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Fed up with ‘Rats’, Mexicans Support ‘Candidate Cat Morris’ for Mayor

In the state of Veracuz, a campaign of support has appeared for a cat named Morris that aspires for the mayor’s office of Xalapa under the slogan of “no more rats”.

Morris “the candidate cat” has a Facebook profile [es] with more than 107,000 “likes” at this moment. In his profile, he displays photos, campaign slogans and signs of support from the public. The profile, in addition, explains [es]:

El candigato Morris se postula para que votes por él este 7 de Julio. Ante la cantidad de ratas que acechan esos puestos solo un gato podrá poner orden. El candigato no promete nada más que los demás candidatos: Descansar y retozar.

The candidate cat Morris nominates himself so that you vote for him this July 7. In light of the rats that watch these positions, only a cat will be able to put things in order. The candidate cat does not promise anything more than the other candidates: to rest and frolic.

Distinct entities of Mexico find themselves immersed in the local electoral processes; election day will take place Sunday, July 7, 2013. In Veracruz, in the western part of Mexico, new mayors in each of the 212 municipalities will be elected.

The portal Veracruzanos.info [es] describes the project in this way:

Ante la apatía de la sociedad xalapeña para emitir su voto y el hartazgo en el que se encuentran por los mismos discursos-promesas de los candidatos y partidos políticos en cada proceso electoral, surgió el “Candigato Morris”, una propuesta creativa, divertida y contestaría [sic] de Sergio, un ciudadano que postula de forma ficticia a un minino adoptado para la alcaldía de la capital del Estado.

Sergio –pidió omitir su nombre completo- quien es dueño del gato y uno de los creadores de este insurrecto proyecto, se dijo sorprendido por la respuesta que ha tenido por parte de los usuarios de la red social de Facebook.

Due to the apathy of the Xalapa people in casting their vote and because they are fed up with the same speeches-promises of the candidates and political parties in every electoral process, “Candidate cat Morris” has emerged, a creative and fun proposal that will answer for Sergio, a citizen who has nominated an adopted pussycat in a fictitious way for the mayor’s office of the State’s capital.

Sergio-who asked to omit his full name-who is the owner of the cat and one of the creators of this rebellious project, said he was surprised at the response that it has had from users of the social network Facebook.

Foto compartida en el perfil de Facebook El Candigato Morris

Shared photo from the Facebook profile of the Candidate Cat Morris

Enrique Legorreta [es], on behalf of the blog revoluciontrespuntocero (revolutionthreepointzero) [es], commented:

De manera satírica, el gato Morris transmite a la oligarquía política –no sólo de Veracruz, sino de todo el país– el mensaje de repudio de una sociedad cansada de unos partidos que no se diferencian entre sí y presentan como candidatos a personajes interesados únicamente en enriquecerse mediante el poder.

Si Morris obtuviera más votos que alguno de los candidatos registrados, el golpe simbólico a la clase política resultaría demoledor: dejaría claro que la gente está tan harta de los políticos que prefiere usar su voto de manera lúdica en vez de tratar de elegir al “menos malo”.

In a satiric way, the cat Morris sends the message of repudiation to the political oligarchy-not only in Veracruz, but throughout the entire country- from a society that is tired of parties that are not differentiating amongst themselves and choosing candidates that are only interested in growing rich through their power.

If Morris receives more votes than any of the registered candidates, the symbolic blow to the political class will be devastating; it would make clear that the people are so fed up with politics that they prefer to use their vote in a playful way instead of trying to elect the “least bad” [candidate].

Víctor Hernández, for Blog de Izquierda (Left Blog) [es], noted that the idea of nominating a non-human for a position in a popular election is not innovative, although funny. Besides, he pointed out that voting for Morris could help a specific political party:

La idea en sí no es nueva, hay que decirlo. Michael Moore hizo lo mismo en 2000 postulando como candidato a diputado de Nueva Jersey a una planta ficus.

Irónicamente, Ficus fue candidato en el condado de Morris, Nueva Jersey.

Pero bueno, OK; como chistorete está muy bien lo del candigato. ¿Pero como estrategia política? Es una tonelada de ayuda… para el PRI [Partido Revolucionario Institucional].

Y es que cada dos o tres años sale la misma cantaleta: “los políticos son una mierda, ya estamos hartos, mejor hay que anular para mandar un mensaje”.

