We could learn a lot from our British forefathers when it comes to politics -- how their multi-party system works, why their elections don't last two years, what the deal is with all those powdered wigs -- but there's one tradition above all others that we desperately need to lift from them if the republic has any hope of surviving the midterms: #dogsatpollingstations.
Although it's only been around for four years, #dogsatpollingstations -- or if you can't read hashtags, Dogs at Polling Stations -- is one of the UK's most important, adorablest customs, making an appearance during yesterday's local elections. It's not hard to take part. You just have to own, borrow, or steal a dog, take a photo of them outside a polling station, and post it to the hashtag. The best thing is, elections now seem to be happening over there every single year, so why not take advantage of that political clusterfuck and reap yourself (and your pupper) some sweet, sweet internet praise?
It's such a phenomenon that not only did one animal charity launch a successful campaign to make polling stations more dog-friendly by providing water and shade, but the UK's Electoral Commission -- the government body that runs the election process -- even issued advice on how voters could take part, which is up there with the RNC and DNC giving advice on how to produce the sickest political memes.
The hashtag also serves a second purpose, in that it gives the media something to do on election day. In the UK, all major broadcasters -- including television, radio, and internet -- are prohibited from reporting on election campaigns and anything too politics-y while voting is taking place, in order to prevent fake news and biased reporting from influencing the results. #dogsinpollingstations fills that gap by allowing them to talk about something current without fear that they'll wind up getting beheaded.
It wouldn't be too hard to import over here. The name still works, and if dogs aren't your thing, it could be opened up to other types of animals (as some people have tried with horses, rats, and cats). It's important that we get this figured out, though. In these hyper-partisan times, it'd be nice to find something that we all agree on. And since it doesn't look like that's going to be anything political for a long while, we'll settle for "look at these scads of fine puppers."
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