I’m thinking of entering my dogs as write-in candidates to hopefully replace some of the other choices on the ballot I don’t care for. I got the idea the other day after watching my dog Ginger skulk around with her tail between her legs. She was a sight, with her head hanging down in shame, and her legs bent to the point her belly barely cleared the floor. She wouldn’t meet our eyes. Immediately we knew she was guilty of something. Wouldn’t it be great if our politicians did the same thing?

I’m thinking of entering my dogs as write-in candidates to hopefully replace some of the other choices on the ballot I don’t care for.

I got the idea the other day after watching my dog Ginger skulk around with her tail between her legs. She was a sight, with her head hanging down in shame, and her legs bent to the point her belly barely cleared the floor. She wouldn’t meet our eyes.

Immediately we knew she was guilty of something. We didn’t know what, but we knew she was guilty. Later we found the empty food package she’d managed to drag out of the garbage.

Wouldn’t it be great if our politicians did the same thing? (Just to clarify, I mean it would be great if they’d act guilty when they are, not that they should necessarily chew up garbage every chance they get.)

Just think of the trouble that could have been avoided if John Edwards or Mark Sanford had started walking around looking horribly guilty right after their marital misdeeds. Not to mention Bill Clinton, Eliot Spitzer, and this list could go on pretty much forever.

The same is true of political scandals of the non-fooling-around type. You can supply your own list of bad boys.

In nearly every such case from the beginning of time, the hound dog in question first denies any wrongdoing. Usually, overwhelming evidence forces him to eventually confess. In every case I can think of, the damage ultimately would have been less if he had skipped the denial stage.

Ginger may only be a beagle-mix mutt, but she seems to understand that when you’ve left behind irrefutable evidence — be it a love child in Edwards’ case or an empty and well-chewed lunch meat package left in the middle of the living room in hers — it’s best to go straight to the remorse stage.

So I hereby offer Ginger as candidate for U.S. senator for Illinois, and my other Beagle-mix mutt, Sugar, as candidate for Illinois lieutenant governor.

If elected, Ginger pledges to put an end to the problem of our state’s frequent scandals. She can’t promise to behave (she never does) but the upside is you will always know when she is guilty. That’s a step up from most politicians.

Sugar would make a good lieutenant governor. She’s a good-natured dog who enjoys curling up in her doggie bed and snoozing away much of the day, which pretty much fulfills the regular job duties of that office.

Sugar rarely fusses at Ginger insisting on being the top dog. She seems pretty content with her second-place ranking, which is yet another reason she’d be a perfect fit as lieutenant governor.

Another thing my dogs have going for them is they were both fixed as pups, so the chances of catching them in an Edwardsesque scandal is remote.

I’ve thought and thought, and I can’t come up with a single downside to having my dogs serve instead of regular human politicians, other than the government possibly having to pay to have the rugs cleaned more often.

Where else would we find candidates so loyal, friendly and enthusiastic?

More importantly, imagine how satisfying it would be to see instant, genuine remorse when they inevitably do something wrong. If you say “Bad dog!” they will not argue that their accusers are lying or cook up some kind of crazy story to deflect blame from themselves. They’ll just put their tails between their legs and look sad and sorry. Good luck getting that from current office holders.

So remember to write in your votes: Ginger for U.S. senator and Sugar for Illinois lieutenant governor.

Pekin Daily Times Editor Michelle Teheux can be reached at (309) 346-1111 or mteheux@pekintimes.com. This column is the opinion of the writer and not of the newspaper.