"We're a democracy. The people have decided."

- Sio Bibble

With election day upon us once more, a good Star Wars fan cannot help but seriously ponder the implications of democracy and bipartisan politics. After watching a few of the debates and studying up on the issues, I personally have come to the conclusion that neither Democrat nor Republican will do as president of this country for the next four years. My choice will be bold, and may very well not have much of a shot at the White House, but I'm going with it anyway.

And no, I'm not talking about Ralph Nader.

You see, I'm taking the Naboo vote this time around. I hope you do as well. Granted, this will be a write-in ballot, but a grassroots campaign seems the only thing that I, as a registered voter of conscience, can do at this point. So I'm writing in Queen Amidala of Naboo for President of the United States this November 7.

Remember that, despite the monarchy tag, Naboo's rulers are elected in a democratic fashion. And in all honesty, Amidala just seems infinitely more qualified to me to run this country than Al or George W.

Next page: compare and contrast the candidates

Just the facts

It's no secret that Al Gore and George W. Bush were both born to power and privilege. They were raised in wealthy families and attended Ivy League schools. Their political status was largely secured by their names.

In contrast, Amidala, according to the Episode One Visual Dictionary, was "raised by humble parents in a small mountain village." Her early rise to leader of her people was only through her intellect and political skills.

She excelled at everything she did and won the hearts of her people, all on her own merit.

And it shows.

Compare and contrast

The state of Texas under George W.'s rule had the worst air pollution of any other state in the country.

The city of Theed under Amidala's rule was a beautiful paradise, built of CGI architecture and boasting many great gardens.

When journeying to a Buddhist sacred temple, Al Gore was neither deferential nor respectful, but instead engaged in illegal fundraising activities. He begged for money even though his campaign was already raking in millions.

When journeying to the Gungan Sacred Place, Amidala was deferential and respectful, even prostrating herself to the Gungan leader Boss Nass. She begged for help so that her people wouldn't be annihilated.

By his own admission, George W. doesn't even know where Kosovo is.

When her planet was invaded, Amidala made it all the way to Coruscant halfway across the galaxy to appeal to the Senate.

At the Democratic Convention with TV reporters everywhere, Al Gore french-kissed Tipper in a blatant attempt to win over middle-class suburban housewives who, more likely than not, would rather be watching Oprah anyway.

When they were all alone on a starship and no TV reporters were around, Amidala and Anakin expressed their true feelings for one another, establishing their genuine relationship in private.

George W. is pro-gun even though he didn't show up for duty for an entire year of service in the National Guard.

Amidala is anti-blaster even though she will fight to defend her people.

(Not to mention, can you honestly imagine Al or George W. heroically fighting off battle droids in the Oval Office the way Amidala did in her throne room? I didn't think so.)

Next page: points for rhetoric

This section pretty much speaks for itself.

"My fate will be no different than that of our people."
-- Queen Amidala

"A zebra cannot change his spots."
-- Al Gore

"I will not defer. I've come before you to resolve this attack on our sovereignty now."
-- Queen Amidala

"We must all hear the universal call to like your neighbor just like you like to be liked yourself."
-- George W. Bush

"I will not condone a course of action that will lead us to war."
-- Queen Amidala

"Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?"
-- George W. Bush

"I will take back what's ours."
-- Queen Amidala

"I decided I just had to call because you've printed a picture of the Earth upside down on the front page of the paper."
-- Al Gore

Next page: Natalie Portman, or a lesson in rallying the electorate

Appearance does matter. It has been said that if Abraham Lincoln had run for president in the television age, he never would have been elected, what with that big mole and bad hat. But with her elaborate gowns and regal hairstyles, Amidala would rip Al, George W., and Lincoln to pieces in the fashion category.

Not to mention her silver Nubian starship is faster and way cooler than Air Force One.

Amidala is also a commanding presence in the galactic senate, unlike the Gore/Bush debates which managed to put most of America to sleep after ten minutes.

Honk if you voted Amidala

Questions of moral character always abound. Voters could put their mind at ease with Amidala (ultimately, a fictional character) in the White House.

Unlike George W., she has never been accused of using cocaine. I've never even heard of her drinking any Corellian ale.

She did lie once, disguising herself as a handmaiden, but only for her own protection.

Even as the current president failed to bring the Palestinians and Israelis together, Amidala united the Gungans and the Naboo after centuries of resentment.

Like a kabuki Ralph Nader, she fights the evil capitalist corporations destroying her people's environment and way of life -- Al and George W. work for them.

Add all this up and your choice is pretty clear.

Vote Amidala.

You're only throwing away your vote if you elect the other guys.

Paul McDonald is a known Merry Trickster, but has also thought up some serious stuff.