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11 May 2010 / Liz Johns

Pig For Prime Minister – Or Perhaps A Rhino? Or A Goat? A Cat Maybe?

So the British parliament is still hanging around looking confused, Labour and Tory politicians are vying for the attentions of the Lib Dems, and everyone is mumbling again about the pros and cons of proportional representation. It’s all, quite frankly, a little dull to my ears. Possibly this has something to do with that fact that the candidates themselves don’t seem to have any leadership charisma, that special something that captures everyone’s attention.

Not like these political candidates of recent times.

Pigasus the Immortal, the candidate for the American presidency in 1968, was leader of the Yippies (Youth International Party), but the party members were arrested for their piggish protest against the politics of the day and Pigasus disappeared.

The McGillicuddy Serious Party were anything but. An icon of New Zealand politics between 1984 to 1999, they put forward a goat for candidate for Waiheke Island (an island off the coast of Auckland) where it successfully received nomination in the local elections. (But did not win).

Cacareco the rhinoceros from Sao Paulo Zoo got 100,000 votes in the 1958 Brazilian election. On one ballot paper, it was allegedly written ‘Better to elect a rhino than an ass’.

Back in the US, Morris the cat campaigned to be elected as President in 1988 and 1992. Before that he was a film star. (Now doesn’t that sound familiar!)

All these animal candidates had one thing in common: they captured the attention of the voters without saying one single word.

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