British voters yesterday chose a print of a late-nineteenth-century oil painting to lead their country for the foreseeable future.
The picture shows a white family at a table drinking tea. A portrait of Queen Victoria hangs on the wall. Golden-tinged sunlight streams in from a window, through which a carefully-tended garden is visible.
The picture has been criticized for romanticizing the past. Its detractors claim its appeal is based mostly on nostalgia and selective forgetting. The picture’s leadership ability has also been questioned, on the grounds that it is an inanimate object that cannot act or make decisions.
“This is a glorious opportunity,” said Boris Johnson, one of the picture’s most prominent supporters. “But let’s not rush into any drastic changes. It’s not like any of us has a plan. Let’s just gaze at the picture and feel wistful for a while, and I’m sure someone will think of something.”
52% of British voters chose the picture, while 48% voted to retain the current system of electing leaders who try to find out what the consequences of their actions will be before doing them.