A new report released by the Department of Political Administration (DPA) paints a bleak picture of Park citizens’ commitment to participation in their government.
According to the report, entitled “Don’t Count Me In”, the number of Park citizens who feign illness to avoid having their names entered in the annual Archon lottery (known officially as sortition) has doubled since the last tally was done in 2009.
“It’s surprising, given the precarious state of the world outside [The Park], that Park Animals would take such a casual attitude toward zoocracy,” says Delia Quagga, head of the Barnaby School of Government at the University of West Terrier.
According to the rules of zoocracy, all adult Park citizens must confirm their eligibility to stand as candidates for Archon by the end of October. Illness constitutes the only exception to this rule; Animals who are ill and who believe they would be unable to fulfil their duties as Archon due to their illness are required to advise the DPA of their circumstances by submitting a Form 12.
“Because this was established as a self-reporting system, Animals were not, initially, required to supply medical documentation of their illness,” says DPA spokesAnimal Antoinette Fourmi.
“But when we noticed the Form 12 totals rising, we knew we had to take action. So, for the past five years, we have been requesting verification of illness. Not surprisingly, we discovered that a large number of the Form 12s could not be verified,” she said.
Submitting a fraudulent claim of illness is a breach of Park law, says Fourmi, “not to mention the fact that it is morally repugnant to most Park citizens.”
The question now is whether or not authorities will pursue legal action against the feigners.
“That will be up to another branch of government,” says Fourmi. “We collected the data, but we have no jurisdiction over the consequences of that data.”