From “The Independent”
“Burma poll marked by threats and low turnout.” The millenium’s most fatuous headline so far. What did the Independent expect? I have an idea; why not start to call things what they are? This is not “a poll” or “an election”, so pls don’t CALL it that. Burma is a police state, among the most corrupt in the world, run by fascist lunatics on the basis of astrology from a bunker in the middle of the jungle. The idea that they would allow any sort of “election” is just silly. But we need a new word for “election”, as its sense has become stretched past breaking-point. What about “non-election”? Sounds simple enough for even newspaper editors. Yes, I can just see it now:
“The Burmese non-election has resulted in an overwhelming victory for government forces who declared themselves delighted with this confirmation of public support for their policies. A massive incalculable % of voters backed the use of force and corruption in the country’s affairs and – in the words of the Prime Minister – fully justified the use of threats of physical violence and/or jail for those not ‘voting’. He added that the government fully intended to build on these results to increase its vote in the next non-election to be held in 50 years’ time.”
Yes, that would do – and save printing ink and paper, too.