Ah, porque votar por Morris (o por Cantinflas, o por Pedro Infante, o por Superbarrio, o por cualquier otra opción mamerta [falaz]) legalmente se contabiliza como “otro” o como “nulo.”

Y a los políticos les importa muy poco, ya que en una elección gana quien tiene más votos. ¿Quién tiene más votos si hay mucho anulismo [sic]? El partido que tiene la mayor cantidad de voto duro. ¿Quién tiene la mayor cantidad de voto duro en Veracruz? El PRI.

The idea itself is not new, one must admit. Michael Moore did the same thing in 2000 by nominating a Ficus plant to be a New Jersey delegate.

Ironically, Ficus was the candidate in the county of Morris, New Jersey.

But OK; as a big joke, a candidate cat is very good. But as a political strategy? It is a ton of help…for the PRI (Instititutional Revolutionary Party).

And every two or three years, it’s the same old story: “politics are shit, we are so fed up, it’s better to annul our votes in order to send a message”.

Ah, because voting for Morris (or for Cantinflas, or for Baby Pedro, or for Superneighborhood, or for whatever other false option) is legally entered as “other” or as “null.”

And it matters very little to the politicians, since in an election the person with the most votes wins. Who has more votes if there are many null votes? The party that has the most hard votes. Who has the most hard votes in Veracruz? The PRI.

Victor concludes:

Así que todos los indignados que le quieran “mandar un mensaje” a los políticos se van a llevar un chasco si le ponen “Morris” a la boleta, ya que el único mensaje que van a entender los políticos del PRI, que son los que están en el poder, es “qué güeyes [estúpidos]; si hubieran votado por uno de oposición, me hubieran ganado.”

So all of the angry people who want to “send a message” to the politicians are going to be letdown if they put “Morris” on the ballot, because the only message that the politicians of the PRI, those in power, are going to understand is “how stupid; if they had voted for someone from the opposition, they could have beat me.”

The portal sinembargo.mx (however.mx) [es] reported on the reactions that the “candidacy” of Morris has generated within the local electoral authority:

Promo de campaña, compartido en la página oficial elcandigato.com

Campaign promo, shared on the official page elcandigato.com

La presidenta del Instituto Electoral Veracruzano (IEV), Carolina Viveros García, pidió a los ciudadanos “no echar a perder su sufragio” votando por el Candigato Morris el próximo 7 de junio, ya que, explicó, sus votos serán nulos.

[…]

“Queremos, pedimos la participación para que voten por los ciudadanos registrados en las boletas electorales; eso es lo importante –enfatizó–, lo demás son expresiones que se dan en las redes y mis respetos, pero hay que votar por los candidatos registrados, por favor”, insistió la funcionaria del IEV.

The president of the Veracruz Electoral Institute (IEV), Carolina Viveros García, requested that citizens “do not waste their suffrage” voting for the Candidate Cat Morris next July 7, because, she explained, their votes would be null.

[…]

“We want, we request the participation so that they vote for the registered citizens on electoral ballots; this is important-she emphasized-, the rest are expressions given online and that have my respect, but you have to vote for the registered candidates, please”, the IEV official insisted.

Twitter user Tora Toncha (@toratoncha) [es] expressed himself like this about Morris:

@toratoncha Bastante ingeniosa la campaÑa del candigato Morris (a manera d protesta) pro considero 1 tonteria poner su nombre en la boleta electoral -_-

@toratoncha Very ingenious the campaign of candidate cat Morris (a way of protest) but I consider it foolishness to put his name on the electoral ballot  -_-

Gustavo Pelaez (@gjpelaez) [es] invited his followers to vote for Morris:

@gjpelaez #Xalapa #vota por el #Candigato #Morris escribe su nombre en el cuadro en blanco al votar, que ningun humano alcance el minimo de votos!!!!! [sic]

@gjpelaez #Xalapa #vota por el (vote for the) #Candigato #CandidateCat #Morris write his name in the white box to vote, so that no human achieves the minimum number of votes!!!!! [sic]

User Jorge Cervantes (@jorcervan) pointed out that he will support Morris:

@jorcervan Yo en Xalapa voy con Morris, Morris para Presidente Municipal 2014-2017.

@jorcervan In Xalapa I am going with Morris, Morris for Municipal President 2014-2017.

The “candidacy” of Morris has generated diverse reactions among Mexican public opinion; some have expressed with suspicion about this being a market trick or a campaign to benefit one of the registered parties or candidates, nevertheless, the only thing evident right now is that the popularity of the feline is increasing.

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