Our Odd Obsession With Animals Running For Public Office
Non-humans governing humans should not be involved in politics. Maybe as a cute, accompanying pet-- in fact, that's preferable. If a dog running for mayor is a joke, then the dog winning is certainly the punchline. As ridiculous as politics are, pigs, dogs, goats, and a turkey puppet - who isn't even real in any capacity of the word - aren't viable candidates to turn a town around. A three-year-old was once mayor in Dorset, Minnesota, which is certainly a step-up from an animal (no disrespect) but a candidate whose platform is verbatim, "Be nice and no poopy talk," and banking on free ice cream to sell his "candidacy" is still less than ideal.
For those candidates who can bark for themselves, take Tai the poodle. In a bound of canine corruption, her one-year presidency of the small town, but longed-named, Republic of Whangamomona nearly had her life taken away, or so it is rumored: "her presidency marred by a non-fatal attack by another dog, which some locals claim was a political assassination attempt." To continue the hot political gossip of the past, a pig named Winnie, who in 2000, was a mayoral candidate in London after being "the star of a continuous protest by farmers outside the Houses of Parliament."
The potential of her ruling was destroyed when officials saw her 10,000 euro registration fee check made to "Piggybank PLC," which the election officials found highly suspicious.
Let's also not forget the "alcoholic goat" who proved that animal politics are not as innocent as they seem, as goat by the name of Clay Henry became mayor of Lajitas, Texas, in the late-'80s.
The GOAT or just a goat?
His son later took the throne and had a passion for beer drinking- usually up to 35 Lone Stars a day. He was eventually murdered by his son after that, Clay Henry the III, who heartlessly head-butted him to death.
One candidate who comes closer to human is Dustin the Turkey, a nuisance to life as we know it on the surface, but at his core, a beloved character of Ireland- for the most part. Although a literal political puppet, he's maneuvered by human hands, who have even gotten him to run for president. While he's never won, you can take a look at him performing at the Eurovision, representing Ireland:
Not enough information is known about the nature of animals running as electoral candidates. Typically, it comes from mocking the political system, often when the stakes are low like that of a microscopic town where some foundation in the community already exists, perfectly able to function without its pet mayor. In these cases, such an animal is a mere symbol of the community and "wow" factor to its visitors. In these scenarios, entertainment is the goal and usually the end result, if we can call it that. As for entry requirements? Not sure what Wiki is referring to on the topic of animal mayors when they mention:
"Electoral regulations may explicitly require candidates to be human (or equivalent wording.)" That seems like the correct wording to me… And, if a candidate is asked to sign a document in legible writing, then maybe an animal isn't the right fit- a very reasonable demand, though maybe we can settle for a painted paw print, for instance? Not to mention that some life spans of animals aren't even long enough to properly reach the age of legal adulthood required to run for office (now that's just sad…)
Mainly though, voting for an animal is a means of pushing back a vote and showing protest against one's political system. But we've known that clowns continue to have a say in the circus, so an Australian shepherd could probably do us more service. But please no. Just a functioning, non-corrupt human will do. If we ever reach that point.
For more of Oona’s sarcasm and attempted wit, visit her website oonaoffthecuff.com.
Top Image: Alexas Fotos/Pixabay