Voting starts today in the Vatican City to elect a new pope. It is an unusual election. The electorate is all-male. The voters are locked in a room and not allowed out until they have made a choice. And all of them are potentially also the candidates.
It set me wondering what the election would be like if the Liberal Democrats had anything to do with it.
It helps that the Latin word for Focus is ‘Focus’, so the party is already off to a good start. The Vatican Focus would probably be headlined something like “Lib Dem Cardinals – Praying Round Here”.
And there’s plenty to talk about in these leaflets. Never mind the profound theological questions. The big campaign issues will be the potholes in St Peter’s Square, the chewing gum left by tourists on the floor of the basilica, and the shortage of LGBT Swiss Guards.
There is no need for any ‘Sorry you were out’ leaflets because everybody’s been locked in.
Cardinals would be greeted first thing in the morning with ‘Bonus Mane’ leaflets, featuring some dubious bar charts.
The only problem would be the declaration. Burning the ballot papers to generate black or white smoke is not an environmentally sustainable practice, is it? For a new, ecologically-sound signal, a green wheelie bin will be left outside the door of the Sistine Chapel.
“Rodrigo Borgia: a worker, a winner” – yes, I can see it now.