coming four years, in the seven provinces, we will champion increased attention for animals, nature and the environment. We will win, in the Upper House too. We will do everything we can to fight mega stalls and protect nature, even in the provinces with an outspoken, nature-unfriendly majority. We will hold fast to our ideals and will make the Netherlands considerably more sustainable.

Work carried on as usual in the Lower House this week. One of our motions, co-lodged by the Socialist Party (SP) and the Dutch Labour Party (PvdA), did not reach a majority in the Lower House. Because the Party for Freedom (PVV) withheld its support, the motion was rejected 78 to 72. The motion concerned fire safety in stalls. In the past five years, almost a million animals have died in stall fires; on average 100 animals die a grisly death each day.

Over the past few years we have demanded several times that measures be taken to improve stall fire safety. Stalls are currently listed in the Buildings Decree for 2003 as 'light industry' and in terms of fire safety, the animals are classified as 'goods'. As a consequence, there are currently no requirements for the materials used to construct stalls. Thanks to the attitude held by the Party for Freedom (PVV), the necessary measures to protect animals against stall fires have been removed from the table. That's plain to see. The Party for Freedom (PVV) does not want fire safety regulations in stalls, but we will continue to demand them!

See you next week,