A surge of pictures featuring ink-stained thumbs and toe beans following a successful registration can only mean one thing: election season is here. The country is immersing itself in the hustle and bustle of the campaign period, but while people believe they already have their senatorial slate sorted out, a new competitor has entered the battlefield—and this one will fight tooth and paw to ensure his win, although through very questionable means.
Hans Solo, a prominent figure in the University’s campus scene, has boldly filed his candidacy as a Philippine Senapurr. Running under the UniKitties political party, Solo is adamant about establishing unity for the country through a more extensive analysis of hooman and feline coexistence.
Despite the promising nature of his platforms and the massive tide of support he gained not long after his candidacy filing, Solo’s campaign was not without its controversies. Many have expressed dismay over the candidate’s absence in senapurrial debates, failing to elaborate on his plans to resolve the nation’s problems and go head-to-head with his fellow candidates. Aside from this, Solo’s roundabout answers to questions thrown at him have only served to confuse the masses and destabilize the integrity of his campaign.
Of hindrances and origins
Once a beloved cat of the DLSU campus, Solo had polarized many feline voters when UniKitties named him as the party’s standard bearer. Willow, the senapurrial candidate’s wife, reveals that Solo decided to accept this nomination after watching an ant trail devour a bowl of tapsilog on campus. “He was looking at this trail of ants eating a student’s lunch without them noticing, and he was like, ‘Okay I’m running for senapurr’,” she narrates.
Despite only patiently waiting for food from the students and taking excessive cat naps around the Taft area, many of his supporters anticipated his eventual electoral run. This mainly stems from the fact that Solo affiliates himself with infamous leader Yeller—making him a cat with deep purrlitical ties. His father is remembered as the cat-tator that held anti-hooman and anti-canine policies, eliminating those who dared question his decisions.
When asked about Yeller, Solo’s feline spokesperson Hairy Romeoque translates Solo’s reminiscent purrs, “Solo adores his father because he left a legacy that the feline, canine, and hooman populations will continue to appreciate.” Indeed, he is following in his father’s footsteps as his current senapurrial track record continues to be flooded with alarming red flags, including enabling his followers to believe disinformation and turning a blind eye to acknowledging how his family stole all the cat food at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thus, many have questioned his dedication to the senapurrial position, particularly because of his abstention to showcase his platform and engage with his fellow candidates in senapurrial debates. Romeoque states, “Hooman mainstream media has always sensationalized politics, with [Hans Solo] being the new target of their smear project.”
However, when further probed on his absence coming off as disrespectful to other candidates, Solo purrs aggressively; Romeoque laughs as he explains, “These debates have focused on negative questions, and we will not subscribe to this behavior. We believe the discourse in any forum about this coming elections must center on how aspiring senapurrs will solve the lingering problems in our society.”
Concerns of a cult
Many feline voters have shown disdain not only toward Solo, but also toward his supporters, who have blindly shown an unwavering dedication to support his battle to the Senapurrate.
Both hooman and feline voters express that whenever they share posts on other candidates’ platforms, Solo supporters would immediately swarm them with accusations of slander. “Their candidate has yet to show an actual platform,” argues feline Twipurr user Daffy as she ponders, “Why are they so defensive over [the] other candidates’ platforms?”
Levster Bapurra, an avid Facemeowk hooman user, notices that many of the posts and comments of Solo supporters “quite literally, echo the same statements,” as he quips, “Mukhang sumusunod lang sila sa script. ‘Di naman magaling ‘yung acting nila.”
(It looks like they’re just following a script. Their acting isn’t even convincing.)
Because of these instances, Nips Wiskers, a political analyst at The Apurrmeow University, likens the behavior of Solo supporters to cult-like practices. “His spokesperson and his supporters do all the work for him. Even during his cameowvans, he doesn’t let the other cats touch him. Then, he makes an excuse that he’s injured?” she opines.
Adding to the conundrum, many of his supporters, much like Solo himself, shy away from explaining to other voters why they support their candidate. When sought for comments, Solo supporter Bwee* simply states, “Meeeoow my meaw meow”—a common response that only exacerbates the confusion of the electorate.
(Respect my opinion, please.)
There is no doubt that Solo’s popularity has reached an all-time high, garnering a staggering amount of support from his feline comrades based on the most recent 2022 Furs Asia Survey. However, that’s not to say that this isn’t under scrutiny as well; a video showing Solo’s campaign team bribing these so-called supporters with catnip and scented litter box sand had just circulated last March 15, further baffling the public.
An important choice
A senapurrial seat comes with a serious responsibility, and many are still unsure about Solo’s capability of handling it. Upon being asked how he’ll unite the country, Solo meows in irritation. “He simply means he will unite the country through unity. We have to bring the kitties and hoomans together without any lingering biases, especially toward the kitties,” Romeoque translates.
As the election day draws nearer, Solo and Romeoque are stepping up their campaign efforts by hosting meet and greets with the candidate’s avid devotees, aiming to increase their reach and convert undecided people and kitties to cast their bets on them.
With the spontaneity of Solo’s decision and the large dispute surrounding his candidacy, the outcome of this year’s senapurrial elections becomes all the more unpredictable. As a crucial moment in Philippine politics, Filipinos are hoping for a better and brighter future for our nation. Whether or not Solo will lend a genuinely helping paw to achieve it will certainly be a decision best left for the voters themselves to assess.
*Names with asterisks (*) are pseudonyms.