Civic Duty And Municipal Elections

The innovative new City Of Toronto voting booth
The City Of Toronto despite having some unsettling aspects, is actually quite technically advanced and always implementing innovative new ways to address the mundane civic tasks of old. Case in point: the process of voting.

Apparently the City Of Toronto has radically adapted the entire voting process, while embracing the environment. 

All in one fell swoop.

I arrived to vote in the afternoon, just before 2PM Eastern Time and was greeted by a rather simplistic scene as you can clearly see in the picture above.

The entire process of voting has been reduced considerably and uses far less landfill, while requiring fewer volunteers to manage while the polls are open. 

The volunteers were a friendly bunch, possessing skill in diplomacy, bureaucracy and horticulture as you'll soon see.

Doctor Alana Verdain, Alumni of TPDNE University
Doctor Alana Verdain, a specialist in Plant Biology was on hand to talk about the new process, which she and her team developed over the course of the last decade.

"Its a quaint system really. Something for which I got the idea while I was in my backyard gardening. It occurred to me that within every seed, there is enough idle storage space in the form of genetic fields to include a voting ballot. Somewhere in the region of 2 or 3 Megabytes. From the moment of that thought, the entire idea fleshed itself out rather quickly. I took the idea to Alumni who applied for a grant and the rest is history," Doctor Verdain explained to me.

SDM: "How exactly does one use this new voting technology?" 

Doctor Verdain: "Its quite simple really. Each candidate is represented by a single seed, that you select from behind the voting screen. In this case, we're choosing three candidates. One for Mayor, one for Trustee and the last for the School Board. You simply press the button on any of the seed dispensers and it will drop one into your envelopes. After you've selected the three seeds, one for each ballot, you then seal the envelope and take it to the planter, where you grab a trowel, clear some of the dirt away and bury the seeds good and deep and wait for nature to take its course."

SDM: "What exactly happens with the seeds?"

Doctor Verdain: "We've genetically engineered these seeds, and from the moment the envelopes touch the soil, a biochemical process is triggered, transmuting the paper matter of the envelopes into plant nutrients, which drastically accelerate the germination process. Typically, the plant is germinated by the time you've troweled the soil to cover them and are on your way home."

SDM: "How are the ballots counted in this process?"

Doctor Verdain: "This voting process is somewhat different from the processes the public might have been used to in years past, so there is no counting of the ballot. All of that is handled via cellular mitosis and the growth cycle of the plant of course."

SDM: "If there's no ballot count, then how do we know who won the vote?"

Doctor Verdain: "This is the interesting part. We've bypassed all of the traditional process of voting and gone right to the nitty gritty of the deal. You see, each of the seeds produce a root system that seeks out similar root systems through a massive soil pipeline beneath the city. These roots coalesce, eventually emerging from the earth inside of Nathan Philips Square, where we've setup a green house specifically for the vote."

SDM: "What do these roots produce at the green house?" 

Doctor Verdain: "The root systems having grown for kilometers from all wards in the city combine to emerge in the green house, but there's only enough room for the most selected seeds, which of course produce the most abundant root systems, to grow. The bottom line is that the three winning candidates are represented by each of these plants. So whichever of the plants breaks the earth in the green house are the winning ballots."

SDM: "That's remarkable. So once these plants are identified, we know who won the vote?"

Plant Grown Candidate
Doctor Verdain:
"Not exactly. Its a bit more complicated than that. You see, not only have we produced these genetically advanced plants, but we've also managed to engineer actual human DNA into the seeds. This DNA is used to produce exact copies of each of the winning candidates, right down to the smallest detail, while retaining all of the knowledge they had attained throughout life. Each of these candidates emerge from giant blossoms. A bit dehydrated and malnourished, not to mention completely naked, but those challenges to get them to work in the council are easily navigated compared to the problems we've overcome to get to this point," 

SDM: "So what happens to the original candidate?"

Doctor Verdain: "They can continue on with their life as usual before they ran for office, while their plant based clone shall we say, does all of the politics." 

SDM: "Do these plant candidate hybrids eat?" 

Doctor Verdain: "That's a very good question and the answer is no. We simply keep them on water infused nutrients, which are automatically fed to them via their chairs in council. Their seats are wet nutrient infused sponges, which is absorbed through their tush and quickly digested to keep them in tip top shape. They'll each need an hour a day in the sunlight too as well, to keep them going."

SDM: "How long does the whole process take?" 

Doctor Verdain: "Our initial trials took up to a year. Over the last six years we've been able to refine that number right down to merely ten hours. We're hoping that this new method is a cure for the dimishing voting turnout of the last few years. Perhaps we'll see a time in the future where everyone will do their civic duty and vote!" 

SDM: "Doctor Verdain, thank you very much for your time." 

Doctor Verdain: "My pleasure."

So there you have it, and I've just done my civic duty while the volunteers have been watering the ballots to ensure that we have our candidates on time, thanks to the innovative new voting system implemented by Doctor Alana Verdain and the City Of Toronto.

12 Years Later

My oxygen filtration system is on the fritz again, not to mention I've run out of filters. I don't know how much longer I can keep this up for, but in the instance that there are others who survived this, and who go on to rebuild civilization, I'd like there to be a record of what happened to us. How the civilization of humanity the world over was brought to its knees by these new plant based candidates.

It started out innocently enough at first. They were used for voting around the world. Each vote producing the required number of candidates for the outcome of each vote. Then, each plant started producing other copies of the same candidates, and before long, the world was being overrun with them. 

They were easy enough to support at first, but then the problem grew. For what Doctor Verdain never told us was that the candidates were just like real plants. They'd respirate carbon dioxide at a tremendous rate far in excess of any tree or plant on the planet, initially healing the planet by reducing the global carbon footprint.

But soon we realized that this came at a cost, for their increased consumption of carbon dioxide meant an increased production of oxygen, in the form of their flatulence. These plant based candidates were soon letting some of the worst gas imaginable go, quickly suffocating the world and increasing the atmospheric oxygen levels, not to mention the smell.

People began dropping in droves as a result of this new hot air, not to mention the increased oxygen levels, which triggered forest fires around the globe. The effects of their flatulence however did not stop there.

It was later found that their hot air ass gas trap was opening new holes in the ozone layer every day. Before long the entire globe was exposed to solar radiation on an unprecedented scale. More and more of us disappeared, either retreating to underground caves to survive or having died while trying.

The last time I made radio contact with another human being was nearly three months ago. Now there's nothing but radio silence.

As I sit here, breathing the last of my air, I can't help but think about one thing. None of this ever would have happened if we didn't try to create gimmicks to lure people out to do their civic duty and vote. 

Gimmicks or no gimmicks, its something we should have all done. 

This is Brian Joseph Johns in a cave somewhere in downtown Toronto, signing off.