The federal election campaign in Montreal has begun and there is a cat running as a candidate in the riding of NDG-Westmount that will determine the region’s representative in the Canadian parliament. His name is Humbert— he’s 4 years old and he will run against NDP candidate James Hughes, Conservative candidate Richard Sagala and Liberal MP Marc Garneau. And yes, you read it right. He is a cat, a real cat.
He is already known in the area, since last year when he stood up against graffiti with his human, John Jordan. The alleyways of their neighborhood were covered with tags so Jordan decided to recover them with cat-related art. And after this, the Alley Cat Gallery was born, exhibiting only cat art and the alleys have remained clean ever since. Humbert became popular after this and his face emerged as the face of the gallery. The idea is that he continues to inspire people to invest more in public art.
The slogans developed so far for his campaign are: “An honest face,” “Let’s keep the box clean,” “No worse than the others,” and “The time is now.” In the next few days more will appear in the streets revealing, what his politics will stand for.
This is Humbert’s first campaign but it’s not the first time there will be non-human candidates running electoral campaigns. We have for example Bosco, a Labrador and Rottweiler mix, who was elected mayor of Sunol, California, or Stubbs, a cat, who was elected mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska and Duke, a dog that was elected mayor of Cormorant, Minnesota. Some would say that politics is full of animals anyway, so what’s the difference?