The Park’s Election Office has released the names of the 145 Animals who have chosen to stand as candidates for the position of 2014 Park Official Prognosticator of Spring (POPS).
At 2:00 a.m. this morning, the list of candidates was posted at the law courts and in front of the Ancient, Open-Air Theatre, the venue that will host tonight’s all-candidates debate. The list will remain posted until all votes are tallied on November 7.
The total number of candidates this year is 145 and they represent a wide variety of species, many of whom have not previously been associated with weather prognostication.
“It’s an increase of more than 500 per cent over last year,” PEO head Gerritt Wezel told The Mammalian Daily this morning.
“We’re going to see quite the fight tonight,” he said. “You can tell from the campaigning so far.”
Some candidates began their campaign at 2:01 this morning, just one minute after the list of candidates was posted. Others, however, opted to wait for more Animals to be awake before they knocked on den doors or slipped their brochures into burrows or tunnels.
“I was up, of course, but I didn’t want to rouse any other Animal from sleep. I don’t think that’s how you get votes,” said Corazón Jirafa, who is the first of her species to stand for election.
Both Jirafa and Blandine Okapi said they believed it was important for them to run, even if they don’t stand a chance of winning.
“There’s been so much talk about striped and spotted Animals not getting a fair shake in The Park, not being treated equally,” said Okapi. “I kind of wanted to test that out and see for myself what kind of reaction I got.”
Candidates will be campaigning throughout the day until the all-candidates debate begins at 8:00 this evening.
“And after that, it’s up to the electorate to ponder its decision in blissful silence,” says Wezel.