In addition to the Presidential elections, voters in two different states were able to vote on animal issues. In California, 63% of the voters passed Proposition Two, which effectively bans the caged confinement of veal calves, gestating pigs and egg-laying hens. In Massachusetts 57% of the voters would ban any dog racing that included betting or wagering, essentially putting out of business the state's two greyhound racetracks as of Jan. 1, 2010.
9 November 2008 READ MORE
(The Guardian, 2 October 2008)
(The bloody rise of the vote hunter, Comment by Paul Theroux, The Guardian, 13 September 2008)
McCain's running mate Sarah Palin bad news for animals and the environment
While Barack Obama has acknowledged that there is sometimes a link between domestic violence and animal cruelty, and that the livestock sector is responsible for greenhouse gases, Republican Sarah Palin, McCain's running mate from Alaska, has a bad track record regarding animals and the environment. In fact, she is a hunter and a life time member of the National Rifle Association.
Protecting social values such as those of families and the rights of the unborn, Palin does not extend the compassionate circle to non-human animals. These conservative values are not necessarily only those of Republicans. Matthew Scully, Republican and a senior speech writer for George W. Bush wrote "Dominion: The Power of Man, The Suffering of Animals, and The Call to Mercy". According to Karen Dawn of DawnWatch Scully had written Palin's opening speech, and it is hoped that he will be able to influence Palin's thinking.
Animals Count disagrees with DawnWatch statement:
"I also discuss single issue voting. That's how the National Rifle Association keeps its power. Candidates know that a percentage of folks large enough to swing an election will vote entirely based on a candidate's gun position. The animals will be better off when our movement has that power. Yet, I also argue that a compassionate world view is not species specific, and cannot leave out humans. So I acknowledge the strong case for taking all of a candidate's stances into account when casting a vote.
Those are the reasons why DawnWatch will never take a Republican or Democratic stance, and will never tell you for whom you should vote."
Although the political system differs in the Netherlands, there is certainly a place for a political party (or candidates) with a strong focus on animal issues in countries worldwide. Most importantly because many animal issues are intimately linked with human issues (the debate should not focus on 'either or' humans or animals; both are important), and indeed most animal issues are connected to wider environmental issues too.
Secondly, an animal-friendly candidate or party will never become a mainstream party. The function of Animals Count, the Dutch political Party for the Animals, and similar parties is to be hares, while the other parties are tortoises.
6 Septemeber, 2008