Canada, Muddled By Seasonal Affective Disorder, Votes in Conservatives

Ottawa, January 24, 2006 -- Canadian voters, weepy and bleary-eyed from a national epidemic of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), voted the previously dark horse Conservatives, led by Stephen Harper, into Parliament yesterday. Voter turnout was a healthy 11.8%, with over 88% of voters reportedly staying home with "apathy, runny noses, or, in most cases, both".

Map of CanadaMap of Canada

Prime Minister-elect Stephen Harper's conservative ticket, which ran on a platform of "bigger, juicier corruption scandals", was reportedly "sort of okay, I guess" with the victory.

Stephen Harper's Conservatives will be replacing the Liberals, led by outgoing Prime Minister Paul Martin, for the first time in twelve years. The unexpected success of the Conservatives, who up until recently were trailing by a considerable margin in the polls, has been traced on the one hand to a $15 million corruption scandal that has dogged the Liberals and saturated the Canadian press for the past two years.

"You call that a scandal?" Harper raged in one of many fiery campaign speeches in the weeks leading to the election. "Chump change! As your leader, I promise that any scandals afflicting my party will make the Liberals' meager attempts at corruption pale in comparison."

Many political observers in Canada credit the conservative firebrand's success with his stated commitment to bring Canada out of the shadow of its powerful partner to the south, the United States.

"We will no longer stand in the shadow of our powerful partner to the south, the United States," Harper, a gifted orator, announced at one of many campaign rallies. "Instead, we will fuse our shadows together into one, slightly bigger shadow. And if the Republican-led United States Congress is the most corrupt congress in history, we will do them one better. Let's make the Conservative Parliament the most corrupt Parliament in Canadian history!"

Dr. Wilbur Duckboot, a clinical psychologist at the University of Ottawa, which is somewhere in Canada, approximately near the middle, finds an alternative explanation to the surprising success of the Conservatives.

"It's difficult to ascribe the ascendancy of the Conservatives in a time of steady Canadian social, economic, cultural and international success to the single issue of comparatively small-scale corruption—chump change, as Prime Minister Harper so eloquently described it," Dr. Duckboot said. "Rather, what I believe we are seeing is a by-product of SAD – seasonal affective disorder – on a nationwide scale."

"Seasonal affective disorder is, after all, a mild form of depression, a leading characteristic of which can be a tendency toward self-inflicted pain or destruction," Dr. Duckboot continued. "That would be my professional diagnosis of the election results. Millions of Canadians, down in the dumps due to sunlight deprivation and constant chilliness, have acted out their angst by voting against their own best interests. It's the same process that guides a recovering alcoholic to drink when they've experienced a setback."

Prime Minister-elect Harper announced that the primary goal of the first year of his administration will be to "bring Canadian society down to a par with that of the United States".

This, according to Millworth Seelclubbir, a press spokesman for Prime Minister-elect Harper's campaign, will entail slashing public expenditures by as much as 60 percent, including the virtual gutting of environmental and trade controls, education, nationalized medicine, and most other facets of the Canadian social welfare net that have ensured safety, stability and prosperity in the country for decades.

"With these changes, we hope to bring Canadian society down to a more equal level with the United States, where luxury illnesses such as seasonal affective disorder are a thing of the past, or possibly of the future," Mr. Seelclubbir said. "Let's get Canadians worrying about more pressing, more quintessentially American matters instead, like violent crime, religious fundamentalism, abortion rights, or where the money is going to come from to buy their next dose of diabetes medication."

By Ion Zwitter, Avant News Editor

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