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Peter: In case you haven’t noticed, and judging by the global media coverage, you probably haven’t, there was an election at the end of January in Canada. 24 million eligible Canadian voters could have gone to the polls to elect a new government and Prime Minister from amongst Canada’s 12 ofﬁcial political parties. But as we now know, the turnout was pretty dismal even by Canadian standards. In fact, only one voter in the entire friggin’ country actually went out in the middle of winter and cast a ballot, right here in the city of Toronto. His name is Richard Johnson, and he’s standing by with one of our correspondents to tell his story.
Richard: Wow, I never expected this. I mean, I left home on election day to offer a little piece of myself to the world via this medium we call democracy. I never expected it would really mean anything. I thought long and hard about my vote, which was a ﬁrst for me. I had intended to vote for the Communist party. But when I got to the voting booth, I saw that Canada in fact has ﬁve communist parties, and I didn’t know which one to vote for. Then I noticed that the Bloc Quebecois was not represented on my ballot. And I thought to myself, this is not what democracy is all about. So I decided to write them in. But when I checked the box for Other it happened to be near the box for the Conservative party, at least on that crazy butterﬂy ballot. I tried to tell the city election ofﬁcial, but he was out curling.
Peter: Well, there you have it folks. One vote in the entire country, and it was both for the Conservative party and the separatist party from Quebec. We go now live to Montreal, where Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe is about to be reluctantly sworn in as the new second Prime Minister of Canada two months after the election.
Duceppe: Uh, I don’t know what to say. I mean, for de love of God, diddent monsieur Johnson know that we are, in fact, a separatist party? Uh, dis is de point of our whole ting here in dis election. So I say thank you to monsieur Johnson for his vote. De conservatives can do what zey want. Quebec will leave now. Bye bye, Canada. See you at de Olympics.
Peter: Wait, something else. We will now go live to St Johns, Newfoundland, where the ghost of Joey Smallwood is claim-ing his province is seceding from Canada and “ye ﬁsh-stealin’ money-grubbin’ mainlanders”. The territories have also revolted, forming a new entity. Tribal leaders from Yellowknife added, “Who’s your territory now, bitch?” Ladies and gentle-men, we appear to have chaos right here in the peace-loving puck-sucking nation of Canada. I’ve just been told that the other Atlantic provinces have voted in emergency sessions of parliament to join the European Union. I guess it was either that or Quebec. Being extremely resistant to change, and taking exception to all this revolution stuff, the conservative government also announced its secession.
Peter: My fellow Canadians, this is anarchy. Saskatchewan and Manitoba have just seceded and are forming a new coun-try with the state of North Dakota. They call it New North Dakosaskatchetoba. And British Columbia has left, too. They are now Not-British-and-not-Canadian-Columbia. Well, I guess that leaves On-tario. Earlier today, the remaining politicians from Cana-da’s major parties met in Toronto for an emergency meeting. Moments ago, former prime ministerial candidates Paul Martin, Jack Layton, and Steven Harper issued this joint statement. “We call upon the hoser who started this mess, Richard Johnson, to rescind his vote (or votes) immediately before the world as we know it collapses, eh?”
Peter: Unfortunately, Canada’s single voter, Richard John-son, just announced that he cannot, in good conscience, take back his vote.
Richard: I’m sorry, but this is democracy, people. I didn’t invent it. The entire history of human existence has been building toward this one moment. I didn’t set out to cause a revolution. When you as humanity empowered the people to choose its course in the world, I didn’t know you meant me the people! After all, what difference can one vote make?
Peter: Well, folks, I guess that’s it for Canada. And for democracy. I’ve just been told by my station manager that I will soon be off the air forever, to be replaced by 24/7 reruns of the Leafs’ last Stanley Cup win in 1967, as per a decree by Ontario’s new king, Richard Johnson. So, good night and good luck, eh? I’m going to enjoy some cheap prescription drugs. HSP
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