Peter Rhodes, hero citizen

Many people, when faced with bureaucratic nonsense in government or the corporate world, complain about it to people around them, fume silently and grow an ulcer, or write irate but ineffective hatemail to the party responsible.
Those people should read this story. It is the story of one Peter Rhodes, a citizen of the town of Wanaka in New Zealand, who "was frustrated with the Queenstown Lakes District Council's regulatory contractor, CivicCorp, and with the 'bureaucratic nonsense' he had to deal with while trying to subdivide his property", as the New Zealand Herald reports.
So when Mr Rhodes received an electoral roll confirmation form for the New Zealand elections, and saw that there was an additional form for eligible voters who had been "inadvertently overlooked", he did the obvious thing: he signed up his dog Toby for the elections. In keeping with their bureaucratic incompetence, civil servants overlooked the fact that the signature on the form was a dog's paw print, changed the voter's occupation, listed as 'rodent exterminator', to 'hunter', and allowed Toby to vote.
Election day has come and gone and neither Toby nor his boss have voted. But I think that the mere fact of a Jack Russell terrier being allowed to cast a vote in the national elections (and the ensuing press) sends a clearer message to the New Zealand government than any filled-in ballot could.

Posted by cronopio at 01:07 PM, September 26, 2005