“The model for the upcoming elections,” said Paul Bremer at a hastily arranged press conference in the Sheraton Hotel in Baghdad, “is a combination of the originally proposed 'caucus system' together with an election of the Iraqi president carried out in the American style. There can now be no complaint from anyone,” Mr. Bremer stated, “because the caucus part of the system is as free and open as in my own country, and because the next Iraqi president will be elected, just like in the United States.”
“This is how the caucuses will work,” he explained, “The rules are simple:”
“First, any Iraqi candidate for public office who musters the minimum threshold votes will receive at least one delegate to send to the next caucus level. That threshold is at least 15% of the square root of the number of American tanks standing guard around the caucus site at the time the initial vote is taken, divided by the sum total of Saddam Hussein’s “doubles”, multiplied by the number of Al Qaida insurgents who have slipped in from Syria, times pi. To qualify as a delegate to the next caucus level, a candidate’s delegate must be an Iraqi resident, with a bank account in Switzerland, not a past member of the Ba’ath Party, not ever have worn a beard or moustache or a black and white checkered shawl, and have lived at least four of the past five years in the United States or Great Britain.
“Second, the delegates from the first level caucuses will advance to the next level of caucuses that will be held at United States Army Headquarters in Kuwait. There, the first round delegates will, again, cast their ballots for their preferred candidates for Iraqi national office. A candidate’s delegates who achieve the 15% threshold at this regional caucus will advance to the third, national caucus. The delegates whose candidates do not so advance will be packed off with bags over their heads to Guantanamo, Cuba.
“At the third, national level caucus conducted in Tel Aviv, Israel,” Mr. Bremer explained, “the remaining delegates will be asked to vote for a slate of English speaking super-delegates submitted by the United States, Spain, Japan, Italy and Great Britain. The super-delegates, having been democratically selected, will then retire behind closed doors, consult privately with me, Paul Bremer, and then choose the ‘native people’ who will govern Iraq.”
“Excuse me, but ...” a Reuters newspaper man began to say as he raised his hand, but he was quickly arrested by coalition forces before he could get another word out of his mouth.
“Now, as for the Iraqi presidential election,” Mr. Bremer continued, “we will allow the popular vote just like the Shia population has demanded. We will do it exactly like in the United States. All voting will be done with computerized, electronic black box voting machines supplied by companies whose major shareholders are ardent Republican campaign contributors, and the instant computerized vote count will be checked and double-checked by our own team of election monitors from the independent Project For A New American Century.
“Then, similar to the United States,” Mr. Bremer continued, “the popular vote for President of Iraq will be referred to an Iraqi Electoral College comprised of CEOs from Haliburton, Enron, Bechtel, Exxon, WalMart, Coca Cola, McDonald's, Monsanto and the major American banks and securities brokers. Just like in the United States,” Mr. Bremer concluded, “the Iraqi Electoral College will make the final choice for the country’s next President. Any disputes will be fairly and finally decided by the American Supreme Court during a duck-hunting trip with Vice President Cheney. Are there any questions?”
A reporter from Aljazeera spoke up: “Wait just a minute! Do you mean that in the United States of America you do not have direct popular elections for President, and he is actually picked by some intermediary group called the Electoral College? And why do you mean the Supreme Court, and not the People, can elect the President? And major corporations should decide who can be President of the world’s most powerful democracy? And how can it be that members of the U.S. Supreme Court can go duck-hunting with a senior member of the Bush Administration when there are supposed to be three completely separate, but equal branches of government? And isn’t that how George Bush became President even though ...” But barely had the Aljazeera reporter uttered these words when he was felled by an errant tank shell that was, presumably, aimed at a nearby cameraman whose equipment might have been mistaken for a shoulder launched grenade launcher.
“We’ll have to investigate that little accident,” Paul Bremer said as his aides sponged away the remains of the questioner. “As for modeling the Iraqi presidential elections on the way we Americans do it, I can only tell you that America is the free-est, most democratic country on earth, and you just ask any man, woman or childish person who appears on CNN, CBS or FOX television to confirm that.”
With that, the news conference ended and the toga-clad Mr. Bremer was carried off in a litter carried by manacled Iraqi prisoners of war and led by a procession of Japanese soldiers strewing rose petals in his path. The United Nations, the American Congress and the News Media duly blessed the proposed election plan.
Zbignew Zingh can be reached at Zbig@ersarts.com. This Article is CopyLeft, and free to distribute, reprint, repost, sing at a recital, spray paint, scribble in a toilet stall, etc. to your heart’s content, with proper author citation. Find out more about Copyleft and read other great articles at www.ersarts.com.
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