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Below the Belt

by Stephen Lautens


November 3, 2000

It's nice to see that all the political parties in the upcoming Federal election have pledged not to stoop to mudslinging. By taking the high road, they want the Canadian public to be able to focus on the issues, not personalities. That way we can have faith that those we elect to govern us are mature, educated adults and not name-calling children.

But the cracks are already starting to show in this whole maturity thing. Neither side can resist a cheap shot, and you know the negative ads can't be far behind. Like they say in the US, an election is no place for an intelligent debate of the issues.

So why don't we just let them get it of their chests? All candidates debates are going on from coast to coast, and if they're going to get childish anyway, I for one would like to see the gloves really come off.

It might go something like this:

"Ladies and Gentlemen. Welcome to the all candidates debate for the riding of East Diddle-Squash-Hokum. Representing the governing party we have Mr. Robert James, and from the Opposition we have Mr. James Roberts. Mr. Roberts, you won the toss, so you start."

"Thank you. I'd like to say from the outset that I don't think it should be an issue that my honourable opponent supports the funding of cross-dressing hermaphrodites."

"For the love of Pete, all I did was rent The Crying Game at the video store. Besides, what about those fancy European catered dinners you have delivered weekly to your home?"

"It's called Swiss Chalet. For my part, I certainly don't intend to make an issue out of the fact my friend is a dangerous religious extremist."

"All I said was 'bless you' when you sneezed. And what about you? My fellow Canadians, it is a known fact that my friend from the other party is a member of a secret international society with chapters all over the world."

"I assume you're referring to my being a Rotarian. What about your so-called strong stand on drugs? My friends, it is with a heavy heart that I have to tell you that my esteemed colleague has been popping pills for years. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. There he was on the street corner, having just scored some drugs from a local supplier."

"Those are my heart pills, and the local drug store is on that street corner. What about the fact that this so-called pillar of the community has spent a considerable part of his life in jail?"

"What my dear friend neglects to point out is that I was a prison guard. Anyway, do you want to elect someone who wore diapers?"

"What you fail to mention is that I was a baby at the time. And I just heard you sell your soul to the devil."

"No, what I said was that I'd give anything if you'd just shut up."

"My friends, this is why we have laws against cousins marrying."

"And this is what happens when you mix your drinks."

"Gentlemen, sadly your time is up, but I know we all benefited from knowing where you stand on the important issues of the day, and can be confident that no matter who wins, East Diddle-Squash-Hokum will be in good hands."

© Stephen Lautens 2000

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