Following the news that the Greens have endorsed Australia’s first transgender candidate for federal parliament, animal advocate group PETA have fast tracked an announcement confirming the first non-human candidate for parliament, a horse named Charlie.
XYZ has learned that Charlie, an attractive nine year old chestnut, will stand for the ‘bellwether’ seat of Eden-Monaro at the next election, against sitting member Peter Hendy, who stole the seat at the last election from stand again (and somewhat embittered) Labor candidate Mike Kelly.
Charlie had no comment on either Hendy or Kelly, but showed his contempt for the latter by producing an extraordinary stream of excrement that cleared campaign headquarters (a stable) for several minutes. Regaining his composure, and when asked for an estimation of his chances against sitting member Hendy, Charlie replied with a firm ‘neigh.’ On his thoughts about being the only non human in parliament, Charlie answered in a similar vein, with, ‘neigh, neigh, neigh.’
PETA are sure he will perform well in opposition, but concede Charlie needs more work in the policy advocacy and speech making areas. If Charlie can sneak into parliament on Greens preferences, PETA are hopeful he can bring animal rights to the forefront of the national political conversation, and even have tentative plans for an amendment to the Marriage Act, drawing on the ground breaking work of Professor Peter Singer in the area.
Despite these high ambitions, Charlie has a long way to go before he reaches Canberra. For one, he needs to find a way of being registered to vote, something PETA are already addressing in the High Court, with a planned challenge to Australia’s Human Rights laws, arguing that the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 violates the civil rights of animals by denying them the right to vote.
If Charlie does make it onto the electoral roll and all the way to the nation’s parliament, his contributions are likely to present a major threat to the Greens, with Adam Bandt needing to find room on the cross benches for, not only a political rival of equal, if not superior, political acumen, but fresh hay, oats, and the odd apple.