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September 03, 2008



While I hate to do some finger wagging across the border all this touches on one of my biggest pet peeves about U.S. politics.

The problem with American elections is that they are personality driven, rather than policy or skill-set driven. Americans vote based on whether they would like to have the candidate over for dinner, not whether they have the ability to govern or whether their economic and social policies will be good for the country. Americans spend a lot of time talking about a candidate's personal quirks (Remember Clinton's "briefs or boxers" question?), personality, private religious views and other personal attributes rather than analyzing their economic, legal and social policy and leadership style and making a decision based on that alone. The fact that some pro-Hillary PUMA-types would even consider jumping across the aisle because she didn't emerge as the candidate says that the candidate mattered more than the policy to me (though you may disagree). Hillary is to the left of Obama and is way to the left of McCain on most economic and social views.

I am sure George and Laura Bush would make lovely dinner guests for many Americans but only 20% of the electorate think he is a good president. I have a feeling that Palin will give a warm cuddly speech tonight that will win over many in the electorate no matter what her views are.

(As much I would love to think Canadians are better in this regard, we have become more personality driven as well. One of the geniuses of the Westminster system was that the country voted for the party rather than the person. The Prime Minister was chosen by the ruling party and could be replaced at any time. So it was the policy of the party that mattered more than the attributes of its leader. But this seems to be breaking down. We go to the polls for our Federal election on Oct 14th and the commercials are all about what a wonderful guy our PM is, not about the policy of his party. *sigh*)


I always had the impression that Thompson didn't really want to run. He's better now because the pressure's off. Maybe Jeri was using cattle prods.


toujoursdan, it was the principle that mattered more than policy. A candidate should not be shoved out of the contest. The fact that she just happened to be the first woman with a chance brings up another principle: women should not be treated as second class.

John, I heard the part of Lieberman's speech praising Clinton and the ensuing applause (I know it wasn't thunderous but still) and my head exploded from the Bizarro Worldliness of it.

John Petty

Hi Dan: One reason for that is simply the difference in systems, much more "party-oriented" in Canada and the UK and much more "candidate-oriented" in the US.

Lillian: Bizarro-world is a good way to put it. Most of those folks think Atilla the Hun was too liberal.

Hypatia: Ole Fred was a real bomb on the campaign trail. It looked like they went into it without any planning, and even without a speech!

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