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banner Thursday, 16 November, 2000, 23:43 GMT
Humour soothes election blues
A satirical ballot
This is just one spoof ballot found on the Internet
By NewsOnline's Kevin Anderson in Washington

For those who need a break from the election madness in the US, it would be a bad idea to turn on their computer.

Whether on websites or in one's e-mail inbox, it is difficult to escape the election.

Fortunately for election-weary Americans, the internet offers a humorous haven from the heavy talk legal talk that now surrounds the recount efforts.

Dave Barry for president

Humorist Dave Barry is at ground zero of the election debate, writing for the Miami Herald in Florida.

"Every time you turn on the news you see distraught Palm Beach voters saying that they accidentally voted for the wrong person, or two people, or nobody, or Queen Elizabeth II," he wrote.
Voting for Dummies book
Someone designed a guide to voting based on the Dummies line of books

He blames ballot confusion in Palm Beach County on arrows.

"Many people in Florida do NOT understand arrows. If you have ever driven down here, you know what I mean," he wrote.

He suggested "putting actual photographs of the candidates on the ballot" in the future.

"Voters could indicate their preference by using their hole-punchers to poke the candidate of their choice in the eyeball."

But some might question the Florida humorist's objectivity in this matter seeing as he himself campaigned for president.

Mr Barry posted his full platform on his website including the foreign policy promise that if Iraq's Saddam Hussein gave him any trouble that he would strike back with the ultimate weapon.

"That's right: I would have a bomber fly right over downtown Baghdad, open the bomb doors, and drop: Lawyers," he wrote.

Bill Clinton: President for life

The Onion, a satirical newspaper, has a story on its website that details a quite literal battle for the White House.

The newspaper writes of fictional battles breaking out between Gore and Bush supporters.

"In Bush-controlled Tennessee, news of Gore's call for a sixth recount in the disputed territory of Florida sparked full-scale rioting, with Republican militiamen setting fire to Gore's heavily fortified Nashville compound," the newspaper wrote.
A satirical picture of Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton as president for life in the satirical paper The Onion

The site even has a story of Serbia sending 30,000 peacekeepers to the US.

The site has a fictitious quote from Serbian president Vojislav Kostunica saying, "We must do all we can to support free elections in America and allow democracy to gain a foothold there."

The site also has a story that President Clinton has declared himself president for life and renamed the United States the Holy United Imperial Americlintonian Demopublic.

But if you are feeling helpless watching the election grind to a halt in the courts, you can play the Florida Recount Game at CleverMedia.com.

In the game, users can click on the county that they want recounted to help their candidate win.

'You've got mail'

But internet users in the US have not even needed to surf to find election-related humour. Most likely, it piled up in their e-mail inbox.

Several humorous ballots were circulating on the Internet. One from a 26-year-old engineer in New York who designed a ballot with a straight clear line from George W Bush's name to hole to be punched.

But for Al Gore, Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan, the lines leading from their names to the punch holes were a tangled mess.

Another e-mail circulated showed Doctor Evil and Mini-me from the Austin Powers film "The Spy Who Shagged Me," with the villains' faces digitally replaced with George Bush Senior as Doctor Evil with George W Bush sitting on his lap.

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See also:

14 Nov 00 | Americas
'Royal succession' for president
14 Nov 00 | Americas
Behind the bias claims
15 Nov 00 | Vote USA 2000
Campaigns beg for more cash
16 Nov 00 | Vote USA 2000
Polls say voters are patient
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Links to more Vote USA 2000 stories are at the foot of the page.


Links to more Vote USA 2000 stories