And while we’re all waiting for the RNC to end and all that…

…consider this:

Presidential candidates were announcing themselves back in 2006, I believe, for this election. Hell, probably earlier, now that I think about it. We have been grinding on in terms of active campaigning — debates and things and more — for a year.

We still have TWO MONTHS TO GO.

Meanwhile, up north:

Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper may be preparing to call an early general election, reports suggest.

Parliament is due to reconvene after its summer break on 15 September, but correspondents believe Mr Harper will call for an election on Sunday.

His Conservative Party was elected in 2006, but does not have an overall majority and has clashed with the opposition on a number of key issues.

It is thought an election could be pencilled in for 14 October.

A monthlong national election campaign and vote.

A MONTH?!?

(I am not outraged by this comparatively shorter time. That sound is the sound of anger and anguish resulting from pure, unalloyed and total jealousy.)

Of course the nature of two different systems — the Canadian parliamentary model, copying the UK version in many essentials, and our own here in the US — means two different ways of thinking about campaigns and time. I recall when the election happened from them in 2006 people were saying from the start ‘minority government, there’ll be another election pretty soon,’ and such is the case here, so arguably you could say we’re talking permanent ‘what-if’ campaigns — thus the institution as well of the shadow cabinets, with folks prepared to take over ministerial roles if the election breaks for another party or parties (though there’s always reshuffles etc. etc.) So I’m not necessarily assuming that different/shorter equals better; for all I know our lengthy regularity is envied.

But damn if that doesn’t all look pretty good right now. As I just told a Canadian friend, I’m tempted to emigrate just to enjoy that novelty alone.

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6 Responses to “And while we’re all waiting for the RNC to end and all that…”

  1. s woods Says:

    Hi Ned, it’s kind of bizarre this whole Canadian situation because one of the assumptions floating about is that Harper is pushing for a quick election out of concern that a Democratic victory on Nov. 4 could induce a tidal wave of liberalism. Also, the interest level and probably the turnout will likely be ridiculously low, which is probably good news for a somewhat unpopular (but not exactly loathed — yet) incumbent party.

    It sounds quite sneaky to me, and truthfully, I’ve been feeling the last few years that the U.S. system may be superior — both in the sense of being a two-party system (I’m almost surprised I’m thinking that) and having fixed election dates. Every election here it seems lately is called on a whim. It’s hard to envision majority governments for either side in the near future, which means — more elections. What a drain.

  2. Ned Raggett Says:

    Yeah, I figured there had to be another side to the story so thanks for the alternate perspective. Classic ‘grass is greener’ situations here. I think I wouldn’t be so voluble if this hadn’t felt like the endless process that is eating my brain away. A week after the Obama acceptance/Palin one-two and now I want to scream with frustration.

  3. s woods Says:

    (Actually, to say these elections are called “on a whim” is misleading. It may appear that way to the taxpayer, but obviously, there are very calculated reasons for these sudden bouts of, “Hey People — Let’s Go to the Ballot Box!”)

  4. s woods Says:

    Yeah, I hear what you’re saying too. I’ve been following your election very closely. It’s amazing how much of my year has been taken up in front of CNN/MSNBC and reading a dozen different blogs every two minutes. I can’t say I’m NOT enjoying it, but…

  5. Ned Raggett Says:

    I think anyone beyond the hypercommitted ‘for the love of the game’ types are just going ARRRRGH right about now. The addition of Palin, whatever else it brings, was like a huge dose of triple strength espresso with gobs of sugar but once it settles down we’ll all be going ‘guh’ again.

  6. Xana Says:

    I definitely think our campaign term is too long. I wish we could just change things and give everyone six months for campaigning. No announcing you’re running, no campaign ads, nothing that suggests you are campaigning. It should be clear that your are in your state, or at the capitol, doing your job until the time comes for announcing.


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