Halifax cat Earl Grey wants to be your prime minister

While he might not beat out the mainstream parties, prime minister hopeful Earl Grey is hoping to raise awareness about animal cruelty.

Earl Grey continuing the work of his late cat brother, Tuxedo Stan

Here is Earl Grey with campaign manager Hugh Chisholm. Mayoral hopeful Tuxedo Stan was his litter mate. (Jane Sponagle/CBC)

Halifax cat Earl Grey has jumped into federal politics as leader of the Tuxedo Party of Canada.

While he might not beat out the mainstream parties, the purring politician's campaign is hoping to raise awareness about animal cruelty.

"It's a humorous way for us to focus on a very serious issue," said campaign manager Hugh Chisholm. Chisholm is also Earl Grey's owner.

The tent pole of Earl Grey's platform is: "Who stands on guard for me?" The platform points to Canada's animal cruelty legislation, which was passed during Victorian times. It is not effective or adequate, according to the party. 

Some provinces, like Nova Scotia, have strong animal cruelty legislation, said Chisholm.

"We don't want people to be able to move from province to province to escape animal cruelty charges." 

In 2013, Earl Grey ran for Premier of Nova Scotia. His late cat brother Tuxedo Stan ran for Mayor of Halifax in 2012.

Neither won.  

During those campaigns, the cats raised awareness about the province's feral cats population. The party's news release says money raised by the Tuxedo Party is used to spay or neuter cats in need.

Cat on a hot campaign trail

Chisholm said Earl Grey is not as media friendly as Tuxedo Stan. 

"He's friendly with people he knows. He's a typical cat. It takes awhile for him to get to know people," he said. "We jokingly say he's like Harper when it comes to the media because he tries to avoid the media as much as he can."

The cat was hiding behind an arm chair in a sun room during a CBC interview. Chisholm had to pick him up to face the camera.

Earl Grey is not without his faults. Chisholm said he could be bribed with the right kind of cat nip.

The furry politician's number one demand? A clean litter box. ​

Do not expect to see Earl Grey tearing down the other leaders any time soon.

"He's not into attack ads," said Chisholm. "And anybody who does want to attack him, he's got some pretty sharp claws and teeth there so I'd say be careful."

Of course, no one — whether cat or human — can run directly for the prime minister's office, but that doesn't seem to be dampening Earl Grey's political enthusiasm. 

Early Grey wants your vote. (Courtesy Tuxedo Party of Canada)

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