I have been debating with myself about blogging about the NH primary, and the "yes, do it, everyone else is" side has one. So, here goes. I am fed up with the 2008 presidential race. For one thing, it has already been going on for far too long. Why do we need to have candidates trying to get our attention over a year before the actual election? I think we ought to go with the model that some other countries have, where no one can campaign for an election more than 6-8 weeks beforehand. Yes, I do understand that we might have to sacrifice some of our chances to get to "know" the candidates, and our so-called freedom of choice might be affected, but we would also get rid of the years worth of negative ads. Besides, as an unaligned voter, I can't actually vote in the primary anyway. And in Texas, our primary was so late that it didn't have any impact (more on that in a moment).
Also, the waste of money currently spent on ads and campaigns sickens me - in fact, I find it rather immoral. I know that all that money probably wouldn't be spent on the many more worthy causes that it should be, because this is a capitalist country and everyone has a right to spend their money wherever they choose, but still, there is always a chance. This waste of money also contributes to the fact that only the richest or best at fund raising actually have a hope of getting noticed and sticking in the longest. Individually wealthy candidates have so many more options to waste their money, and if one thing doesn't work, they can just do another. With a shorter campaign period, that amount wasted would be drastically reduced, if only because the time is so limited.
And what's with having two rather small, very white states deciding who I can choose as my candidate? I mean, only TWO states have voted so far, it is barely January, and already candidates are dropping like flies, and others are being encouraged to give their chances up as lost. How is this democratic? How is this giving me a voice? I think all the primaries should be held on one day, maybe a week or two into the campaign that is only 8 weeks long. This would never happen, of course, because the early states would have to give up their privileged positions, and the news reporters would all explode, trying to cover all 50 states at once. Of course, that might be a good thing... I was listening to an interview with an undecided voter in Iowa the other day, and she said she was going to wait to make up her mind until she had seen all her top choices in person. Gee. Wouldn't it be nice if we all had that chance? I'm sure we all do, if we have the money to fly where they are speaking, or to pay for $5000 a plate dinner appearances.
Of course, the largest part of the farce is that we the voters actually have a chance to affect anything and select the president. We don't. The electoral college sees to that. The special interests groups help. Why does it have to be an all or nothing system? If 40% of the voters in a state vote one way, and the other 60% votes another, all that state's votes go to the majority side. Again, how is that democratic? How is that direct representation? And while I am griping,Why does the vice-president have to be elected along with the president? Why can't we vote for them separately?