In Praise of Political Brevity

Federal Elections the Candian Way

I know that I’m committing two errors here: first, posting yet again about federal elections and second, inviting the obligatory, “If you think it’s so great there, why don’t you leave the country” response.  And yet I post.

So here’s the upshot: when I hear about elections that aren’t constantly on, I think that perhaps we might attempt a move in that direction.  That’s all.

Take, for instance, the shape of federal politics: an American presidential campaign is basically 2 years long. In short, an elected president is just barely halfway through his term before he needs to begin campaigning for re-election, kicking into gear a massive PR machine that will run for two years, eating up unbelievable amounts of time and money. In contrast, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper just announced that Canada will have a federal election this fall–October 14, as a matter of fact. While the American press is focused on the “60-day homestretch” of the years-long American presidential campaign, the Canadian federal election will be announced, contested, and resolved in 38 daystotal! And, of course, as a parliamentary system, the election is not so completely fixated on the election of a chief executive.

See?  That doesn’t sound so bad, does it?  I think I’m just bitter because my cable provider took CSPAN-2 off the basic listing.  Lack of Book TV.  That’s it.

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