The global leader in religion, known in some languages simply as 'God', has given in to pressure from his peers and finally agreed to a referendum on how belief in deities is allocated among mortals.
Buddha and Zoroaster have been clamouring for a fairer system for centuries, recently becoming 'a bit narked' that their lack of influence over policy decisions has resulted in such a skewed world view. Buddha, in particular, says that he is looking forward to a wider audience. 'It's going to be great,' smiled the plump spiritual leader, 'and I'm particularly keen to finally get my hands on some of these wars and shit.'
Pope Benedict XVI, one of the leading detractors against a referendum, believes that altering such a longstanding system will simply confuse religious followers. 'The proposed Preferred Deity system is far too complicated to explain in layman's terms,' he told leading cardinals at a Vatican meeting. 'It'll take bloody ages to sort out a winner'. He has, however, retracted his comment after it was pointed out that God probably wouldn't have much trouble adding it all up 'on account of being omnipotent and all that'.
Beelzebub is reportedly cackling loudly at the prospect of better demonic representation. 'To move up from unholy to holy will be a massive boost to our plans for Eternal Damnation,' he boomed during a recent press conference. 'I don't think God will have any choice now, and then I'll be able to have some real influence on how things are run around here. Plus I can't wait to get above ground - it's getting to be a Hell of a bind living down here, my poor milk-bottle legs could really do with a decent tan.'
Other gods are more circumspect about the prospect. 'I don't think for a minute that Yahweh will concede to a change in the system,' Gaia told Songs of Praise. 'He appears to be able to control all of time and space so I suspect His position is much stronger than the Dark Lord gives Him credit for, but I'm all for a change, and I could really do with a bit of quality worship myself. No-one has really taken any notice of me for bloody ages, even though I've been throwing quite a wobbly about it, what with all my global warming and volcanoes and things.'
More modern religious figureheads, such as the spirit of David Koresh, have welcomed the prospect of a change from the current 'disproportional representation' system, believing that their influence is what finally made the Lord acquiesce to the mounting pressure. 'God has told us that He will use the results of any referendum wisely,' said religious icon Elvis Presley, 'in response I'd like to say thankyouverymuch.'
[WITH GRATEFUL THANKS TO JP1885]