The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
The Morning Mendacity
Monday, February 14th, 2005
The Nossiter Net is cast  to snare some of  the riper rascalities of the day.  Comments?  editor@nossiter.net
Democracy is breaking out all over.  Afghanistan, Iraq, and now our ally Saudi Arabia, where an election for municipal offices was just held.  It was the Saudis’ first election of any kind in ten years.  Only about a quarter of the eligible voters in the capital, Riyadh, bothered to register according to Sunday's Washington Post.*  Islamic clerics sent last minute telephone and email “blessings” to voters to encourage them to vote for candidates the mullahs considered kosher.   Such election “blessings” are common in other parts of the world, such as Sicily or Chicago, although they are often called “offers that can’t be refused.”

The ranks of eligible voters did not include women.  Since Saudi women are not allowed to drive, hold bank accounts, or go outside unescorted by male relatives, the authorities assumed the poor dears would find getting to the polls far too difficult, and so spared them the bother.  An additional feature of the Saudi elections: none of the offices being filled have any actual political power.

Still, as an election it forms part of President Bush’s grand scheme “to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world”**, as outlined in the President’s inaugural address.  Indeed, alert minds in the White House, studying the election carefully, have decided to make the Saudi poll a blueprint for future foreign elections under the President’s plan.  Pierre S. Robe, the White House Director of the Office for Stopping Tyranny and Democracy Spreading, STDs, explains:

“Right now we face a clear and present danger from tyrannical governments, in and outside the Axis of Evil, who have no interest in holding elections and thereby spreading freedom and democracy.  See, the problem is these authoritarian regimes don’t want elections because they aren’t sure of the outcome.  I mean, how’d you like it if you were the numero uno boss-man of your country, called an election, and then found yourself out on the sidewalk, keyster first?  Uh, uh, no way.  So the President has directed this office to convince some of these brutal dictatorships to hold elections in such a way that their leaders won’t be embarrassed.  It’s part of Secretary of State Rice’s new emphasis on diplomacy.”

“In other words, U.S. policy is now to encourage elections whose outcomes are prearranged?”

“No, no, not at all.  But taking our cue from the Saudis, we’ll design elections, perfectly free and fair elections, that our more tyrannical fellow citizens of the world can get comfortable with.  Now, just to give you the idea, you listen in on this call STDs has arranged with Kim Jong Il of North Korea.  That’ll make every aspect of the President’s plan to spread democracy perfectly clear.”

Director Robe’s phone began ringing.  He winked, cleared his throat, and picked up the hand set.

“Mr. Kim!  How’s everything in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.  What’s that?  Oh sure, sorry Most Dearly Beloved and Respected and Worshipped Leader, May The Grass Be Green Under Your Feet and The Sky Perpetually Blue Over Your Head – do you think we can shorten that a little just for ease of conversation’s sake?  Your Perfection?  Sure, works for me.  Now I know you’re a busy man, Perfection, so I’ll get right to the gist.  As part of President Bush’s plan to spread democracy, the President has designed an election for you in which only the Supreme People’s Assembly gets to vote.  You’ll be re-elected in a landslide.  What’s that?  Can’t trust ‘em?  I know the feeling.  We got the Democrats over here.  How about just having your Cabinet vote?  Can’t trust them either?  Well, lookee here Mr. P  – but – why – OK, if that’s the way you want it.  Sure thing.  Thank YOU, Mr. P.”

Robe wiped his brow.  “That Kim Jong Il sure is a crack-up.  But the important thing is, he’s agreed to have an election.  Freedom is on the march, democracy is around the corner in North Korea!”

“That’s good news, Mr. Robe.  Can you tell us who’s voting, and who the candidates are?”

Robe squirmed.  “The candidate, there’s only one, is Kim Jong Il.  And he’s also the only eligible voter.  But it’s a start.  Isn’t it?”


*http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A19772-2005Feb12.html
**http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/01/20050120-1.html


©Joshua C. Nossiter, 2005
Last Words
House Inappropriations
Shape of Things to Come
A Place in History
Nothing But The Truth
Spreading Liberty
Lost Causes
Be Offended, Very Offended
Beastly Starving
Archives