Ladies and gentlemen, it’s always a pleasure for me to campaign here in Brisbane… Wait, that can’t be right…

So, let’s say, a pleasure to campaign in this particular city or town within the recognized borders of Canada, I would think.

Because in places like this I get to meet properly vetted folks, particularly those of you willing to array yourselves inside the camera shot behind me at my portable podium, fixing blank expressions on your faces even though you’re thinking the whole time about the possibility that we’re hurtling toward another Depression.

Ladies and gentlemen, today I’d like to take some time to tell you about the important policies that our party has announced so far in this campaign.

You know the global economy is facing some uncertain times. In this context, we have adopted an approach of balanced and disciplined attention to extraneous details that border on the surreal.

For example, faced with growing evidence of childhood obesity reaching epidemic levels, a ticking time bomb of future health costs, we might reasonably have considered discouraging kids from eating banana splits and stuff.

But somehow the guys in research stumbled upon the fact that banana-split-flavoured tobacco actually exists. Seriously, I said. No, really, they said. Also mint and bubble gum. So we’re banning all of them.

Our research, however, found no fruit- or candy-scented diesel fuel, so we will be encouraging its consumption by cutting the tax on it by two cents a litre.

Now, my opponents say, ‘Won’t that just increase greenhouse gas emissions?’ I assure you, it will not. Our forecasts show that by the time the market meltdown is over, most trucks and tractors will be powered by clean, renewable energy sources, such as destitute farmers and truckers tethered to the grills with bungee cords.

Still, climate change remains a serious concern, especially in our Arctic. Our party proposes to unleash the potential of Canada’s North.

Working with community leaders, we will establish a new stand-alone regional agency to develop innovative tourism concepts, like vacation spas where guests can rejuvenate themselves in mud-like baths of freshly melted permafrost, or delight in watching the greyhound-thin polar bears racing each other for the last shards of ice.

We’re also planning to shovel as many diamonds out of the territories as possible before the Russians and Americans realize what we’ve got up there.

Further south, and closer to clusters of winnable suburban ridings, the crime rate is a growing concern, even though it insists on steadily falling.

So I have announced that we will do away with house arrest for serious offenders. That’s another 7,161 criminals to be locked up. At an average cost of $100-million for a 350-inmate prison, our opponents claim that would cost $2.2 billion.

I am pleased to announce a $2.2-billion subsidized housing program.

On the economy, we focus on vital infrastructure. I pledged $24 million to create international cruise destinations along the St. Lawrence River. Here’s some cultural support for you: how about if Quebec’s artists perform dockside for coins thrown by the ladies and gentlemen on the Lido Deck?

In Ontario’s industrial heartland, we’re funding improvements to Highway 407, Highway 4, and Highway 404, which should afford ample capacity for wandering hordes of laid-off manufacturing workers and their families hauling their meager possessions to wherever they hear someone might be hiring.

Good bless Canada. There, I said it. It seemed necessary.

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