More on Canadian and American Elections

Note: This blog weas originally posted on my web site on February 7, 2009. Since it is a bit of old news, I’ve decided to disable comments.

While the previous blog entry mentioned the US elections and the fact that it takes forever. Why does it take so long?

Look at the Canadian elections. The parties have their leader already [well most of the time]. The current Prime Minister dissolves parliament, drops by for some tea at the Governor General’s residence and says that he can’t govern because of the other parties [or some other lame excuse] and calls an election. Of course unless the Prime Minister has a majority, he has up to 5 years to call an election.

So once the parliament is dissolved, the election is on with something like a maximum of 38 days of campaigning. Unsure of the total cost [party spending, election employees, ballot printing, etc.] but it’s not a huge amount.

Now the US side.

Roughly two years after the last lection, either or both parties [depending on whether the President can run again or wants to] hold primaries throughout every state. During the beginning party candidates declare their intentions – and of course bow out because of lack of support or funding. During that time, they are bickering at each other about their achievements or lack of as governor, senator, congressman, etc.

Finally at the party convention, all the delegates ratify the new leader of the party [basically repeating the previous 9 months within a weekend]. Then finally the elections are on for over 2 months.

During that time one party looks at what the other party’s nominee said during the primaries and before that and use it against them.

In the end the parties combined in the last election to spend over $2 billion for advertising, day to day expenses, bribes, etc. This total does not include [from what I heard] the primaries costs.

Side notes:

In the US election, donations to Barack Obama campaigned exceeded the combine donations to the two presidential candidates in 2004.

Republicans have a problem. According to current statistics [and assuming current voting trends continue], their voter base is primarily 45 and over. In the various age groups the Republicans got more votes than the Democrats but not a huge difference. For those under 45, they voted heavily for the Democrats. So in the coming years, as the older Republicans die [or stop voting], the Democrats may have an easier time winning elections.


About ebraiter
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