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A modest fur-prosal: Put pets in local politics

Would you notice the difference between these animal councilors and the supposedly human ones we have now? 
Say “hello” to your new mayor. Photo by Robledo Rafael Andrade via Pexels.

We all know the only politics that matter are those on a national and global scale. Local politics are a waste of time and energy, with little-to-no impact on the lives of the average citizen. 

To make local government more entertaining, I suggest all regional elections should include the option to elect a pet to positions formally only held by humans. I am certain this would have no negative impacts on our existing political systems and would foster citizens’ interest in local happenings. 

Who wouldn’t like to read a story about an actual catfight at a city council meeting? Of course, there’s little local reporting in many small communities anymore, but the promise of drama might create a need for coverage of council meetings. 

You may think pet politicians would be less effective than our current options, but I ask, do you know what your city councilors and county supervisors are up to? Do you want to know? 

Wouldn’t you rather read about a squawking bird? 

I think a parrot would fare well as a county supervisor in most Northern California counties. The bird wouldn’t need to think for itself, only repeat a series of frenzied political mottos. It would win the election in a landslide, simply by mimicking the slogans and ideologies of larger, national politicians.

Or why not a tortoise? Many of these shelled reptiles are as old as their human politician counterparts. They would also be just as quick — if not faster — to enact changes to policy. If their constituents became unhappy, the tortoise councilors could simply pull their heads into their shells until the noise stopped. 

I think the city council could also use some NIMBY — “not in my backyard” — hermit crabs. They would promise aid and policy changes, but only so long as nothing causes them discomfort in their own, cozy shell home. 

The only problem with the city council member hermit crab is he might tell people, “If you don’t like it here, why don’t you leave?” 

He could be prone to forgetting not everyone has the privilege of mobility he possesses. 

Would you notice the difference between these animal councilors and the supposedly human ones we have now? 

At best, we end up with an occasional golden retriever on city council: well-meaning but unable to enact change and sometimes distracted by tennis balls. At worst, we end up with a pack of huskies who become an aggressive, screaming pack dragging the community wherever they wish. 

Of course, if this proposal concerns you, there is another option. You could read more and educate yourself about local politics. You could vote for human candidates in local elections, which often see less participation. Or, you could leave it up to the animals. 

This is a piece of satire, but if you want to nominate your cat, I won’t stop you. 

Heather Taylor can be reached at [email protected]

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About the Contributor
Heather Taylor, Copy Editor
Heather Taylor is a journalism major at Chico State. This is her third semester with The Orion. She has worked as a reporter and copy editor. Outside of school, Taylor enjoys reading, collecting vinyl records, hiking and kayaking, making crochet projects and spending time with her pets. 

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