Laughable US election selection

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 11 November, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 11 November, 2000, 12:00am

It didn't take long. No sooner had the presidential stand-off been declared, than the comedy writers were rushing for their pens.

Thursday found talk-show host Jay Leno telling his audience that he had a nightmare in which aliens landed on Earth and demanded that he take them to his leader.

'And I didn't know what to do,' he wailed.

His late-night rival David Letterman came out with this: 'Okay, here's the deal. We have George W. Bush, who's not the President of the United States. We have Al Gore, not the President of the United States.

'What do you say we just leave it that way?'

And Bill Maher did an impressive imitation of George W. Bush. The comic told his audience that as the unresolved contest continued, the candidate turned to his parents, George and Barbara Bush, and whined, 'But you proooomised!'

Fish in a barrel, really. Some of Lai See 's friends have been cracking jokes about the limboed duo without even meaning to.

A colleague informed us that she keeps switching the letters of their names around accidentally, rechristening them Bore and Gush.

Which, let's face it, kind of fits.

But ever since the stand-off, Lai See has been wondering whether George W. Bush might not actually be some sort of prophet.

By now, you're probably familiar with the list of 'Bushisms' migrating around the Internet.

At first glance, they could easily be mistaken for the bizarre ramblings of an utter moron.

But look again. Lately, some of those statements have begun sounding vaguely . . . prophetic.

Think about it:

'If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure,' and;

'We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur'.

Spooky, isn't it?

But we think this is the one that really speaks volumes: 'I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy - but that could change.'

And change it has. In Florida, black ballot-seekers claim to have been questioned about their identity and queuing would-be voters say they were refused entry to the polls.

Horrified senior citizens discovered too late that they had accidentally voted for an arch-conservative.

Said one: 'My neighbours are crying because their vote went to Pat Buchanan and they can't stand it'.

And a Gore-friendly vote stack was found abandoned in an uncounted pile.

The more election investigators dig, the more Florida mud is unearthed and slung.

The state has become the target of more than a little wise cracking ('How many Floridians does it take to change a light bulb?' 'Four! No, two! No . . . um . . . wait. Can I let you know in six hours?').

Lai See can't help but wonder - did this really only happen in Florida? It seems a bit of a coincidence that the only state to have its voting process examined under a microscope just so happens to be the one rife with irregularities.

If we did a similar inspection of the other states, we might discover that their elections were every bit as farcical.

And from there, it's only a short logistic hop to the conclusion that close inspection is the only thing that sets this election apart from its predecessors.

Other presidencies may have been built on equally shaky ground - it's just that no one bothered to check.

In the interests of non-double-standards, Lai See recommends a Cambodian-led monitoring team be sent to oversee all future US elections to ensure they're being conducted freely and fairly.

Actually, forget Cambodia. India should lead it. After all, they've already begun offering the US pointers on how to run a proper democracy.

India's chief election commissioner yesterday opined that it was time to abolish 'this strange system'.

Ah, you can almost hear the sound of societal fabric tearing. The only question left is - who's in charge of the tatters?

The candidates can only wait for the answer to that one.

And the Republicans can only hope another Bushism proves prophetic, and that 'The future will be better tomorrow'.