Forming a Government
Once upon a time in a land far, far away, there lived a very famous election pundit who was reported to have almost psychic abilities and could accurately predict the future. So renowned was his ability that reporters from the farthest reaches of the country came to seek him out for his counsel.
It so happened that a minority government in this fairly opulent country had caused several elections in a very short span of time. Now on the heels of yet another non- confidence vote, an election was being held. The incumbent was fearful of minority government and fearful still of a coalition that would force another election. Among the countless politicians vying for the coveted position the three frontrunners found themselves to be campaigning in the pundit’s riding and decided to seek out his wisdom. They scheduled separate appointments and at the appropriate time secretly called upon him to enquire which among them would be the successful candidate. They were surprised to see each other there at the same time. After exchanging wide- eyed glances the trio was met by an assistant and swiftly ushered into a musty, dimly lit room where a heavily carpeted floors, ancient tapestries and antique furniture along with wall-to-wall bookcases immediately intimidated any visitor.
The aged wise man seated by the cosy fire signalled for the trio to come forward and be seated before him.
The boldest one bowing his head slightly put the question forward in a respectful tone.
After a momentary pause he closed his eyes and silently pointed an index finger at the trio. The frontrunners were baffled by this gesture and exchanged quizzical looks. Then one of them, professing his ignorance, politely requested an explanation.
The pundit rose up in anger, “The will of the people cannot be any plainer.” He then exited the room in a huff.
Shaking their heads and somewhat miffed, the trio quietly left the premises.
That evening the assistant, no longer able to hold his query, asked, “Sir, which of the three will be the successful candidate?”
The pundit answered quietly: “The exact number is already known.”
“Does a single finger mean that only one of them will form the government?”
“But what if two of them are successful?”
“Then it means one of the three will fail.”
“And can all three of them be successful?”
“A single finger implies that all will succeed at one time or other.”
“And what if all of them fail to form a government?”
“My single finger means that not even one of them will be successful.”
The assistant quickly saw the point and said, “So this is Democratic Will!”