The Cat That Was Almost Mayor
The grinding gears of government continually churn out predictable political candidates. Like a Saturday Night Live parody, their mannerisms and platforms are a robotic display of hand gestures and corny catch phrases. But what if someone really stood out? Someone with genuine leadership ability and charisma that would make even the politically apathetic take notice? Consider Tuxedo Stan.Credit: Tuxedo Party/Facebook
Credit: djwudi/photo on FlickrAlthough Halifax Nova Scotia’s mayoral race is officially over, the overwhelming support for its only feline entrant made me do some political soul-searching. Often when I vote it’s for the wrong reason: which candidate annoys me the least. Leaders should inspire and motivate but lately they seem to bore and discourage. Am I so disheartened with politics that I would consider voting for a cat? Unfortunately the answer is yes. With endorsements from Anderson Cooper and Ellen DeGeneres, Halifax’s furry frontrunner garnered more attention then his two-legged competitors. Owner Hugh Chisholm, a retired veterinarian, was trying to bring attention to the city’s long-standing issue of feline overpopulation but a funny thing happened…Tuxedo Stan seemed like a better option.
Credit: Akk_rus/photo on FlickrWith an estimated 100000 homeless cats in the city and an almost equal amount of disenchanted voters, Tuxedo Stan could have had an upset on his paws. For those of us that aren’t politically satisfied, a cat in office actually seemed like a viable option. What dispirited slacker wouldn’t want to throw their support behind a candidate that sleeps seventeen hours a day and is bribed with a laser pointer? Not to mention his platform, a call for the humane treatment of cats, was a legitimate, recognizable issue. A neglectful pet owner is one thing but what about a neglectful city?
With almost ten thousand Facebook “likes” the Tuxedo Party and its leader captured the attention of an entire country. Although the cat’s campaign slogan “Because neglect isn’t working” did not win an election, it did represent an honest concern for Tuxedo Stan's constituents, maybe his political rivals could learn to do the same.
We may not be ready (or allowed) to vote for a mayor who uses a litter box but we do want someone who will bring something different to the table…and it’s not a dead bird. Mahatma Ghandi once said, "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." Here’s hoping Halifax’s new leader can represent and inspire all of its citizens, even the furry ones.