There'll be an election in the Bahamas this year, and the two main parties are in full swing despite the fact that it hasn't been formally called. The process is not unlike two vultures fighting over a carcass.

The electoral process is similar to that in Canada except the commercials are even less subtle, if that is possible. The two main parties are the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and the Free National Movement (FNM), both keeping in line with the policy of naming political parties using as vague terms as possible. Given the amount of fiber in my diet lately, Free National Movement probably doesn't mean the same to me as it does to the average Bahamian.

But give credit where it's due. The FNM does have the most entertaining campaign, highlighted by this little ditty. That's right, nothing says "we can lead a democracy of 300,000 people" better than a song with a caribbean lilt called "Voting Them Out".

The local call-in show has been no less amusing. It's hosted by the enormously patient Mike Smith who I'm sure is feeling like a career as a kindergarten teacher would probably involve more mature arguments than the ones he's dealing with these days. Most calls have been thinly-veiled attacks on one party or the other and a good chunk of them get into a pissing contest as to whose rally was bigger. These can be pretty funny when interspersed with phrases from the local vernacular, like "Girl, you don gotta wake up and smell wachu bin SNIFFIN'!" Abbott and Costello could only dream of coming up with one-liners like these people can.

But again, credit where it's due. Mike Smith, it must be said, is masterful at dealing with people on both sides (mostly with a terse, "thanks for the call" before moving on to the next one) and stopping to chat with people who have something useful to say, usually someone under the age of thirty. I particularly loved his response to one caller asking who he was going to vote for: "None of your business, next caller."