I have always steered well clear of the minefield that is talking about politics on my blog, but it is rather topical at the moment and a lot of Americans have asked for my take on US politics.
Let me start this post by admitting that when it comes to US politics I really don’t have a clue (apparently I have something in common with Ben Carson after all) and in addition to this as a US permanent resident I am not even allowed to vote here. Despite this, I have tried to develop some kind of understanding of the US political system because the winner of the next election will have a big impact on my life.
I have to admit that I don’t understand that in the land of choice where you can pick multiple different hospitals to be treated at and where there are 16,000 different ways to order a coffee at a café there are only two political parties that you can vote for that have a chance of winning in each state. Why not switch it up a bit and have a bit of variety? In the UK you can vote for Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, UKIP (please don’t), SNP, the Green Party and even the Monster Raving Loony Party (I kid you not) and a host of others. Okay we end up getting stuck with either the Conservatives or Labour governing the country but at least the ballot paper is a bit more interesting.
Another thing that I don’t understand is the fact that you have to be born in the US or born abroad to a US citizen to be President. I don’t like this because as someone who is bloody awful at sports and is too awkward to be on television there are already enough potential careers that are closed to me. Why make it even harder for me to be successful? I jest of course but the rules that someone has to have been born in the US seem a lot harsher than other countries and lead to unnecessary distractions, as Ted Cruz has apparently discovered. To be the Prime Minister of the UK you just need to be a British citizen or a citizen of the Commonwealth (about 50 countries) and command a majority in the House of Commons. In Canada you just need to be able to apologise a lot and to play ice hockey (I may be twisting the truth slightly here).
I must admit that I like how dynamic the US political debates are. British political debates are too… British. “I would like to inform the Right Honourable Gentleman that I disagree with him on this matter”. I used to fall asleep every I tried to watch David Cameron and Ed Milliband argue over who was the most useless. In contrast the US televised debates are far more vibrant and interesting to watch as the crowd boos or cheers their rhetoric like a chat show. I have to confess that I don’t like watching the Democratic Party debates because I feel sorry for the third wheel (or Martin O’Malley as he is officially known).
Another thing I like about the US elections is the Primaries. Nobody cares about Iowa or New Hampshire but by having their Primaries first they manage to bring themselves into the limelight. I once Googled Iowa to find interesting facts on the state and learned that an asteroid hit the state 74 million years ago. Apparently nothing interesting has happened there since. I’m only surprised that North Dakota and Idaho haven’t tried to make theirs even earlier to grab some of the attention.
I find it both scary and liberating that I am not able to vote in the upcoming elections. Liberating because when voting in UK elections it was hard deciding on which politician I disliked the least to vote for and not writing something rude next to smug candidates’ names on the ballot papers was always a challenge. If you write something rude (or anything) on a UK ballot paper the vote isn’t counted. It’s scary because I have no impact on the outcome and not being able to cast a vote against Donald Trump is just unfair!
What is your take on the upcoming elections? Do you disagree with anything I said?