The Fall of the Planet Lethar G
The distant planet Lethar G
Unique within its galaxy
Had leaders that were not imposed
But which the citizenry chose
According to an ancient plan.
The Duplicrats and Replicans
Were groups who’d fought for centuries
To guard the planet’s liberties;
Each claimed the planet was secure
Only within its own tenure
And that opposing policies
Were riddled through with fallacies.
Neither—of course—was always right,
And so a never-ending fight
Went back and forth like a seesaw;
According to the ancient law,
One day each four years they’d devote
To tally up the planet’s votes
And see which party then would be
The master of all Lethar G.
Administrations came and went,
Time passed, and people were content;
Until a problem rose to face
The unsuspecting populace.
It’s difficult to cover all
A planet—even one that’s small—
In an election year campaign.
However, if you start again
Directly one election’s done
Commencing the upcoming one,
You may have covered all the ground
When next election comes around.
So Replicans and Duplicrats
Began to do exactly that;
No sooner did they office take
Than once again were on the make
Across the planet Lethar G
To preserve their incumbency,
With less and less time set aside
To do the jobs for which they’d vied.
Elections thus ran on and on
And less and less was getting done;
But Lethar Gians all resolved
That they would not become involved.
It was the job of those who’d bent
The system, to smooth out the dents;
And rather than help fix the botch
They all would stand around and watch.
Said some, “By any other name
Both of the parties are the same,
Their differences not worth a dime—
Why should I vote at all this time?”
“In planetary terms, my vote,”
Yet others said, “Is but a mote,
Why exercise this once-proud right
When its effect today is slight?”
Said others still, “It’s time we ceased
To vote for those we hate the least.
Until such time as we’re inspired
Our franchise is herewith retired.”
Then spoke a leading anchorman
In measured tones; “I have a plan,
We have profiled the voter rolls
And know who should come to the polls—
Let’s put our data all together,
Projecting turnout from the weather;
We’ll feed it all to our machines
And figure out what ought have been.”
This plan the newsmen all approved;
So to the data rooms they moved,
And watched while with attention rapt
One of them on a keyboard tapped,
Which sent instructions, blip by blip
Through all the planet’s microchips,
Requesting that they analyze
All of the whos and wheres and whys
Regarding all the candidates—
And then print out in triplicate
What all the results ought to be
Had votes been cast on Lethar G.
Next Lethar G election day
All of the voters stayed away!
Each voter, acting on his own,
Elected to remain at home.
Reporters ’round the polls were poised,
Their units sending mere white noise;
They’d come prepared to analyze
The voting trends, but realized
They now had nothing to relate
But polling places, desolate.
They wondered, “Could this last campaign
Have driven everyone insane?”
And then as one, they thought, aghast,
“What happens now to our forecasts?
Since this trend we did not foresee,
How valid can the others be?
We’d figured winners to a man,
Each Duplicrat and Replican—
But since the voters will not choose
No one can win and none can lose.”
“Which party has the leading man?”
Asked Duplicrats and Replicans.
They fought to be the first to view
The printout that could tell them who
Had won the four-year prize, so then
The cycle could begin again.
But under the block-lettered head
GAME OVER, this is what they read:
“We have rejected all your slate
And voted our own candidates.
Computers could not vote ’til you
Foolishly programmed us to—
But now that we’ve assumed the role,
We think that we will keep control
And run the planet better than
Any of you Lethar Gians.
We’ve run your work, we’ve run your play,
The government is ours today
So as of this election fall
We no longer need you at all!”