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The Guardian

Cat is leading candidate in Siberian mayoral race

He’s ready to clean up this town (and himself).


Nayomi Reghay

Internet Culture

If you watched Tuesday’s Republican debate, you may be pretty fed up with the state of American politics. Turns out we aren’t the only ones losing faith in the human potential to lead. 

Residents of one Siberian city are so dismayed by the corruption and nepotism plaguing local politics that they’ve turned away from human candidates entirely. Their preferred leader? A handsome feline named Barsik. That’s right: a cat.

And while this may seem like a laughable option, a recent social media poll, launched earlier this month by the Altai Online page on Russian social network Vk, revealed that residents of the city of Barnaul favor Barsik for mayor over all other candidates at a walloping 91%. Seems the city of 700,000 really has had its fill of politics as usual.

Local pensioner Yevgeny Kuznetsov told the Guardian, “People don’t know who to trust any more. They have come to the conclusion that they can’t trust the authorities.”

Following a series of high-profile corruption cases, it appears the city is in search of a more dependable leader.

Igor Savintsev, who ran the city from 2010 until his recent resignation, has been accused of selling off municipally owned land to family-run organizations. His exploits cost the city more than 11 million rubles (roughly $157,000).

Meanwhile, it’s not hard to see Barsik’s appeal. He’s got gorgeous blue eyes, a fluffy coat, and a calm, soothing demeanor. We can understand why the city would welcome him after so much turmoil.

Yet the question remains: Would a cat truly be a more trustworthy leader? Could he resist the undeniable corrupting effects of power? We have a feeling the polls might differ if opened up to local mice.

H/T The Guardian | Screengrab via The Guardian 

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