US Election - take 2.
In 2008 we were told the US voted in ‘huge numbers’ to elect Obama. The numbers were 131 million voted or 57% of those registered to vote. Hardly a torrent then.
And in 2012? The numbers are still very raw. Apparently turnout is determined by each state and can take several days to collate. What we do know is that the overall figure of 117 million is some way down on 2008. New Jersey and New York figures are understandably down. Not by 14 million though!
This is despite $6 billion being spent on campaigning. Over 1 million adverts. Predominantly negative ‘attack’ adverts which denigrate the opponent with a mixture of smear, innuendo and half-truths bordering on downright lies. Costly and counter-productive, off-putting and dispiriting, they are a disgraceful element of US politics. Yet both major parties are locked into a death spiral where neither can stand back and call a halt to the madness.
The overwhelming feeling from Mr and Mrs Public is one of relief that they do not have to suffer these intrusions for another three years.
The sums involved are obscene and also reflect the way huge corporations and businesses try to buy influence. Again rotten. Michelle Bachman, the Tea Party fruitbat favourite of the right outspent her democrat opponent by 12-1 yet scraped in by 4600 votes.
Not quite the ‘City on the Hill’ so beloved by proud Americans. The days of ‘Mr Smith Goes to Washington’ are long gone.