Sunday, August 19, 2007

Fiction by Michael S. Collins

The Nature of Elections
by Michael S. Collins

The nature of elections has always been rather simple. In the needlessly complex structures of electoral registration on planets like Earth, people actually had to turn out at specially registered polling stations, after first signing up to vote themselves. In certain states this whole affair was compulsory and those found not waiting in the rain were to be lined up against the wall. On the other side of the omnipotent unknown universe, for the registered occupants of the emotionless planet Oceania, things were even more beurocratically complicated.

The inhabitants of Oceania, due to the mass population in excess of one hundred billion (all squashed into a planet roughly the size of Europe) had to consume 5 family members first. Being only one creature on the planet, there was only one food source - there was no room for anything else! After the family dinner, they had to sing the Oceania national anthem backwards whilst sleeping, thus removing anyone with a shred of intelligence from the popular vote. The electoral turnout in Oceania is usually quite low.

The planet Oceania was one of the most classic universal examples of pathetic irony, what galactic scientists refer to as Nationism. That being: when the first sand creatures burst out of the banks of the deserts of the planet, they celebrated the arid environment they needed to live in and, trying to be ironic ( a dangerous thing for those who have never heard of the term before) the first sand Elders named the planet Oceania. Sure enough, the planet soon became overcome by water, drowning most of the sand creatures. This would have been a complete extinction, but for one tiny flaw. Just before the final sand creature died, it accidentally by chance evolved into a creature perfect for living in these new conditions, and capable of asexual reproduction. Thus the planet became very overcrowded. And through this the idea of evolution came across as a terrible mistake. Indeed, the fate of Oceania, terrible as it was, only proved once and for all the general incompetence of God.

And this in turn brought forward the Motion of No Confidence to dissolve the afterlife and call for a general election. So, if elections were useless and complicated in reality, who did they work in the after-reality? In this instance, voters did not need to register or turn out for the vote. They merely needed to pray. A prayer was registered as a vote for the reigning God. No prayer from an inhabitant of the universe counted as a vote for the Opposition. The last challenge to God unfortunately coincided with the Somme, when the sheer volume of prayers from one small section of the universe led to a landslide victory for the incumbent. Yet, now with the unexpected explosion of the planet Paranoia (who had of course seen it all coming to get them naturally enough), a substantial part of the vote had been lost to the current God.

And yet, despite the probable combined praying power of Earth, Keneally 6 and Beta Minotaur, the Opposition of the White Guardian knew they would win. It was a done deal. They were going to win the important swing planet of Earth. Why the confidence? The confidence was due to three reasons.

1. Earth was suffering a religious slump due to voter apathy.
2. The planet of Oceania was abstaining from the prayer, handing the Opposition 7% of the vote already.
3. They were going to cheat.

Author bio:

Michael S. Collins was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1986, in a place that no longer exists and mostly by accident. The son of a world expert on quinine adulteration, he spends his time sleeping, spending time with his fiancee Mandy, writing, and namedropping most Glasgow writers he knows well - i.e., Hal Duncan. He mostly writes horror fiction, is a fond admirer of Jack Daniels, and does not own a camel.

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