In the city of Buenos Aires, some policy initiatives are voted on via Twitter polls. If only electing presidents were that easy!
During the last Citizen Participation survey from June 15-21, the City’s Head of Government Horacio Rodríguez Larreta asked the public whether they would be willing to let pets enter bars and restaurants. The results were close, but naysayers won: 52 percent (148,094) disagreed, while 48 percent (141,661) were for the policy.
If the vote had passed, the policy would have gone to the City Legislature. There, lawmakers would have amended Article 28 of Ordinance 41.831, which prohibited pets from staying in shops. Restaurants would then be able to choose to allow pets inside or not. Coulda, woulda shoulda doggie lovers.
Citizens voted through a broad array of channels: the Head of Government held Twitter and Facebook polls via @horaciolarreta and www.facebook.com/horaciorodriguezlarreta, and also on the official City Government website, www.buenosaires.gob.ar.
Here’s a look at democracy in action. In response to Larreta’s question, “Would you like pets to be able to enter and stay in restaurants?” Twitters users gave their opinions.
Ciudadanos de 4ta!!!! Es mejor convivir con los animales que con la gente!!!!
— celia sofovich (@celiasofovich) June 15, 2017
@celiasofovich: “Lower than 2nd class citizens! It is better to live with animals than people!”
En restaurantes de Europa y EEUU te permiten ir con tu perro. Por q no aca??? Hay personas q son mas animales q los propios animales
— Monica Soraci (@MSoraci) June 15, 2017
@MSoraci: “In restaurants in Europe and the US, they allow you to go with your dog. Why not here? There are people who are more animals than the animals themselves.”
Soy MUY mascotera y proteccionista, pero CREO q hay muchas cosas mas importantes y prioritarias.
— Kiara Pit (@kiara_pit) June 15, 2017
@kiara_pit: “I am VERY pet-loving and protective, but I BELIEVE that there are many things more important and priorities.”
Dejá de boludear Horacio, por favor
— Diego Hartfield (@Diego_Hartfield) June 16, 2017
@Diego_Hartfield: “Horacio, please stop messing around.”
¿y si voy a un restaurante chino con un perro no me lo secuestrarán para hacerlo milanesa al otro día?
— Cristian Mira (@cgmira) June 16, 2017
@cgmira: “And if I go to a Chinese restaurant with a dog they won’t kidnap it to make into milanesa the next day?”
En este Gobierno los unicos que ganan derechos son los perros y los gatos…
— Queequeg (@NestorOmar72) June 15, 2017
@NestorOmar72: “In this government the only ones who gain rights are the dogs and cats…”
Well, it’s what you would expect of opinions from a Twitter poll: diverse, democratic, sometimes racist. For now, it looks like you’ll have to leave your favorite quadruped behind when you go to the bar.