Odds are good if you're reading my journal you're at least paying a little bit of attention to the US election campaigns currently still going. Not least because at the end of it all, the person elected gets control of enough nukes to blow up the world a few times, which is rarely the case in a foreign election. It's, um, a bit of a mess, n'est ce pas?
For those that don't normally pay much attention, the US candidate selection Primary system is usually
over by now. Usually. Normally both sides have got a clear front runner and the others pull out in the name of "party unity". This year? No chance, both parties remain too close to call. The drawback of personality politics and directly elected executives, you can't just elect a local MP, you need a candidate your party is happy with. And if you have a country the size of a continent and 6 times more people than Britain, that takes just a little bit more time. So, y'know, I thought it was time to
- put on my psephologists head and
- laugh at the stupidity of the BBC pundits who're getting so much wrong.
So, the US has two parties. The Republicans are best described as a bit like the Cornerstone Tory "faith flag and family" brigade, only with more money and less sense. The Democrats are best described as Ken Clarke style one-nation Tories, with a little bit of New Labour dressing. Note the lack of British-style liberalism (US liberalism is, for the most part, not liberalism by any sane definition of the word) and complete absence of any sort of real social democrat. In other words, two lots of corporatist, money grabbing loons, with one side slightly less bad. Of course, those generalisations are based around those they elect—A lot of Democrat activists are nearly as liberal as me, and there are some sane republicans, including a fair few non-loonies. So, well, let's start with the Republicans.( The Republican nomination race )( The Democrat nomination race )
In the Republican race, the Christian/conservative vote was split, giving McCain a false lead, now that Romney has withdrawn they might just select a lunatic with no chance, which would be good. In the Democratic race, it's too close to call, and while Hillary may be a perfectly good Democrat, she's not my type of democrat, and she could lose to the non-lunatic that the Republicans may still elect. Obama is ahead, and gaining momentum, but the situation could change. Can we hope it won't?
Yes, we can...