One of my photos

Presidential Hopefuls

January 29th, 2008 · Posted by Skuds in Politics · 1 Comment · Politics

I may be desperately bored by the whole US election circus, but that didn’t stop me having a thought or two today.

Obviously the first thought, and one I have had many times, is why the US have to drag out the process so that it takes up more than a quarter of the four-year presidential term, if you count all the will-they-won’t-they-stand speculation before the proper campaigning for the primaries starts?

Why not hold the primaries after a short campaign?  People will point at the size of the US and the impracticality of getting round the whole place in a few weeks, but do they really need to?  For a state primary they can only really address a small proportion of the electorate: most will just see TV footage and that could be from anywhere.

But the main thought I had was about the smokescreen being put up regarding the Democratic candidates.  If  there is any sense in the world, and if no more offshoots of the Bush family turn up in charge of dodgy voting machines somewhere, the Democrats should win – so the primaries are really being seen as voting for the next president, and we keep hearing how amazing it is that America is likely to have either a female or a black president.

OK, it is a good thing in a way, but if you really think that colour and gender make no difference then its no big deal.  What struck me was that all the hype about having a black president or a female president distracts us from thinking about certain groups that are not the slightest bit nearer  ever getting a chance:  those who are not very rich or very well-connected, homosexuals, ugly people, atheists…

For a country with the separation of church and state enshrined in law, candidates always make a big issue of being seen to be God-botherers.   Can you imagine that any candidate who ever said “believe what you like, but I deny the existence of God” would stand any chance?

And forget about homosexuals. I don’t even think that someone who decided, for whatever reason, to not be married would be in with a shout?

It actually makes our system look quite fair!  Despite seeing candidates for the non-job of  Deputy Leader spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on their campaigns I still think that a good enough candidate could become leader without having to amass a large wad – a lot easier than they would find it in the US anyway.

That’s my lot on the US elections…  its still boring.

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