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Troops to Marginal Electorates

In a surprise move Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, announced yesterday that the government is sending troops to remote marginal electorates to help win the war against boat people and queue jumpers.

Howard was careful to point out that he had received bipartisan support from the Opposition for the move and both he and Kim Beazley would farewell the troops.

Howard offered praise for the troops, “Polling indicates that many voters in remote areas are scared and uncertain of what is happening,” he said.

“Many of them have not seen a politician let alone a fully armed soldier. I understand how difficult this will be for our boys in these trying circumstances”.

Howard went on to say that his government was also keen to show a humanitarian side. In a stick and carrot approach they have begun airdrops in remote rural areas.

Thousands of aid packages have been dropped in remote electorates around Australia. Each yellow plastic container of " voter vitals" is about the size of a Readers Digest Condensed Book. The pouches, airdropped by the Australian air force are to assist Australian voters in remote rural communities.

Each package contains the following items:

Arnotts biscuits
Liberal How to Vote Card
Tim Tams
Dick Smith Peanut butter
$5 Phone Card
A pale blue cricket hat
Vegemite
50 grams of Aeroplane Jelly crystals
Plastic Australian flag
John Howard Serviette

A government spokesperson defended the move saying it would be too costly and unfair on taxpayers to use Australia Post. “We believe airdrops are the most effective way to reach these remote areas,” he said.

Kim Beazley, however was quick to distance himself from the aid package. “This is not an aid package,” he thundered. “It is nothing but a John Howard Showbag and a waste of taxpayers money. It’s a blatant election stunt and we do not support it.”

Many airdrops have been off target and observers have reported the aid has not been getting to those in need.

“We have seen these specially packed portions of vegemite, peanut butter and Tim Tams where they shouldn’t be,” said Cheryl Kernot. “Two dollar shops in George Street, Sydney are NOT where they were meant to land up!”

Apparently, inner city types in 4x4s have been going out on weekends to collect the parcels which turn up at local garage sales where they are reportedly a sought after item.

Many households have been stocking up on non-perishable foodstuff. “We are scared,” said a Paddington resident who did not want to be identified. “Many of us are still suffering from the fallout of Y2K, now we have to worry about germ warfare and the collapse of Ansett. We are stocking up on all the supplies we can get.”

In a statement, the Australian Democrats said the operation was "nothing but a propaganda operation designed with military precision to boost the chances of a Coalition victory."

Howard stressed it was important that Australians stand together as one nation and he was working hard on building a coalition of allies to help win the war against boat people and queue jumpers but he denied Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party snubbed him. “She is a busy woman, I am trying to arrange a meeting after the election --- provided I win,” he said.