Democracy Inaction

In an attempt to wipe the egg off their faces America's television networks have offered the presidential candidates a compromise deal.

In what has been termed "The Fourth and Final Debate", Al Gore and George Bush are to appear before Judge Judy, who has agreed to sort out the electoral mess.

Judge Judy, no stranger to Australians, is known for her candid, no-nonsense approach to law. " I will not allow any one to get snippy with me!" she remarked in a brief statement to the press.

The networks had no trouble selling the proposal to the would-be presidents elect.

"We are a nation of pollsters," said a spokesperson for CNN, "We are sure that after both candidates have been given the chance to present their case to the esteemed Judge, her ruling will be fair".

Al Gore and George Bush have both agreed to abide by Judge Judy's decision.

President Clinton has also backed the move. "America has spoken," he said, "As usual no one knows what was said, but I am confident that Judge Judy will be able to speak for the whole country when she makes her decision."

"I think it will be fair," said a Democrat spokesperson. "Judge Judy has been doing this sort of thing for years. She has a large following and the American people trust her."

With plane loads of lawyers descending on Florida, it is belived both candidates had little choice. Both sides wanted to settle the outcome before America's legal experts became involved fearing that the presidential term would be over before any agreement was reached.

Before appearing before Judge Judy in a live broadcast, both Bush and Gore will also have the chance of appealing for support on the Ricki Lake show as well as a lunch time Oprah Winfrey show.

"This is a demonstration of the wonder of democracy at work," said a Republican insider.

In a bizarre twist and urged on by American Presidential confidants Billy Graham and Pat Robertson, Pat Buchanan has agreed to give back the votes he believes were not cast for him.

"It is obvious these people did not vote for me and I do not want their votes," Buchanan told David Letterman. "I just don't know who to give them to yet."

It will be a few weeks before Judge Judy gets to consider her verdict. This has not stopped the networks from speculating on the outcome. At least one television network is calling for a Government of National Unity suggesting that Bush and Gore share the roles of President and Vice President, alternating roles each month.

In another startling development, CNN has been given permission by both the Gore and Bush families to televise live from their homes 24 hours a day until such time as the outcome of the election is certain.

"This will be bigger than Survivor, the whole of America will be watching," said Bush campaign chairman Donald Evans.

American television stations are set to reap billions as advertisers rush to get in on the deal. Unlike the Olympics, televised images will also be broadcast over the Internet. NBC is reportedly upgrading their servers to cope with the anticipated rush.

Nasdaq shares are once again on the way up as Internet companies see the benefit of offering viewers the chance to experience interactive demonstrations of voter fraud, illegal polling, and unusual and confusing ballot papers.

Net surfers can look forward to seeing family strife as politicians switch from Viagra to Prozac and an 100 per cent genuine 3D multimedia reconstruction of what would happen if a hurricane swept through Florida during the recount of the vote.