Tuesday, September 11, 2012

On Election Season and Why I'm Glad I Have an Absentee Ballot

Darling readers, as much as it pains me to be out of the country during the first presidential election I can vote in (shout out to the Bucks County Board of Elections and my awesome mother for making sure I still get my absentee ballot!), I do have to say I'm not lamenting missing out on the irritating onslaught of campaign ads.

Don't get me wrong, between the daily emails, the political Facebook posts, and the fact that for some reason the Danes do actually seem to care about the outcome of the American presidential election, I'm still bombarded with campaign slogans and election information (and the occasional request to canvas or come to a rally, but sorry guys, it's hard to do that from Copenhagen -- best of luck though!).  But it's refreshing to get a break from every ad I see on YouTube or TV, or hear on the radio, being a political ad.

But the thing is, I didn't miss it entirely.  Because what they neglect to tell you is that campaign season in the States starts long before the primaries.  In fact, especially for House elections, it's reasonable to say that campaign season never stops.  Even before the campaign ads start airing, the media is full of policy critiques and comments from one side on the actions of the other.

What this means is that our politicians can rarely enter into that lull where they can actually govern as opposed to dancing around like trained monkeys trying to win your approval.  The second-term presidencies are really the only chances politicians get to actually do their jobs without worrying about the ramifications at the polls -- after all, they don't GET another shot.

What I've noticed here, though, is that while campaigning can get a little tough (especially in the UK because politics in the UK are so absurd they're actually funny), once an election has passed and a government has taken over, they're given the chance to DO THEIR JOBS, with the understanding that they may have to pay the price in the next election cycle, but that it won't really be an issue until then.

An outside perspective on American politics is actually kind of refreshing, really.

Absently yours,
Rachel Leigh

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