It's the Portadown News election special!
The ballots have been printed, the speeches have been written, the alcopop bottles have been filled with smuggled petrol. Yes - election fever has gripped Portadown. Once again the good people of our beloved town ask that all-important question: "Are there still more Protestants than Catholics?"
To guide you through the difficult decisions that lie ahead, namely: "What kind of Protestant or Catholic are you?" we've asked the candidates to summarise their positions.
Ulster Unionist Party
Portadown holds a special place in my heart. After all, I wouldn't be party leader if I hadn't caused all that trouble at Drumcree back in 1995. Now piss off.
Democratic Unionist Party
The message I'll be taking to Westminster is: "Pope John Paul is The Antichrist". Once the English understand that, their whole attitude to Ulster will change.
I'll be continuing our policy of saying nice things on TV, while secretly plotting the downfall of civilisation. Tiocfaidh Ar La!
I'll ensure that the Catholic people of Portadown never again feel intimidated by their Protestant neighbours. Intimidating Catholics is our job.
I'll be having some friends around for a meal, then watching the results on Newsnight. You're not invited.
After the all-Ireland socialist revolution, there'll be peace and jobs for everyone. Also, Christmas will be the way it was when you were little, and it will only ever rain at night.
You don't need a dick to succeed in Ulster politics. You just need to BE a dick.
How to Vote
Peaceful political participation can be confusing for many people in Portadown, and the proportional representation system only complicates matters. The Portadown News has compiled this handy cut-out-and-keep guide to voting in Northern Ireland:
- As you approach the polling station, accept all leaflets offered to you. These people will remember your face.
- Say hello to the policeman or 'community representative' guarding the door.
- Point at any UN Observers present and shout "Shouldn't you be in Zimbabwe?"
- Show your identification to the nice old lady.
- Receive your ballot, noting with alarm the unique serial number printed on the bottom.
- Enter the booth, and savour the illusion of power.
- Write '1' beside the candidate who has threatened you most recently.
- Write '2' beside a moderate candidate, so you can kid yourself you're not really as bigoted as everyone else in this town.
- Write '3' beside the Women's Coalition candidate, because they could use a bit more talent on 'Newsline'.
- Think to yourself: "That'll change the fucking world, eh?"
Note: Sinn Fein voters should repeat this procedure until their bus leaves for the next constituency.
'Jesus votes DUP' - claim
by our religious affairs correspondent, Helen Brimstone
Jesus would vote DUP claims Ken Elliot, High Priest at Portadown's Bethany First Presbyterian Church. The controversial claim was made during Mr Elliot's
"The signs are clear, to the righteous," screamed Mr Elliot from his pulpit. "Jesus was unemployed, lived with his mum, hung around with his mates all day talking politics, and was always getting into trouble with the Romans. Clearly he was a DUP supporter."
However a spokesperson for the Electoral Commission has denied Mr Elliot's claims. "Mr Christ has been removed from the voting register," she told us, "as he has been dead for 1,972 years."
US fact-finding mission
by our American correspondent, Brad Cheeseburger
Arizona Senator Mick O'Malley is back in Portadown for another election 'fact-finding' mission. Speaking to our reporter yesterday, the Senator outlined the facts he hopes to find.
"The main facts I plan to find concern British human rights abuses, RUC brutality, and harassment of Sinn Fein community representatives," he explained. "I may find some other facts, but those are the ones I'm really interested in."
Senator O'Malley has a long history of fact-finding in Northern Ireland. His previous discoveries include:
- Republican paramilitaries don't sell drugs
- RUC patrols regularly kill and eat children
- Queen Victoria personally ordered the potato famine
By complete coincidence Senator O'Malley is himself currently campaigning for re-election in Arizona, under the slogan: "O'Malley Electrocutes More Blacks".
Other great moments include:
Vatican sends Holy Water Cannon
by our security correspondent, Roger Base
Security sources have welcomed the arrival of a Holy Water Cannon from the Vatican City.
"Spraying Holy Water on Orangemen is pretty much like spraying ordinary water on them," admitted RUC officer Bill Mason yesterday. "But it will really annoy them, and that's the main thing."
And when Roy Keane wlked out of the Irish World Cup team in 2002:
World Cup Crisis!
by our sports correspondent, Ed Balls
Ireland is in shock this week at the news that a premier league footballer is an arrogant prick.
"It's turned my whole world upside-down", one distraught Dublin fan told our reporter yesterday. "Never in all my life did I imagine that a man getting £5.2 million a year to kick a ball around would act like a spoilt child."
However leading sociologist Dr Penny O'Guardian believes there may be a deeper explanation for the terrible scenes of distress witnessed around the Republic this week. "What's really upsetting people," she claims, "is that there's no obvious way to blame this on the English."
And finally the interpretation of the d'Hondt system:
Well, I'll be looking out for his columns and other articles when I can; difficult from here, but worth a try.