Citing increasing fear of a terrorist attack, the White House announced this morning that all future American elections are to be cancelled until further notice.
Mindful perhaps of the train bombs in Spain prior to the electoral defeat of pro-Bush premier Aznar, White House spokesman Scott McClellan outlined the new policy at a hastily prepared press conference.
"We are determined not to give in to terror," said Mr. McClellan. Holding elections will only give the terrorists an opportunity to remind the American public that we are losing the war on terror. We will not let that happen."
He also mentioned new CIA intelligence that terrorist sympathisers are planning to vote for John Kerry in November. "This pernicious change of strategy is just what we would expect from these despicable people. Allowing them to vote would be to allow terrorists a great victory over our freedoms."
Questioned by journalists, McClellan added, "The only way to prevent our great democracy from being subverted is to close the door to any terrorist supporters who may be planning to vote. This cannot be effectively done without canceling the 2004 election, and all subsequent elections until further notice."
He pointed out that this was the least drastic of a number of measures considered by the Bush cabinet, which included giving all Texans three votes each, and sending all registered Democrats and ethic minority voters to Guantanamo Bay (disregarded when the cost of orange jumpsuits was taken into account).
McClellan then expounded at some length, citing historical parallels for taking such drastic action. While he accepted that presidential elections had taken place during the civil war and World War II, he argued that times had changed.
"There are many examples where democracy has been suspended for a period of time. The Germans declared a state of emergency after the Reichstag was burnt down in 1933. Yet today, Germany has a thriving democratic system."
Pressed further as to when voting rights might be restored, McClellan ordered several journalists to be removed from the conference. "Get the French guy" he was heard to shout as the room descended into chaos. Questions continued after a number of journalists were arrested and shot for treason.