Presidential election in the spotlight

Right, so first I should probably mention that along with my compadre Lewis Newcombe I’ve been putting on a variety night called In The Spotlight. This takes place monthly on a Tuesday in the Albion Beatnik Bookstore and incorporates music, poetry, storytelling and improv acting. There’s also a regular drawing competition. More on this later …

For this month’s Spotlight I wrote an election-themed poem in honour of the world’s most important democractic constest (India is the largest democracy but the outcome of the US elections is probably more significant for the rest of the world – there was of course a simultaneous leadership choice in China but that’s not a democracy).

The Presidential Race

The contest for the leadership of Middle Earth has never been so close.
Nor so acrimonious.
Everywhere you look, from the sylvan skyscrapers of Lorien to the subterranean slums of Moria,
From the rude refugios of Rohan to the malodorous pits of Dol Guldur,
Election slogans abound.
A monotonous monocular gaze peers from an atramental placard
Above the indubitable claim, ‘Strength through Sauron!’
While the orthodontically enhanced smiles of Frodo Baggins
And his running mate Sam, ‘man of the people’,
Mouth the unassuming catchphrase,
‘We will get there though we do not know the way.’

At the start of the race the former governor of Mordor enjoyed an unprecedented ninety-three point lead.
But the quants all agree that the scion of the Baggins Dynasty has caught up
Thanks to the spin doctor, strategist and all-round election wizard, Gandalfson,
Author of the now ubiquitous advice ‘Go negative. Go early’.
The attack ads began with the dawn of the Second Age.
The Frodo campaign used talk radio and the gutter press
To accuse Sauron of murder, drunkenness, cockfighting, slave-trading and cannibalism*,
Before graduating to unsubstantiated accusations.
Having failed to court the media moghuls in Minas Tirith,
Sauron has been powerless to retaliate
Except in his blog.

But the Frodo camp has not itself been immune to scandal.
Did Galadriel top up campaign coffers in return for the relaxation of logging restrictions?
Was Elrond promised lucrative government contracts in return for his endorsement?
And was it proper for him to threaten that the elves would depart Middle Earth for a tax haven in the West
If the result didn’t go their way?
Allegations of vote-rigging and gerrymandering have dogged both sides.
Some say the boundaries of the Shire were manipulated by Frodo’s allies
To exclude the hostile electorate of Bree.
It is rumoured that Sauron has been stuffing the Mordor voter registers with freshly forged orcs
It is whispered he has invented a new voting machine,
With only one button.

Narnia has expressed concern and offered to fly in a team of election observers.
But as the foremost fantastical democracy, Middle Earth has proudly retaliated;
It needs no lessons from religious fanatics and talking animals.


* These accusations were actually made against Andrew Jackson in his contest with John Quincy Adams in 1828. His wife and his mother, for good measure, were branded a bigamist and a whore, respectively. Jackson won.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.