EXERCISING HER RIGHTS, A DOG'S RIGHT TO CHOOSE
November 1, 1998
"The air is crisp, the moon low and looming brightly in the early night sky and the dog is getting ready to vote. Basil, our miniature Schnauzer is going to be nine next year and we believe that she has shown enough clear and independent thinking to make her eligible to vote.
The three of us were watching 60 Minutes the other night and there was a story about voter fraud in the United States. They made it sound like having dogs vote was a bad thing. Now, I can understand not wanting dead people to vote - the issues they'd be interested in would have little bearing on real life.
"We want a better work day and less rot in these coffins."
I can even go as far as saying that cats don't deserve the right to vote. Don't get me wrong. I grew up with cats and I enjoy them for what they are - mobile, furry attitude machines. I know that my cat would have voted for who ever pissed me off the most. My brother's cat would have voted for who ever gave her catnip and fake mice.
As with most things political these days, the issue runs right down party lines. The Democrats pushed the Motor Voter bill through congress a few years ago making it very simple for anyone - human or not - to vote early and vote often. The Motor Voter bill made it illegal to demand or even ask very nicely, for ID to register to vote. That's why Basil is now a proud member of the Democratic Party.
The Republicans would like to repeal the Motor Voter Bill and to restrict voting rights to people who are responsible enough to handle the responsibility - just like when this fine country was conceived by all those dead white guys back in 1776. Basically - white men with money.
This year we decided to vote with absentee ballots. Basil had a problem last year with a nasty rotweiler in the official polling station in our neighborhood. Turns out the rotweiler was very territorial about his garage and to make matters worse, he was one of those rabid NRA, right wing Republican dogs.
So, when we moved we all re-registered and signed up for absentee ballots - all with no fuss or ID. Our ballots came as did about thirty pounds of helpful voter information flyers, booklets and postcards.
Leslie got things from her teacher's union and anyone related to education. I got things in Spanish addressed to the Jimenez Family. I sent most of that right on down to my mom and dad since I'm a single Jimenez person and not an actual family. Basil got stuff from the Democratic Party and a few pieces in regards to animal rights.
She is solid on the issues, though. She's for a proposition in California to make it illegal to slaughter horse for HUMAN consumption. She also stongly supports a proposition makes the use of iron leg traps illegal.
She requested a small swatch of cloth from a worn garment from each of the major candidates for governor and senator - she can smell deceit a mile away. They all refused. Instead, we had to rely on commercials - just like everyone else. She seemed to enjoy one for Gray Davis where he's talking with some kids and there's a cop on a horse in the background. As far as the Matt Fong, Barbara Boxer thing went - she had mixed feelings until I told her flat out - biscuits for Boxer.
That is one area where I have to concede to the Republican view point. Basil can be bribed rather easily. She doesn't need you to lie to her about what you'll do or what issue you'll champion even how you voted in the past. A good dry, hard biscuit and she's yours for life. Or until the next bone-head comes along.
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Copyright 1998 by Laura Jiménez.