Disillusioned citizens of remote Siberian city, Barnaul have become fed-up with political corruption and instead are placing their hopes in a cat.
It’s common knowledge that politicians can be shits, but mostly we just tut about it and mutter things about being overpaid and not keeping promises. However, the catalyst of even-shitter-than-usual Siberian weather mixed with an apathetic and politically resentful population has meant that a cat is triumphing over its human rivals.
In an unofficial poll run by a popular social media page from the city of 700,000, Barsik the cat grabbed almost 91% of the vote putting him leagues ahead of, er, the actual politicians.
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.”
You can’t really blame the proud residents of Barnaul for their political revolution, they haven’t had the best luck when it comes to politicians. Previous city administrators have been forced to resign over high-profile corruption cases, including the city administrator in 2010 that sold hundreds of thousands of pounds in city land to organisations owned by his family members.
Meanwhile, the creator of the social media campaign to have Barsik the cat elected who goes by the online pseudonym, ‘Altai Farmer’ is fearful for real-world repercussions of his political dissent. The campaign for Barsik was launched online with the slogan “Only mice don’t vote for Barsik”.