Now that 2016 Park Official Prognosticator of Spring (POPS) Adelheid Whistlepig is safely ensconced in her burrow, The Park Election Office has rendered her election win the last of its kind.
Executing what some are calling a “momentous change” in POPS election policy, the PEO has decided to designate an official POPS runner-up—an Animal who will fulfill the duties of the POPS should she or he be unable to do so. The change in policy will take effect at the next election.
At a press conference this afternoon, PEO head Gerritt Wezel made the announcement.
“Many factors were involved in our decision to designate an official runner-up—a spare, you might say—in the POPS election,” he said.
Among those factors, Wezel cited the lack of age restriction for candidates and the precariousness of life itself. But one thing stood out for Park citizens—and particularly for The Park’s weather makers— and that was the change in climate over the past decades.
“In the few years that we have been electing the POPS—a little more than a decade, in fact—our climate has become less and less predictable,” Wezel said.
“As many in our medical community have noted, premature awakening from hibernation, which was once a rare occurrence, has become a blight on our hibernating population. This is a serious matter and selecting a runner-up to the POPS is not a solution to this dilemma. But it is a first step in acknowledging that we must accommodate to it until we can change it. It is for this reason that I petitioned the Archons last year for a change in policy. And it is for this reason that they agreed,” he said.
Wezel confirmed that the runner-up would likely be the candidate who received the second-largest number of votes, but he said the laws surrounding the selection have yet to be written.
“This is something that will take some time and a lot of deliberation, but the wheels are now in motion,” he said.