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C.S. Morrissey – Global Theatre

Pundit cat smells a rat over referendum 

Voices Nov. 27, 2018

The fur is flying over B.C.’s confusing electoral reform referendum, so C.S. Morrissey invites his neighbourhood feline Gigi to explain why “fur past the post” is really the cat’s meow. (C.S. Morrissey photo)

Because I am a “cat whisperer” (able to communicate with cats), I decided to ask Gigi, our friendly neighbourhood cat, about how to vote in the confusing B.C. electoral reform referendum.

“That’s easy,” said Gigi. “The best system is ‘fur past the post’ (FPTP). Don’t be fooled by any of the dopey ‘purr-portional representation’ (PR) schemes, which would all be disastrous.”

“Gigi” is what I call him, using a phony French accent, in order to have a bit of fun whenever I address this magnificent Manx cat by his initials: G.G.

Gigi’s initials stand for his full name: George Grant. It’s an unusual name for a cat, but G.G. is named after Grant, one of Canada’s greatest political philosophers

Gigi is disgusted whenever sentient beings with voting rights fail to exercise their right to vote. I could have predicted what he was going to say next:

‘When the cat’s away, the mice will play’

“You ever hear the saying: ‘When the cat’s away, the mice will play’?”

I nodded my head. It’s one of his favourite slogans. He especially likes to use it when describing the injustice of cats being denied the vote. Gigi likens the way humans make a mess of things of things in politics to the way mice make a mess of things in general.

In this instance, Gigi also explained how the slogan is especially pertinent. “The humans who imposed this stupid referendum think they are as smart as cats,” he said. “They think they can take advantage of all the lazy human ‘mice’ who won’t bother to vote to keep their excellent ‘fur past the post’ (FPTP) system.”

Gigi fixed his gaze on me: “The referendum is an anti-democratic coup cloaked in democratic guise! How long are humans going to keep on falling for these classic ‘cat and mouse’ deceptions?”

I asked him to explain the acronyms he was using. “Sure thing,” said Gigi. “It’s easiest to explain from a cat’s eye view. Now, I know you know the truth about cat ownership, right?”

It is cats that choose their owners

Gigi, like all cats, knows that most humans think they choose their cats. But the truth is the exact opposite: it is cats that choose their owners. Because cats are eminently political animals, nothing can be done without their consent.

I nodded my head. “Good,” said Gigi. “The phrase ‘fur past the post’ (FPTP) refers to the doorpost. When a cat enters the door of a house – when his fur goes past a doorpost – then he has chosen that house. Every cat knows that those people are now his property.”

“On the other hand, so-called ‘purr-portional representation’ (PR) confuses things, like those confused humans who think they own many cats – as if cats were somehow portions of their own property,” howled Gigi in disgust.

“Humans may think they can have a ‘Dual Meow Purr-portional’ (DMP) or ‘Mixed Meow Purr-portional’ (MMP) household, but all cats in so-called ‘multiple cat households’ know that in reality only one cat can be said to actually own those humans in the house,” explained Gigi.

“This very same natural law refutes any ‘Rural-Urban Purr-portional’ (RUP) scheme,” argued Gigi, “which, after all, foolishly confuses being an indoor cat with being an outdoor cat.”

“Every cat knows that indoor cats merely serve at the pleasure of the outdoor cat,” sniffed Gigi, “who deputizes them at will to oversee his already conquered territory.”

I nodded slowly in agreement, deferring to Gigi’s higher wisdom. “Therefore,” said Gigi, since this ‘Superior Talent Vote’ (STV) is the unwritten natural law of the animal kingdom, whereby the clearly dominant animal enjoys the highest political rank, the lesson is clear.”

It would be foolish for humans to dilute their political system

I raised my eyebrows. “It would be foolish for humans to dilute their political system with crazy schemes where it would never be clear who is really in charge,” sighed Gigi. “The obvious consequence would be nothing important would ever get done!”

“From a cat’s point of view, the first fur to go past the doorpost is the cat in charge of his humans,” said Gigi with a yawn. “If you ever have any complaints, it is then clear to whom you can go.”

I could tell he was ready for a nap now. “In the same way, you humans need one and only one human to be the clear champion of your local constituency,” he said, resting his head on his crossed paws.

“Yes, Gigi,” I said, stroking his head with my left hand. “It’s like you always say: ‘Fur come, fur served.’”

He said nothing now, except for a steady purr. “Gigi, I think I finally understand what you mean. When your fur comes past my doorpost, you have clearly chosen me to serve you faithfully.”

Thus, I filled out my ballot with my right hand, thankful for the cat who had so wisely delegated me to vote for him.